If your Desktop icons are not showing in Windows 7 / 8 or if you want to hide or unhide the desktop icons, then this post is sure to interest you. If your desktop icons do not display on your Windows desktop, try this:
Hide or unhide Desktop icons
Right click on your desktop > View > Check Show desktop icons.
It should help. If it doesnt, type gpedit.msc in start menu and hit Enter.
Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Desktop.
Now in Desktop, in the RHS pane, open Properties of Hide and disable all items on the desktop.
Configure your choice there.
If Enabled, this setting removes icons, shortcuts, and other default and user-defined items from the desktop, including Recycle Bin, Computer, and Network Locations.
To show desktop icons, ensue that the setting is Not Configured.
Hit Apply > OK.
Restart your computer and see if it has helped.
Incidentally, on a related note, are you facing and issue, where you find that your desktop icons are not working in Windows 7 / 8? Usually, this happens if the file associations are messed up. In that case you may want to see this post – Desktop Icons not working in Windows 7 / 8.