How to Restore the Show Desktop Button

by rickey24

The "Show Desktop" icon is a staple of the Windows Operating System. It is a one stop button that instantly minimizes all open windows on a user's desktop. It is an easy way to unclutter the desktop quickly to get to the icons housed there. Sometimes, however, this icon may accidentally be deleted. While there are other methods to accomplish the action performed by the "Show Desktop" icon, most users prefer to have the icon restored. Unfortunately, restoring this icon is not as intuitive as restoring other default shortcuts.

Open Notepad or any other text editor.

Copy and paste the following into Notepad: [Shell] Command=2 IconFile=explorer.exe,3 [Taskbar] Command=ToggleDesktop

Save the file as "Show desktop.scf" to the desktop. Upon saving, the "Show Desktop" icon will appear on the desktop.

Drag and drop the newly created icon to the Quick Launch toolbar.


  • check This method will work on ALL versions of Windows.
  • check Holding the "Windows" key and "D" on the keyboard will accomplish the same thing as clicking the "Show Desktop" icon.
  • check Right clicking on the taskbar and selecting "Show the Desktop" also will act the same as the "Show Desktop" icon.


  • close There are many third party pieces of software that claim to restore the "Show Desktop" icon. Be aware that these executable files often house viruses and other malicious programs. A legitimate software solution can be found on Microsoft's support forum.