When icons of different applications and file types are displayed in Windows Explorer, instead of addressing the original files with icons, the system gets copies of the icon images from special files containing icon cache. Due to the fact that the system doesn’t need to load original icon files, the performance and rendering of objects in Windows Explorer are improved.
In some cases, if the cache file is corrupted, some shortcut or file type icons disappear or standard icons are displayed instead of application icons. In this case, it is recommended to reset the system icon cache.
Here is what it looks like:
The icon cache in different Windows versions is one or more files stored in a user profile.
- In Windows 7, it is IconCache.db in %userprofile%\AppData\Local
- In Windows 10 and Windows 8, these are several files, which names start from iconcache_ (iconcache_16.db, iconcache_32.db, iconcache_48.db, etc.), stored in %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer
To reset icon cache, it’s enough to delete these files. But first you need to complete the Explorer.exe process in order not to lock block access to the files.
- Start the command prompt (cmd.exe) with the administrator privileges.
- You can do it from the Task Manager: find the process explorer.exe and end it (End Task)Or using the command prompt:
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
- Then run the following commands one after another:For Windows 10 / 8 / 8.1
cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer
del /f /a s IconCache*
For Windows 7:
cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
del /f /a s IconCache.db
The last command in both cases will restart Windows Explorer process, which will recreate icon cache files.