So I've tried the normal tricks, and everywhere I've looked I can't find how to enable "desktop icons" in 'JUNO', disabling and re-enabling it in tweaks has done nothing.
Any advice would be appreciated
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Have you tried this tip? Keep in mind that desktop folders is not a deal in the elementary. This can be harsh, I know.
There's an app called Desktop Folder that's available in the AppCenter. It adds desktop folders, among other things.
Maybe if you need desktop icons IMHO elementary isn't for you
The whole system doesn't need to have desktop icons, if you want to access files just open pantheon-files (io.elementary.files now). If you want to run apps just click on their menu or add them to the dock to get them quickly
I have conky on the back running and I barely see it while I'm working just when I choose to, I've never felt the need to "go to the desktop". If there's anything like it maybe an open instance of pantheon-files (io.elementary.files) will suffice