How to Put the 'My Computer' Icon on Your Windows 7 Desktop

Return This Helpful Shortcut to Its Rightful Place

My Computer Icon Settings

If you recently upgraded to Windows 7, you probably noticed that several icons are missing from the desktop. This is especially true if you upgraded from an older version of Windows like Windows XP.

One of the shortcuts you probably miss the most is My Computer, which lets you quickly open Windows Explorer to see all the hard drives connected to your computer and the many folders that let you navigate around your computer to find files, open programs, etc.

Fortunately, the icon is not lost forever. In fact, it should take just 30 seconds or so to get it back on your desktop. 

A Brief History of the My Computer Icon

Beginning with Windows XP, Microsoft added a link to My Computer in the Start Menu, which resulted in two shortcuts to My Computer - one on the desktop and the other in the Start Menu.

In an effort to declutter the desktop, Microsoft opted to remove the My Computer icon from the desktop in Microsoft Vista onward. This is also when Microsoft dropped the "My" from "My Computer," leaving it to be called simply "Computer."

The shortcut is still available, tucked away in the Windows 7 Start Menu, but you can definitely bring it back out to your desktop if you prefer to open it there.

How to Show the Computer Icon on the Desktop in Windows 7

  1. Right-click the desktop and choose Personalize from the menu.

  2. When the Personalization Control Panel window appears, click the Change desktop icons link on the left to open the Desktop Icon Settings dialog box.

  3. Put a check in the box next to Computer. There are several other options in the dialog box, and most, if not all of them, are probably unchecked, meaning that they're not displayed on the desktop. Feel free to enable any other ones, too.

  4. Use the OK button to save the changes and close the dialog box.

When you return to the Windows 7 desktop, you will find the handy Computer icon in its place.