Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Fixing Desktop Icons

This is a shortcut to one of my games.. it should have a picture (icon)

If you notice one day that some of your Desktop icons aren’t displaying correctly – you see a generic white rectangle instead of the graphic – you can easily “rebuild” the Windows icon cache and restore your shortcut icons to normal.

1) First, you need to “unhide” (aka “show”) your system files and folders (if they aren’t already. If so, skip to #2).

  • Click your Start button, and Control Panel
  • Double-click on Folder Options
  • Click on the View tab and scroll down just a bit
  • Click on the Show radio button
  • Click Apply, then OK

2) Next, Click your Start button, and Computer.

The repair restores it to this.

3) Browse to your C:\Users\*your user name*\AppData\Local folder.

{Double-click the Local disk (c:) icon, then the Users folder, then the folder that matches your User name, then the AppData folder, then the Local folder.}

4) Locate, then right-click on IconCache.db, and select Delete. If prompted, click Yes to confirm. (Yes. Delete it. It has been “corrupted”, in Geek parlance, and needs to go away.)

5) Reboot (aka “restart”) your computer.

Once your computer has started back up, the icon cache will automatically be rebuilt (may take a few moments) and your icons should now display correctly.

That’s it. You’re done. (Except, maybe, [say, if other people use your computer] you may want to go back to Step 1 and hide the system files and folders again.. to prevent any accidental disastrous deleting.. Your call.)

Your “feedback” is requested: (Thanks to all who have participated!)

(Voting is following my prediction…)

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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April 25, 2011 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, tech, troubleshooting, Vista, Windows, Windows 7, XP | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Great blog post, the step by step guide was very easy to follow and the tip will definitely be useful to many PC users. It’s so frustrating when Desktop icons aren’t displaying correctly – it totally kills the look of your desktop, so this tip is very handy! Thanks.


    Comment by TuneUp | April 25, 2011 | Reply

    • TuneUp Blogger,
      I thank you very kindly. Always a pleasure to see you here!

      Folks, take a look at, won’t you? I think you’ll be glad you did.


      Comment by techpaul | April 25, 2011 | Reply

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