This post shows students and new users how to add some “special”Icons such as Computer, User and Control Panel on the desktop. In previous versions of Windows, some essential icons used to be automatically added to each user’s desktop.

These were Computer, User, Control, Recycle Bin, and maybe Network icons. These icons are very useful for managing and locating system settings. If you previously used these icons in other versions of Windows and want to get them back, the steps below will show you how.

In Windows 11, the name of the computer has been changed to “This PC”. When you click on the icon, it takes you directly to File Explorer’s system drives.

The new Windows 11, when released to everyone in a few weeks, will come with many new features and improvements that will work great for some and add some learning challenges for others. Some things and settings have changed so much that people will have to learn new ways of working and managing Windows 11.

Don’t be afraid though, as we’ll continue to write easy-to-follow tutorials on how to use Windows 11 here.

To start restoring the default desktop icons in Windows 11, follow the steps below.

How to Restore Previously Default Desktop Icons in Windows 11

As mentioned above, these icons were previously the default icons on older Windows systems. They have since been removed, but you can restore them with a few clicks below.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for most of its setup applications. From system settings to creating new users and updating Windows, everything can be done from the System settings crystal.

To access the System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click Start ==> Settings as shown in the following picture:

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and find Settings. Then select to open it.

The Windows settings panel should look similar to the image below. In Windows settings, click Personalization, Select Topics on the right panel of the screen shown in the image below.

In the Themes settings panel, under Related settings, click on Desktop Icon Settings.

There, you can choose to display the Computer, User files, Network, Recycle Bin and Control Panel on the desk.

The icons selected above should be displayed on the desktop. These are useful icons and should help the user quickly access basic settings.

You should do that!


In this tutorial we have seen how to add desktop icons in Windows 11. If you find any errors above or have something to add, use the comment form below.

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