How to fix the Active Desktop Recovery (Restore my Active Desktop) problem on Windows XP.

Last updated on October 13th, 2015

The "Active Desktop Recovery – Restore My Active Desktop" problem occurs on Windows XP computers after performing a system restart (or after Windows shutdown). The problem commonly occurs after the installation of Internet Explorer 7, if a web page is used as a wallpaper. 

The "Active Desktop Recovery" background screen, offers you the chance to fix the problem by clicking the "Restore my Active Desktop" button, but when you click at this button, nothing happens.

In this article you can find detailed instructions on how to fix the "Active desktop recovery – Restore my Active Desktop" problem on Windows XP.

fix Active Desktop Recovery

How to fix the "Active Desktop Recovery" problem (Windows XP).

Method 1. Fix Active Desktop from Display Properties.

Method 2. Fix Active Desktop problem using Windows Registry.

Method 1. Fix "Active Desktop Recovery" problem from Display Properties.

1. Right-click anywhere on an empty space on your desktop and select Properties.

Active Desktop Recovery


2. At Desktop tab, click at Customize Desktop button.

customize desktop


3. At Desktop Items window, select the Web tab and uncheck (or delete) every Web page under Web pages category.

desktop items


4. Click OK twice to exit display settings.

If you still face the Active Desktop Recovery problem, continue to Method 2 below.

Method 2. Fix "Active Desktop Recovery" problem using Windows Registry.

Open Registry editor. To do that:

1. Simultaneously press  the “WinImage-201_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb1_t  + “R” keys to load the Run dialog box.

2. Type regedit and press Enter to open Registry Editor.


IMPORTANT: Before you continue, first take a backup of your registry. To do that:

  • From the main menu, go to File & select Export.

registry backup

  • Specify a destination location (e.g. your Desktop), give a filename for the exported registry file (e.g. “RegistryUntouched”),  select at Export range: All and press Save.

registry export

3. After you backed up your registry, navigate (from the left pane) to this key:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\SafeMode\Components

active desktop fix


4. At the right pane, double click to modify DeskHtmlVersion value.



5. Set the Value data to 0 (zero) and press OK.

DeskHtmlVersion value


6. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.

You 're done!

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