If the desktop does not load
Sometimes computer users are faced with the fact that after loading Windows does not load the desktop. The operating system has booted, but only the background image is visible on the screen – there are neither icons, nor the bottom panel. What to do in this case? If your desktop does not load, it means that the explorer.exe process has not been executed. Running this process will return the desktop to its place, but after that you will need to deal with the causes of the “disappearance” of the desktop and eliminate them.
So, to complete the explorer.exe process, you need to call Windows Task Manager. This is done using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + Delete (Ctrl + Shift + Escape for Windows 7). When the task manager opens, on the File menu, select the New Task (Run …) option. In the window that opens, you will need to enter explorer.exe and click on the OK button. You can not enter the command manually, and use the Browse button, go to the WINDOWS folder on drive C, select the file explorer.exe, click the Open button, and then click the OK button.
These actions will help to return all the icons and desktop panels to their place, but they do not eliminate the reason why the desktop does not load, and the problem will repeat every time the operating system boots. How to cope with the problem once and for all?
The most likely reason that you do not want to load the desktop is a virus in the system. So, first you need to scan the system using an antivirus (it is best to use one or more free virus removal utilities besides the already installed antivirus, if the antivirus already missed the virus into the system, it may not be noticed). But sometimes even after the removal of all viruses, the desktop still does not load. In this case, you will have to resort to editing the Windows registry.
To start the registry editor, you need to click on the Start button and select the Run option (you can simply use the Win + R key combination). In the window that opens, enter the regedit command and click the OK button or press the Enter key.
In the Registry Editor, you need to check for the following keys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ WindowsNT \ CurrentVersion \ Image File Execution Options \ explorer.exe
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ WindowsNT \ CurrentVersion \ Image File Execution Options \ iexplorer.exe
If they are, they should be deleted (right click on the key – the Delete context menu option, or select the key with the left click and press the Delete button).
You also need to check the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ WindowsNT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon
In it, you need to find the Shell parameter and assign it the value of explorer.exe. To do this, click on the parameter with the right mouse button and select the Edit context menu item or double-click on the parameter with the left button. In the Value field, enter explorer.exe and click the OK button or the Enter key. All changes to the registry will take effect only after restarting the computer.
If you are afraid to crawl into the registry, you can try to restore the desktop load using the free AVZ antivirus tool. Download the utility from the official website of the developer, unpack the archive and run the utility. On the File menu, select System Restore. In the window that opens, check the items 5 (Restoring Desktop Settings), 9 (Deleting Debuggers and System Processes) and 16 (Restoring the Explorer Launch Key). Click the button Execute marked operations. As in the previous case, you will need to restart the computer.
Sometimes it helps to copy the file explorer.exe from another computer to the WINDOWS folder on the drive where you have the system installed (usually drive C). New file to replace the old one and restart the computer.
If you do not load the desktop – do not panic. In most cases, the manipulations described in this article help to restore the normal loading of the desktop.