How to Install Desktop Icons (Computer, User’s Files, Network, Control Panel) on Windows 2012 Server. Bring Back The Traditional Windows (7,8) Desktop Icons!
One of the first things IT Administrators and IT Managers notice after a fresh installation of Windows 2012 Server is that there are no Desktop Icons apart from the Recycle Bin. Desktop icons such as Computer, User’s Files, Network & Control Panel are not available by default. Desktop icons are now available through the Personalize menu, when right-clicking in an empty area on the desktop, however this menu option is not available by default.
Figure 1. Personalize Menu is not available by default on Windows 2012 Server
To bring back the Desktop icons, administrators must first install the Desktop Experience feature on Windows 2012 Server.
Note: Once the Desktop Experience Feature is installed, the server will require a restart.
To do so, click on the Server Manager icon on the taskbar:
Figure 2. Server Manager icon on Windows 2012 Server taskbar
Now select Add Roles and Features: