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How to re-create the Show desktop icon on the Quick Launch toolbar in Windows XP

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q190355
To continue receiving security updates for Windows, make sure that you are running Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3). For more information, refer to this Microsoft webpage: Support is ending for some versions of Windows
Problem description
The Show desktop icon is missing from your Quick Launch toolbar in Windows XP, but you want to use this icon instead of the alternative methods to show the desktop or show open windows.
To have us re-create the Show desktop icon for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you prefer to fix this problem yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.

Fix this problem
  • To make sure the Show desktop icon is shown in the Quick Launch toolbar, you should enable the Show Quick Launch setting in Windows XP.
  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you are not using the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Then, go to the "Did this fix the problem?" section.

Let me fix it myself

To re-create the Show desktop icon yourself, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type notepad in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Carefully copy and then paste the following text into the Notepad window:
  3. On the File menu, click Save As, and then save the file to your desktop as "Show desktop.scf". The Show desktop icon is created on your desktop.
  4. Click and then drag the Show desktop icon to your Quick Launch toolbar.

Information for advanced users

The Quick Launch toolbar uses the files in the following folder:

%userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
Alternatives to using the Show desktop icon
To quickly show the desktop or open windows without using the Show desktop icon on the Quick Launch toolbar, you can use one of the following methods:
  • Press the Windows logo key+D on your keyboard.
  • Right-click the Windows taskbar, and then click Show the Desktop or click Show Open Windows.

Did this fix the problem?

  • Check whether the problem is fixed. If the problem is fixed, you are finished with this section. If the problem is not fixed, you can contact support.
  • We would appreciate your feedback. To provide feedback or to report any issues with this solution, please leave a comment on the "Fix it for me" blog or send us an email.
More information
For help with common system maintenance tasks in Windows Vista, visit the following Microsoft website:
fixit fix it LB_9745637

Article ID: 190355 - Last Review: 04/25/2013 20:59:00 - Revision: 15.0

  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • kbexpertisebeginner kbhowto kbui kbfixme kbmsifixme KB190355