Over time, I’ve had a few people who have come to me because all of their icons disappeared from their desktop.
The solution is simple– right-click on the desktop and click on View.
Then check the last option, Show desktop icons. If you have a cluttered desktop and want to hide your icons, then just uncheck it by clicking it again.
You also have a few other options here. You can change the size of the icons: Small, Medium, or Large.
Auto arrange icons: This will group all the icons on the left-hand side of the screen. Uncheck this if you are trying to move icons somewhere else on your screen, but they keep snapping back to the left-hand side.
Align icons to grid: You can move them anywhere, but this helps you line them up more neatly.
I believe this is similar in all versions of Windows going back to Windows 95.