How to Fix “Desktop refers to Location that is unavailable” Error

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  • Published on
    July 23rd, 2018
  • Updated on
    March 4, 2021
  • Read Time
    5 minutes
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A desktop is an essential part of your Operating System. So it will become chaotic if the user is not able to access it. If error ‘Location is not available’ pop up, don’t baffle at all. It is a critical error but can be fixed. All this error does is, it restrict the user to access to the desktop. When you log in all your files and icons are gone, all there left is a blank screen with this error.

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location is not available

If you are having the exact same error, then you are where you should be. We will guide you on how to regain access to your desktop or recover data if it got lost somehow.

This error can occur in any windows versions from Vista to Win 10 due to user profile corruption. In some of the cases, this error can be resolved just by restarting the system. But even after resolved your system may not be safe, so you should find the root of the problem and eliminate before it arises again and worsens the situation.

The potential reason for “Desktop refers to Location that is unavailable” error

Desktop refers to Location that is unavailable

There are many possible reasons behind this error existence like:

  • System crashing abruptly damaging system files, profile corruption or messing system updates.
  • Latest Operating system update/patch.
  • Using unstable OS in Beta version.
  • Program uninstalled incorrectly.
  • Due to virus or malware attack.

How to Fix “Desktop refers to Location that is unavailable” error

What we do when the system doesn’t respond or for any other error, “Restart”. Rebooting is a classic trick to fix errors. Sometimes it works sometimes it does not. Even when you contact a Technical agent he will surely tell you to reboot at first if the error is constant. If restarting your system doesn’t resolve your error, without wasting any time try below-mentioned solutions to fix error ‘Desktop refers to Location that is unavailable’ and gain access to your desktop again.

Resetting the desktop to the default location

Press Windows Key + R and type ‘C:\users\%username%’ and hit Enter> Open Properties of the desktop > Switch to Location tab and click on Restore Default button> Apply > OK> Reboot system to check error Desktop Refers to A Location That Is Unavailable is fixed.

Command Prompt

With two commands you can have access to your desktop. What these commands do is they create a new user profile where you can actually transfer data from previous corrupted user /add USERNAME PASSWORDnet localgroup administrators USERNAME /addNow just replace old Username and Password with your new ones. And also, transfer data from previous to the new profile.

Using advanced Boot Recovery

To gain access to advanced boot recovery press ‘F8’ when you boot system. In advanced boot recovery, many boot option would appear in front of you. Now select ‘Last Known Good Configuration(advanced)’ and Press ‘Enter’ to boot system.

Boot in Safe Mode

Malware or infected files can be the reasons behind the error. So booting in Safe mode allow you to wipe clean any infected files.- Press F8 when booting system, to enter ‘Advanced Boot Options’- Use the arrow and select ‘Safe Mode’ from the options and press ‘Enter’.Once you are in safe mode, erase all the temporary files. Open Run window by pressing ‘Window key + R’ and enter ‘%temp%’.Scan the system with effective malware scanner and reboot to check if things worked out.

SFC Scan

Run system file checker to scan the whole system for any corrupted or damaged file which it will fix simultaneously. To run SFC scan, Press ‘Window key + Q’ and search ‘cmd’> right click on Command Prompt and Click on ‘Run as Administrator’> In cmd window type ‘sfc/scannow’ and hit Enter. Wait till the whole process is completed and restart to see the result.

Restore system

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type ‘sysdm.cpl’ press enter.
  2. Select System Protection and choose System Restore.
  3. Click Next and choose System Restore point.
  4. Follow the instruction displayed on the screen to complete system restore.
  5. After reboot, you should be able to Fix ‘Desktop Refers to A Location That Is Unavailable Error.’

Use Windows Disk to Repair

If the error is because of installation or update of windows, then use Windows USB/ Disks to repair it. Automatic Repair will most probably fix this error by repairing corrupted files and properly updating system files.

If none of the above solutions work, you can use a professional data recovery tool like SysinfoTools Windows Data Recovery. Either it is accidental deletion or due to some error, use it to recover maximum possible data. All type of files and folders can be recovered by using it. All you need to install and select the files that you really want to recover. The selected lost data will be recovered and saved at the allocated location.

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These are the numerous ways by which you can resolve the error ‘Desktop refers to Location that is unavailable’. Reinstalling is one solution to resolve this error but that will lead to the complete deletion of your data, so using a professional tool such as SysinfoTools Windows Data Recovery will save you from this chaos and will rescue all the files from your system even if your hard drive gets corrupted or formatted.

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