It is currently December 2nd, 2022, 10:07 pm

[Troubleshooting Guide] Disappearing skins when showing desktop or pressing WIN+D

Our most popular Tips and Tricks from the Rainmeter Team and others
User avatar
Active Colors
Moderator
Posts: 1199
Joined: February 16th, 2012, 3:32 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

[Troubleshooting Guide] Disappearing skins when showing desktop or pressing WIN+D

Post by Active Colors »

[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.

More information: https://forum.rainmeter.net/viewtopic.php?t=36912
pritster5
Posts: 8
Joined: August 8th, 2014, 7:33 pm

Re: Troubleshooting disappearing skins when showing desktop or pressing WIN+D

Post by pritster5 »

I'm on windows 11, followed the steps in your guide, still having the issue when using "Show Desktop" buttons.

I've attached my tasks.txt
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
alufena
Posts: 1
Joined: July 23rd, 2022, 7:48 am

Re: Troubleshooting disappearing skins when showing desktop or pressing WIN+D

Post by alufena »

Hey guys, @ pritster5 and @Active Colors I believe I found the solution for this problem. All I had to do was checking this box called "Launch folder windows in a separate process" in Folder Options. I submitted a screenshot which tells the location of this hidden option. By default, Windows 10 and 11 seems to uncheck this and when I enabled that all my rainmeter skins stopped to disappearing alone. Running for 2 days so far and no problems when pressing Windows + D :). My OS Build is 22621.232, 22H2 and Windows 11 Pro. Thanks!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
pritster5
Posts: 8
Joined: August 8th, 2014, 7:33 pm

Re: Troubleshooting disappearing skins when showing desktop or pressing WIN+D

Post by pritster5 »

alufena wrote: July 23rd, 2022, 7:58 am Hey guys, @ pritster5 and @Active Colors I believe I found the solution for this problem. All I had to do was checking this box called "Launch folder windows in a separate process" in Folder Options. I submitted a screenshot which tells the location of this hidden option. By default, Windows 10 and 11 seems to uncheck this and when I enabled that all my rainmeter skins stopped to disappearing alone. Running for 2 days so far and no problems when pressing Windows + D :). My OS Build is 22621.232, 22H2 and Windows 11 Pro. Thanks!
Thank you so much!! This fixed it for me (at least for now haha).
pritster5
Posts: 8
Joined: August 8th, 2014, 7:33 pm

Re: [Troubleshooting Guide] Disappearing skins when showing desktop or pressing WIN+D

Post by pritster5 »

Nevermind, the issue came back
User avatar
Active Colors
Moderator
Posts: 1199
Joined: February 16th, 2012, 3:32 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: [Troubleshooting Guide] Disappearing skins when showing desktop or pressing WIN+D

Post by Active Colors »

pritster5 wrote: August 18th, 2022, 8:56 am Nevermind, the issue came back
Speaking of myself, the issue on my side has stopped. I just noticed that one day it was gone but I don't know what I did exactly to stop it.

Basically, another program could interfere (or delay) the "z order" positioning when Windows switches focus (or re-orders) the visible windows on screen. Windows itself could be the issue as well, since it inherently controls all z ordering for the system.

I would be tempted to clean caches, disabling some apps that could steal z order positioning, run system in safe mode, upgrade/downgrade graphic drives. Here is the list of everything I would do (when you apply the changes it is best to restart Windows to make sure the options have taken the effect):
  1. Disable Desktop Peek (Aero Peek). Make sure to restart Windows. Follow this guide. https://www.groovypost.com/howto/enable-desktop-peek-preview-windows-10/
    Capture1.png
  2. I have seen other user reported that DISABLING separate explorer processes minimizes the issue. Can you disable it back and see if something changes after restarting Windows?
  3. Uncheck the option on every skin "Keep on screen". Restart Rainmeter. See if the problem is happening.
  4. Try to clear icon cache, thumbnail cache, and other caches the system accumulates. Somebody said that it helps too.
  5. Do you have multiple GPUs? Maybe you need to adjust specific settings of your GPUs.
  6. Do you have a combination of HDD and SSD in your computer? If so, try moving Pagefile from HDD to SSD.
  7. Ultimately, start Windows in Safe Mode with all applications and drivers disabled. Launch Rainmeter and see if the problem is happening to you. If the problem isn't happening then it would be safe to assume that some application is messing with the "z order" messaging. If the problem is happening even in the safe mode then something is going on with Windows. I would use the sfc /scannow to restore default Windows system files.
  8. Then do another Safe Mode run with enabled drivers. If the problem is happening here then some drivers are messing up the Z order.
  9. Just to be sure, do you have the latest video drivers installed? In case you always keep your video drivers updated, I would try an older video driver version (and to be sure, several different versions) to see if that fixes the issue.
  10. Maybe disabling some other Performance Options could help. I am not sure but might be worthy to try. I usually keep almost everything disabled except the following options (when you apply new settings restart Windows):
    Capture.PNG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
pritster5
Posts: 8
Joined: August 8th, 2014, 7:33 pm

Re: [Troubleshooting Guide] Disappearing skins when showing desktop or pressing WIN+D

Post by pritster5 »

Actually, I thought of a brand new solution but I don't know if it's possible. The Win+M shortcut minimizes all windows which accomplishes the same thing as the show desktop button, so is it possible to rebind the function of the show desktop button to do what the Win+M shortcut does?

Perhaps via the registry? This method of minimizing windows doesn't interfere with rainmeter at all.
User avatar
Active Colors
Moderator
Posts: 1199
Joined: February 16th, 2012, 3:32 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: [Troubleshooting Guide] Disappearing skins when showing desktop or pressing WIN+D

Post by Active Colors »

pritster5 wrote: August 21st, 2022, 12:57 am Actually, I thought of a brand new solution but I don't know if it's possible. The Win+M shortcut minimizes all windows which accomplishes the same thing as the show desktop button, so is it possible to rebind the function of the show desktop button to do what the Win+M shortcut does?

Perhaps via the registry? This method of minimizing windows doesn't interfere with rainmeter at all.
Actually, does the problem happen to you if you use Win+D instead clicking on Show Desktop button?

Since Show Desktop button involves "Desktop Peek (Aero Peek)" feature, I suggest to turn it off as I explained in my previous message. Then, restart Windows and see if it helped.
bshowdesktopbutton.png
Win+M and Win+D are quite the same thing but not exactly. Win+D is like a toggle to minimise/maximise windows. Win+M only minimises windows, and you need to press Win+Shift+M to bring them back.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.