How to Fix Desktop Folder Missing on Windows 11

The Desktop is one of the most regularly used locations of your Windows PC. But you may find the Desktop folder missing inside your User directory.

Usually, you access your Desktop from the home screen of your Windows PC but it is actually located in the Users folder (C:\User\Username\Desktop) at the root of your Windows installation drive.

If you are not able to see it there or if the Desktop folder is missing, this fixing guide will help you.

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Fix the Missing Desktop Folder in Windows 11

Here are the tips and solutions to fix the disappeared or missing Desktop folder in your Windows User directory.

1. Access Desktop Using Address Bar

If it is urgent to access the Desktop folder inside File Explorer, then you can manually, enter the Desktop folder’s address into the address bar. This workaround will let you access the Desktop folder even if it is not visible.

1. Open the File Explorer by pressing Win + E keyboard shortcut.

2. In the address bar of the File Explorer, copy + paste the following address and hit the Enter key:


Performing the above steps should open the Desktop folder inside File Explorer.

2. Enable Hidden items in File Explorer

It is very much possible that your Desktop folder is located where it should be but you are just not able to see it. This is because the Hidden Items option is disabled on your Windows File Explorer. When disabled, the system files and folders are hidden.

To enable the Hidden Files option, follow the below steps.

1. Open the Windows File Explorer on your Windows PC by pressing the Win + E keyboard shortcut and then navigate to the location where the Desktop folder is intended to be located.

It should be located in the C:\Users\Username location. Here, the Username is actually your Windows account username. In my case, it is Bhanu.

2. Once the File Explorer is open, click on the View option on the top Edit Bar.

3. Next, click on the Show option and checkmark the Hidden Items option.

When check marked, all the hidden files and folders will start showing in all the directories across your PC. Check if you can see the Desktop folder here or not.

3. Create New User Account

It is possible that the current Windows User Account you are using to access the Desktop folder doesn’t have the required permissions. In that case, you can create a new User account.

Creating a new User Account is rather simple and it takes the following steps:

1. Open Windows Settings either from the Start Menu or by pressing Win + I keyboard shortcut.

settings window

2. In Settings, click on Accounts in the left pane and then go to the Family & Other Accounts option.

001 accounts form settings family and other user

3. Here, click on the Add Accounts button located under the Other users section.

002 click on add account

4. Now, follow the on-screen instruction and complete the User Account creation process.

Once the account is created, restart and log into your PC using the newly created User Account. You should be able to see the Desktop folder now.

Tip: Read our Windows User Accounts guide for a comprehensive Windows User Account creation tutorial.

4. Uninstall Windows Update

A lot of users have experienced that their Desktop folder has disappeared after updating their PC to a new version. If this is the case with you as also, then you can uninstall the previously installed updates by following the steps below.

1. Open Settings on your PC from the Start Menu.

windows 11 settings
windows 11 settings

2. In the Settings window, go to the Windows Update tab from the left and then click on the Update History option from the right.

go to settings update history

3. Scroll down to the bottom and click on the Uninstall Updates option.

uninstall updates windows 11

Tip: Alternatively, you can also search for Uninstall Updates in the Windows search bar to reach cut off the above steps.

4. Now, you’ll see the list of your recently applied Windows updates. Locate the most recent update or the update after which you noticed that the Desktop folder has gone missing and click on the Uninstall button.

uninstall updates windows 11 1

5. Follow the on-screen instructions and uninstall the update.

5. Check the OneDrive Folder

If you have set up Microsoft One Drive on your PC then it is possible that your Desktop folder is saved inside the OneDrive directory instead of the offline User directory.

In such a case, you can either access the Desktop folder by going to the OneDriver directory or you can retrieve it to your offline User directory on your PC.

1. Open the File Explorer on your PC, copy + paste the following address into its address bar, and press the Enter key:


2. If your Desktop folder is there, then you can access it from here with no issue at all. However, if you want it to be relocated to your offline User directory, then right-click on it and select Properties.

3. In the Properties window, switch to the Location tab and click on the Restore Default button.

6. Perform a System Restore

You can also take help from your saved restore point on your Windows PC. Restore points are basically snapshots of your Windows Operating System. Restoring a restore point on your PC will make your Windows work just the way it was working at the time that restore point was created.

You can read our Windows Restore Point Guide for more information and a comprehensive tutorial on performing a System Restore. However, a rough guide can be found below.

1. Search and open “Create a restore point” from the Windows search bar.

016 create a restore point

2. On the System Properties window that opens up, switch to the “System Protection” tab, and click on the “System Restore” button.

012 to see if system protection is on or not

3. The System Restore may show you the suggestions for a recommended restore point if you have one.

You can select the “Recommended restore” option if you wish to use it, or the “Choose a different restore point” option if you want to use one of your choices, and click “Next.”

If you don’t see the suggestion, then simply click “Next” to continue.

005 restoring first page

4. You’ll now see the list of all available restore points (manual and automatic) with a brief description and timestamps of their creation.

Choose a restore point with the timestamp during or before which you were not facing the issue or at the time of file corruption.

006 first restore point to see the restore points and affected apps

5. Finally, click the “Finish” button to initiate the restoration process.

008 click on finish to start restoring

Your system will now be restored to its previous state before the selected event along with the Desktop folder.

7. Reset the PC

Lastly, if nothing seems to be working in your favor, you can try resetting your PC as a last resort.

This option can help you restore your computer to its default settings without losing your personal files and data.

Open the Windows Settings (Win + I), then go to Update & Security >Recovery.

From there, click on the “Reset PC” button.

004 reset PC in the recovery option

Tip: Read our Windows Resetting Guide for an in-depth step-by-step guide and explanation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How do I restore my desktop folder in Windows 11?

    To restore the Desktop folder to its default location from OneDrive, go to the Desktop folder's properties, and click on the Restore Default button under the Location tab.

  2. Where is my Desktop folder in Windows 11?

    The Desktop folder lies inside C:\User\userprofile\Desktop where the “userprofile” term may be different, depending upon your Windows PC's username. If you have set the Desktop folder to be in the OneDrive, then you'll find the desktop folder inside the C:\User\userprofile\OneDrive\Desktop location.

  3. Why has my Desktop folder disappeared?

    There can be a number of reasons behind the disappearance of the Desktop folder. Some possible reasons are hidden files and folders enabled in File Explorer, the Desktop folder being located inside the OneDrive folder, a faulty Update having caused the Desktop folder to disappear, etc.

And there you go! I hope the aforementioned fixes would have helped you in getting back your disappeared Desktop folder on your Windows 11 PC. If you have questions, suggestions, or more fixes to the problem, then please consider sharing them in the comments below.

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Posted by
Bhanu Pratap

Hi! I am Bhanu Pratap, co-founder of Yorker Media Group. A die-heart fan of tech and keeps track of every little happening of the same. When not writing, I usually keep myself busy on YouTube making and exploring new and awesome tech content.

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