A great recent post from Sergey Tkachenko over at WinAero explains how to recover the Desktop tile on the Modern UI Start screen for Windows 8 and 8.1, should it ever go missing. That post is entitled “[Fix] Desktop Tile is missing on the Start Screen in Windows 8.1,” and provides step-by-step instructions for those in need of same. Here’s a screen snap with that tile nowhere in site, courtesy of Sergey’s WinAero.com website:
Look Ma! No Desktop tile…
The Desktop tile can go missing for any number of reasons, of which the most common include corruption or loss of its associated .lnk (link) file, or inadvertent removal of the tile from the Start screen. To fix the latter problem, visit the Apps view in Windows 8, find the Desktop item, and right-click (or double-tap) so you can select the “Pin to Start” menu option. If the link file is missing you’ll need to grab a replacement copy (here’s a handy download link) and save it to the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs directory. Providing you apply the proper fix to address the current situation, you’ll be able to get the Desktop tile back quickly and easily.
Thanks, Sergey: great tip/fix!