Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fix problem with icons on Desktop and in Explorer

When I installed Windows 7 RC and copied over some desktop files I found that the icons for several of the internet shortcuts did not show the correct icon. Some of them displayed incorrectly as some kind of earth globe.

The solution to rebuild the icon cache is to delete the hidden file IconCache.db that is located in %userprofile%\AppData\Local

If you delete this file the icon cache database will be rebuilt. This trick works in both Windows Vista and in Windows 7. (In Windows XP the folder is C:\Documents and Settings\Your User Name\Local Settings\Application Data)

  1. Close all open Explorer windows.
  2. First open up Windows Task Manager.
  3. Then Exit Explorer in Windows (open the Start menu, hold down Shift and Ctrl, right click on an empty surface in the menu and select Exit Explorer)
  4. In Task Manager File menu select New Task (Run…).
  5. Enter CMD.EXE and click OK.
  6. On the command prompt enter these three commands
    CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
    DEL IconCache.db /a
  7. In Task Manager File menu select New Task (Run…).
  8. Enter EXPLORER.EXE and click OK.

Now things are back to normal as they should. Strange thing though that this happened directly after installing a fresh copy of Windows 7. And it seems to happen again after some weeks or months.

Have you too run into this bug?


  1. Thinks for posting this. I had nearly the same issue after install Windows 7 RC. Only difference is it was the icons for Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. I reinstalled them a couple times and once completely uninstalled/reinstalled. They would come back, but then disappear again. This brought them back. Lets see if they stay this time.

  2. UPDATE: After a couple days, icons still there. Thanks!

  3. Powerstream, good to hear. It has worked for me since I did this fix as well.

  4. Less than a month after I did this fix I had to repeat it as several icons started to not show the correct favicon again.
    At least the fix worked this time around too.


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