Dear Computer Lady,
This is actually a multi-part question. An acquaintance purchased a used computer with Windows XP and found out later that the My Computer icon is missing. This person asked me for help, but I know almost nothing about XP so I can’t help.
My question is where the My Computer files actually live. What is the path? I do not see it under that name when I view hidden items in Windows Explorer (my OS is ME).
His question is how does he get it back? Will he need to re-install Windows XP? Luckily, he did get the restore disks with the computer.
I can tell how to put “My Computer” on the Start Menu in XP, but I am not sure I can answer your question about where the files actually live. The “My Computer” icon is not a shortcut, but a windows system icon.
In Windows XP, you can have the “My Computer” Icon show up on your “Start” menu this way:
1. Right click on the “Start” button and click on “Properties” from the menu that appears. This will bring up the “Start Menu Properties” window.
2. Make sure the top “Start Menu” is selected, not the “Classic Start Menu” option, and click the “Customize…” button. This will bring you to the “Customize Start Menu” window.
3. Click on the “Advanced” tab and look for the list of Start Menu Items. When you scroll down the list, you will see “My Computer” with several options beneath it. Click on “Display as a link” to select it, and click “OK” twice to save your settings.
If you want the “My Computer” icon on your desktop too, follow these directions:
1. Right click on a blank spot on your desktop and click “Properties”.
2. In the “Display Properties” window, click the “Desktop” tab and then click the button near the bottom that says “Customize Desktop”.
3. Click on the “General” tab and in the top section where it says “Desktop Icons” place a check mark in front of “My Computer”. Click “OK” twice to save your settings.
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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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