How to Restore the Old Desktop Icons on Windows 11?

Blending Nostalgia with Modernity: Reverting to Classic Icons on Windows 11

Looking to rekindle some nostalgia with the familiar icons of yesteryear on your shiny new Windows 11 setup? Windows 11 might have brought a host of changes, but it’s not devoid of those iconic desktop symbols that we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. The default icons for Computer, user-account folders, Network, Recycle Bin, and the Control Panel have been a constant presence on most Windows OS desktops. However, if you’re feeling a tad out of place with Windows 11’s icon set, worry not! There’s a silver lining. You can seamlessly revert to the classic desktop icons from previous Windows versions. Even though Microsoft may have discreetly pushed some of these older shortcuts to the background in Windows 11, they haven’t disappeared entirely. For those who find comfort in the old-school, these symbols can still be brought back to your desktop. Dive into this risewindows guide as we walk you through the steps to bring back the iconic Windows desktop icons to your Windows 11 setup. Let’s embark on this nostalgia trip together!

How to Restore the Old Windows Desktop Icons on Windows 11?

Step 1: Right-click on a blank area of the Windows 11 Desktop and choose Personalize from the menu that appears.


Step 2: Click on Themes in the Personalization’s left side pane. Click on the link labeled “Desktop Icon Settings” in the Related Settings section on the right side of it.

Step 3: The Desktop Icon Settings dialogue will appear once you are done with all the above steps. Check the boxes next to Control Panel, Network, User’s Files, and Recycle Bin (should be already selected).

Step 4: Click on the Apply button.

Step 5: Click on OK.

Close the Settings app and go back to Desktop after finishing the above steps. You’ll notice that your computer now has all of its original desktop icons, including those for the Recycle Bin, User’s profile, This computer, Network, and Control Panel.


Embracing the future doesn’t necessarily mean letting go of the past, especially when it comes to the comfort of familiar desktop icons. Windows 11, with its sleek design and modern features, also pays homage to its predecessors by allowing users the choice to revert to classic icons. This flexibility ensures that users don’t feel alienated with the new changes and can personalize their desktop to their liking. By following the simple steps outlined in this risewindows guide, you can easily bridge the past and the present, ensuring a comfortable and nostalgic desktop experience on Windows 11. After all, sometimes it’s the little touches that make a big difference. So, for those yearning for a blend of the old and new, Windows 11 has got you covered.


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