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The Desktop tab does not appear in the Display Properties dialog box in Windows XP

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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.

The Desktop tab does not appear in the Display Properties dialog box in Microsoft Windows XP.
This problem occurs if the following two conditions are true:
  • The Turn on Classic shell Group Policy setting is configured.
  • The value of the ClassicShell entry in the following registry subkey is not 0:
Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

To resolve this problem, modify the value of the ClassicShell entry to 0. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type Regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following subkey:
  3. In the right pane, double-click ClassicShell, type 0 in the Value data box, and then click OK.
  4. Exit Registry Editor.
When the Turn on Classic shell policy setting is configured, the ClassicShell registry entry is enabled. When this entry is enabled, the following conditions are true:
  • The Active Desktop feature and the Web view feature are turned off.
  • The option to open items with a single click is not available.
  • The user interface resembles the Windows NT 4.0 user interface.
When the ClassicShell registry entry is enabled, users cannot reverse these changes without modifying the registry.

Article ID: 922370 - Last Review: 07/26/2006 21:43:21 - Revision: 1.2

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • kbshell kbregistry kbtshoot kbprb KB922370