[How To] Rebuild Icon Cache To Fix Broken Icons

October 2nd, 2010 | 11 Comments | Posted in Windows by bharath

Sometimes when you install some program, and place its shortcut somewhere on the desktop or Start Menu, the icon of the program might appear broken (display incorrect icons) in your Windows 7. As you can see in the following screenshot:

Program icon broken in Windows 7Program icon broken in Windows 7 taskbar

It is very annoying to see such broken icons for any programs. Not only that they confuse you what program is it, particularly when you pin such a program to the taskbar. Follow this step-by-step guide to fix the broken or missing icons and show the original icons of the program, works in Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

Steps:

1. Close all the folder windows that are currently open in the Windows Explorer.

2. Launch the Task Manager either by using CTRL + SHIFT + ESC or by right-clicking on the taskbar and choosing “Start Task Manager”.

start task manager

3. Go to the processes tab, find “explorer.exe” in the list. Right-click on it, choose end process.

End explorer process

4. Go to File >  choose New Task (Run..) from the menu.

Run new task in Windows Task manager

5. In the Create New Task dialogue box, type “cmd” and click OK to open the Command Prompt window.

Create new task in task manager

6. Type the following commands* one by one in the Command Prompt (Press “Enter” after each command).

IconCache rebuild commands

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

IconCache command prompt

7. Again go to the Task Manager, launch “New Task” from the File Menu. Type “Explorer” in the text filed and hit enter.

Explorer from Create New Task in Task Manager

Your icons should appear fine now.

Background:

This method actually rebuilds the icon cache. The first of the three commands is used to go into the directory C:\Users> username> AppData> Local. The second command will delete the hidden IconCache.db file. And then we restart the explorer.exe process to rebuild the deleted IconCahce file.

You can alternatively, set the Folder Options > Views and change the settings to Show Hidden files and then delete the IconCache.db to the Recycle bin and restart the explorer.exe process.

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11 Responses to “[How To] Rebuild Icon Cache To Fix Broken Icons”

  1. AmazingT Says:

    Thanks for the tips.  Works like a charm!
     
    I’m using W7 x64 with a third-party memory optimizer.  The optimizer works great and really helps a lot.  Only thing is it has this little ‘side-effects’ of broken icons occasionally.
     
    Anyway, thanks again!
     
     

  2. Anilom Says:

    Thank u so much dude! It works good!

  3. Tommy Says:

    Hey you saved my day! Wasted 2 hours with re-installing two small programs who’s icon had gone broken. Thank you so much, funnt how the way to fix it was through DOS! haha.

  4. hou bou Says:

    thanks it worked for me i got them all back thans a lot for the post

  5. Lynda Says:

    Awesome! I’m an inveterate ‘tinkerer under the hood’ type but I know when to curb the impulse to dive in headfirst and seek knowledgeable help. This was not only perfect advice but a fun way to fix a niggling problem. Big Mahalo from Hawaii!!

  6. Bharath Says:

    @Lynda
    Glad it helped you!!

  7. userpc Says:

    thanks dude.
    its working as well. 

  8. alreyk Says:

    awsome!!!!! dont know what to say.. it works!

  9. Deraidos Says:

    Thanks man! You saved my life :D

  10. nemo Says:

    Thanks..work well.. :-)

  11. happy guy Says:

    wow thanks man! :D

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