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

  • Initially, this was a deal-breaker for me to. That's why I chose another distro when I switched to Linux. After 6 months I noticed I barely every used the desktop, so I moved to elementary OS when Juno came out.
    – wout
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 18:07
  • 1
    @wout I suspect this is because the home folder is such a nice place to organize things :)
    – jena
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 12:17
  • @jena Absolutely. Not having a desktop folder helps to keep things organized. Although, I see myself (ab)using the Downloads folder as a substitute to quickly dump files because eventually I'll clean it out anyway. :)
    – wout
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 10:02

3 Answers 3


Have you tried this tip? Keep in mind that desktop folders is not a deal in the elementary. This can be harsh, I know.

  • I have tried this, it just isnt what i need Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 17:49

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

  • I think the reason it is called Desktop is because is the easiest place to store files you want to access quickly. No one can tell me that it is not more easy to store a file on the desktop and if you configure hotcorner to show desktop - you show the desktop, doubleclick on the file and it is opened. I don't see any aim in opening files app, navigate to the folder where the file is and doubleclick to open. Neighter is more easy using open dialog of the application. If there are no files on the desktop, this is not and advantage but a disadvantage, sorry.
    – Bo rislav
    Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 7:37

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