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Troubleshooting disappearing skins on showing desktop or pressing WIN+D

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Troubleshooting disappearing skins on showing desktop or pressing WIN+D

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[Last update: 2 November, 2021]

Troubleshooting disappearing skins when hiding all windows / pressing Show Desktop button / pressing WIN+D
  1. Always make sure you have the latest Rainmeter installed. Check the latest version at rainmeter.net
  2. Check if your skin Position is NOT set to Bottom. If it is set to Bottom it WILL react to Win+D and will HIDE your skins. You can check it by clicking right mouse button on your skin and choosing Settings > Position > Normal or through the Manage window. Make sure your skins are NOT set to Bottom if you WANT them SHOWN when pressing WIN+D.
  3. Make sure you have your video drivers updated.
  4. Try to perform a Clean Rainmeter Uninstall. Back up your Skins folder somewhere because in the process you will need to delete it. After performing a clean uninstall, restart your computer, install Rainmeter again, run Rainmeter and do not install any skins yet. You will have default set of Illustro skins appeared on your desktop. Press WIN+D and see what happens.
  5. If nothing helped, then there is mostly probably another app(s) that interfere with Desktop. Make sure you you turn them off or uninstall them completely to see if that helps. Check the list below for known apps.
  6. Also, if you are running Windows 11, it is quite buggy (at the moment of writing this post). If you had it running normally on Windows 10 then it could be due to Windows 11 itself.

Apps that are known to interfere with Desktop:
  1. Do you have ANY app that can interfere with Desktop / User Interface / Windows Shell / other process in any way? E.g. some customization programs like Fences, Window Blinds, Nexus Dock? Turn them off and see if that helps. After that try restarting your system but make sure these app do not start on auto-run. Additionally, many shell apps also come with background processes and services, so, make sure they are off as well. Probably the best way to make sure they do not interfere with Desktop and Rainmeter at all is by uninstalling them completely and restarting Windows.
  2. Do you have Steam? It has a background application called GameOverLayUI.exe that is know to cause this problem. I am not familiar with Steam but after searching online I found that Steam's Game Overlay can be turned off through Steam Settings. Turn it off, make sure GameOverLayUI.exe is not running and restart Windows. Also, try turning Steam off completely.
  3. Do you have any NVidia apps running on the background? E.g. NVidia Share? Particularily NVidia Share is known to cause this problem but any other NVidia apps could be culprits as well. Turn it off, make sure its process or service is not running. Restart Windows but make sure any of those apps do not run when you start Windows.
  4. Do you have Zen Writer? It is known to cause this problem. Turn it off or try uninstalling it and restart Windows.

What to do if none of the suggestions worked?

If NONE of these suggestions worked, there potentially still could be some process that interferes with Desktop.
We need to know your process list.
Follow these instructions:
  1. Open Run dialog (by pressing WIN+R)
  2. Write pwsh and press ENTER
  3. Paste this command in the appeared window:
    Get-Process | Select-Object Id, ProcessName, Description, Company, Path | Format-Table -AutoSize -Wrap | Out-String -Width 4096 | Out-File -FilePath Desktop\tasks.txt
  4. Upload tasks.txt to this thread which appeared on your desktop.
If for some reason PowerShell is not available on your system use the Command Line way below:
  1. Open Run dialog (by pressing WIN+R)
  2. Write cmd and press ENTER
  3. Paste this command in the appeared window:
    tasklist /V /FO TABLE >%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\tasks.txt && %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\tasks.txt
    This will output tasks.txt
  4. Upload tasks.txt to this thread which appeared on your desktop.