macOS : Missing Desktop

My Mother has an older iMac running High Sierra. I went over there the other day, and her desktop had somehow “reverted” to the default background image, and ALL her desktop icons were GONE. Was there something she might have done by accident that caused that? Is there a way to restore the missing icons?

She is 89 years old, and very set in her ways… A new computer and/or OS is not an option at this point in her life

Maybe a new user account was created?

AI answer

https://www.perplexity.ai/search/my-mother-has-an-older-imac-ru-M4kcX5.GQU6rzAPxJSlEfg

Have-you run Disk Utilities (or whatever its name is in that os version) ? A Bad block in the Preferences file may explain that.

A new computer and/or OS is not an option at this point in her life…

I showed McDonald “Pad” to command goods to my sister 90 y/o (some days ago) and she’s OK; she never used a computer nor a pad.

There are not so many differences (in the interface and the way it behave) between High Sierra and current machines. If it is a hard break, you can search/found a second hand machine (less recent if she really need it).

The key is to explain things like you will do to a younster (simple words), but not in a condescending way, of course (she’s your mother and need more respect).

Regards from France