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How to reset Windows icon cache

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. On File menu of Task Manager, select New Task (Run…)
  5. Type CMD.EXE, click OK
  6. In the Command Prompt window, type or copy and paste these commands one by one, pressing Enter after each command:

Windows 8, 8.1, and 10:

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

Windows 7/Vista:

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

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

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