[Fix] Desktop Tile is missing on the Start screen in Windows 8.1

By default, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 come with a special tile on the Start screen called 'Desktop'. It shows your current wallpaper and allows you to switch to the classic Desktop mode to work with desktop apps. But sometimes something goes wrong and Desktop tile disappears from the Start screen. Here's how you can restore it.

no desktop tile

The first thing you need to do is to check if the Desktop tile isn't simply unpinned from the Start screen.


1. On the Start screen, press the Ctrl + Tab keys together on the keyboard. It will switch the Start screen to the Apps view.

2. Look for the Desktop item. If you see it, right click it and choose 'Pin to Start'.

Pin to StartIf you cannot locate the Desktop item, it means that some user or some software on your PC has removed the necessary *.lnk file for Desktop. This can be fixed too.

1. Press Win + R hotkeys on your keyboard together and paste the following text in the Run box:

shell:Common Programs

Press Enter, it will open the File Explorer window at the 'Programs' folder.

Tip: See the full list of shell commands in Windows 8.1

2. Download the Desktop.lnk file from here:

Download Desktop.lnk

3. Extract and paste it into the opened Programs folder.

Pasted Shortcut

4. Sign out from your Windows session and sign back. The Desktop tile must be already on the Start screen. If not, pin it there using the Apps view or by searching for it and right clicking it -> Pin to Start.

desktop tile is back

That's it. The Desktop tile will return to its place on the Start screen. If you have lots of pinned tiles and there isn't place to pin at the beginning of the Start screen, the Desktop tile may get pinned at the very end. Scroll to the right and drag and Desktop tile to where you want.

Support us

Winaero greatly relies on your support. You can help the site keep bringing you interesting and useful content and software by using these options:

If you like this article, please share it using the buttons below. It won't take a lot from you, but it will help us grow. Thanks for your support!


Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

10 thoughts on “[Fix] Desktop Tile is missing on the Start screen in Windows 8.1”

  1. how to delete .lnk files…….. ?
    how to get back the programs and features list if it has been disappered? I cant uninstall any program on my pc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Using Telegram? Subscribe to the blog channel!
Hello. Add your message here.