How To: Restore the “Show Desktop” in your Quick Launch bar

Have you ever accidentally deleted, or somehow lost the “Show Desktop” icon in your Quick Launch bar (just next to your Start button)? The icon is quite useful, so the problem is, how do you restore it? It’s very easy actually, just follow these quick steps:

  • Open Notepad. [Start -> All programs -> Notepad]
  • Enter the following code:


  • Now save the file as Show Desktop.scf in the directory C:\WINDOWS\system32.
  • Navigate to C:\WINDOWS\system32 in Windows Explorer.
  • Drag the Show Desktop.scf file to your Quick Launch bar:

Done – enjoy!

NOTE: This trick does not apply to Windows 7 users. Windows 7 users don’t have the “Show Desktop” icon because Windows 7 does not have the Quick Launch bar anymore (by default anyway). Rather, Windows 7 users have a different method that performs the same function as the “Show Desktop” icon (see the very right of your Windows Taskbar if you are on Windows 7).

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  • Ramesh Kumar


    Thanks; you are absolutely right. Indeed “Everything” is brilliant & I had already tried it. Sadly it works only on drives whose file systems are NTFS. In my case one drive is NTFS & the other two are FAT 32 :(

    I’ll check XYPlorer asap.

    One last thing – Australia & Melbourne are sure lucky to have one such as you :) Thanks.
    Ramesh :)

  • RobCr

    @Ramesh Kumar:
    There was a recent topic discussing Windows Search(Indexing) settings.
    I wrote advising about two programs.
    One of them is called ‘Everything’ and it is brilliant for file name searches, and uses few resources.
    The other program I mention, is a replacement for Windows Explorer. (which has tabs etc, and provides a great search facility as well.)
    Here is a link to my post –;leftCol

  • Ramesh Kumar


    Thanks for the tips! I’ll try them out. Nice to see you back! Missed you. :)

    I’d love to see Adrian and Samuel blush permanently always………all over. :) Blush is a sign of good blood circulation & great health. People like you are great assets. We therefore wish you both are always in great health & spirits aka “be in the pink of health…..always”
    Ramesh :)

  • Ramesh Kumar

    Thanks! Will do
    Ramesh :)

  • Ramesh Kumar


    Dear friend RobCr – do consider yourself persuaded. I’d love to learn. Seems like today is my lucky day!
    Ramesh :)

  • @donna dawson: This article is for people who delete the “Show Desktop” shortcut from the Quick Launch

    @Ramesh Kumar: Another cool Key trick is Windows+Number which on XP and Vista launchs that number program from the Quick Launch counting from the left, so if you have Firefox as the second shortcut Windows+2 launchs it. On 7 it launchs that number pinned icon if it’s not open, if it does it switchs to that program.

    @Adrian: Between you and Ramesh I’m going to get a permenent blush!

  • Mike

    A nice list of Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts:

    (Similar lists exist for other Windows versions; just do a search engine search for Windows [Windows version] keyboard shortcuts.)

  • donna dawson

    Hello, this post leaves me confused. I simple right click on my status bar at the bottom of my browser and click on “toolbars” and then “quick launch”. Simple to do and much easier than the above post. I have Windows XP Pro. Make it a great day.

  • Quick launch bar is my best friend… really useful tool for opening up programs I use most. :D


  • RobCr

    Forgive me for this comment.
    I believe it is the only way I can subscribe to this topic ? ? ?
    I would have ticked it earlier, but I KEEP forgetting to tick it (hint).

    PS Ramesh,
    Win E gets you Windows Explorer (but you should not use Windows Explorer).
    Win F gets you XP’s Search dialog (but you should not use Windows Search).
    With very little prompting, I could be talked into describing alternatives.

  • Adrian

    @Ramesh Kumar: Man, I don’t know much about programming. The trick above mentioned was a bit of advice from a schoolmate (who studies IT).

    Samuel is a LOT MORE advanced in the field of programming.

    @RobCr: Yeah I know it does. But some people don’t and there are also those who are accustomed to clicking the icon.

  • Ramesh Kumar

    @ Adrian
    You write articles which are wonderful & also simple. Please keep writing.

    Could you write a series of such “notepad tricks” – including but not restricted to how to configure “new right mouse clicks” should that be possible?

    Were Samuel (another talented person like you) to write one on the same subject – “configure new right mouse clicks by doing that inside registry” & you Adrian to write one on the same subject – “configure new right mouse clicks using notepad” I guess dottechies would gasp in admiration because both “types” of techniques would get covered.

    It would be awesome………………and unique as well for too. Dottechies would actually get goosebumps. :)
    Ramesh :)

  • Ramesh Kumar


    Wow it does! I just tried it immediately after reading your comment. Just making a proactive Xp request. Can you provide an Xp cheat sheet? There may be so many other goodies besides this? :D
    Ramesh :)

  • RobCr

    I am using XP.
    Doesn’t the keyboard shortcut
    Windows key D
    do the same thing ?

  • Mike

    For those on Win7 who miss having the icon, you can add it back by creating a “Quick Launch” taskbar with the icon on it, plus any others you might want. Although in my humble opinion, it’s easier just using the unlabeled button to the right of the system tray area–just takes getting used to.

  • Ashraf

    @Adrian: Because I had accidentally removed my icon so many times. Never really bothered to Google to find out how to put it back… too lazy =P.

  • Adrian

    @Ashraf: Why? Had you deleted the Show Desktop on your Vista?

    (Actually I had written this article already a few months ago)

  • Haha, would’ve saved me some Googling a few months ago when I accidentally deleted it :P

  • Ashraf

    Adrian! I wish you wrote this article back when I was still on Vista =P.