How to reset the icon cache in Windows 7, 8 and Vista

When the desktop icons gets messed up, you probably don't need to reinstall the programs (or Windows!) - you just need to reset the iconcache file. It's a fairly easily process too - easier than reinstalling the applications.

  1. Close all Windows Explorer windows that are open. It's highly recommended that you close all Windows, especially if using Windows 8/8.1
  2. Right click on task bar and choose Task Manager
  3. Switch to Processes tab and right-click on the Explorer.exe process and select End Process and confirm.
  4. Task Manger, Process dialog

  5. On File menu of Task Manager, select New Task (Run…)
  6. New Task (Run) command in Task Manager

  7. Type CMD.EXE, click OK
  8. In the Command Prompt window, type or copy and paste these commands one by one, pressing Enter after each command:

Windows 7/Vista:

CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
DEL IconCache.db

Windows 8 & 8.1:

CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer
DEL IconCache*
DEL thumb*

Windows will rebuild the iconcache and all icons should look normal again.

  1 comment for “How to reset the icon cache in Windows 7, 8 and Vista

  1. PD
    April 10, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    If you can't find the file, type ATTRIB -H IconCache.db to remove 'hidden' attribute and make it visible.

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