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After some tidying up of my Ubuntu desktop, I noticed that all the icons on the desktop were missing after a reboot… they had just disappeared completely leaving some blank wallpaper!

Thankfully, I googled around and found a very simple solution to this problem. It appears that in all my hastiness to clear up and delete files, I also deleted the Documents folder from my home directory. Whilst I didn’t keep anything in this folder and didn’t use it at all, apparently it is necessary for Nautilus to display icons on the desktop.

To set your desktop back on the rails, simply do the following command (first make sure that you have indeed deleted your Documents folder and that it is not something else that is causing this problem for you):

mkdir ~/Documents

You should not need root privileges to execute the above command.

Hope that worked for you too - now just log out and back in again and your desktop should once again be full of clutter!

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