Rebuild icon cache in Windows 7

If you are seeing mixed up or misplaced icons in your Windows Explorer – for example, Notepad icon for picture files, Internet Explorer icon for text files etc. – then it may be a case of corrupt icons cache. Sometimes Windows’ icons cache gets corrupted and you see mixed up icons in Windows Explorer for different kind of files. The icon cache can be rebuilt using the following process.

Update: Now you can use our Windows Icon Cache Refresher program to automatically re-build the icons cache at a single mouse click.

  1. Start an elevated command prompt. You can read : how to open an elevated command prompt in Windows 7.
  2. In the elevated command prompt, type the following commands and press Enter after each command :
    cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
    attrib -h iconcache.db
    taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
    del iconcache.db
    start %windir%\explorer.exe

Rebuilding icon cache in Windows 7

This would close the Windows Explorer, delete the icon cache file and again restart the Windows explorer. When Windows Explorer restarts, icon cache would be rebuilt.

You can also download a ready made command script file. This script does what you do manually in the previous method. This script would close the Windows Explorer, delete the icon cache and again restart the Windows explorer. If you are not comfortable with typing all those commands you can download the ready made script from icon_cache_rebuild.zip. Extract the file on your desktop, right-click on the downloaded script file rebuild_icon_cache.cmd and select Run as administrator.

Rebuilding icon cache by command script

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  • nospam

    The text instructions are missing the directory backslashes, and the Windows Icon Cache Refresher program does not seem to work anymore.

    • http://www.trishtech.com/ Trisha P.

      Thanks for letting us know. The backslash went missing in some posts during WordPress upgrade. I have updated the post. The program must be run as an administrator for it to work.