How To Rebuild Icon Cache In Windows 7 To Repair Icons

Windows users often complain about corrupted desktop and explorer icons. Like in Windows XP and Vista, Windows 7 icons also may also get corrupted when you try to install and uninstall third-party icon packs and transformation packs.

 rebuild windows 7 icon cache

If for any reason, one or more Windows 7 icons are not showing correctly, you can repair by rebuilding the icon cache. To improve the performance, Windows caches all icons in IocnCache.db file and sometimes it gets corrupted, resulting in broken icons.

Icon cache is a hidden file located in the Local Folder. All you need to do is delete the IconCache.db file and restart your PC so that Windows creates a new IconCache.db file upon system restart.

This guide also works if Windows is showing custom icons even after uninstalling transformation packs and icon packs.

Complete the given below instructions to rebuild the icon cache in Windows:

Step 1: Open Windows Explorer (any folder/drive).

Step 2: As the IconCache is a hidden file, you need to enable “Show hidden files” option to see the same. To do this, head over to Tools > Folder Options, switch to View tab, and finally enable Show Hidden files, folders, and drives option.

 repair windows 7 icons

Step 3: Now navigate to C:\Users\username\AppData\Local folder and then delete IconCache.db file. Here username is your user profile name.

Rebuild Icon Cache to repair Windows 7 Icons

Step 4: Reboot your computer to rebuild the icon cache.

Step 5: All icons must appear as they should now. From now onwards, make sure that you create a manual system restore point before attempting to install those fancy transformation packs and icons packs so that you can quickly revert to the default Windows look with a few mouse clicks.

And if you don’t want to manually delete icon cache and would rather prefer to use a software for the job, we recommend you try out Icon Cache Rebuilder tool. Download, run the tool with admin rights, click Rebuild button, and then click Restart button to delete and rebuild the icon cache.



  1. Richie Brown says

    Wow…..Thanks A Million……I was reading all those websites that gave me complicated procedures & some didn’t even explain themselves, fully. But, your way was GREAT……I simply click on the Windows Explorer Icon, next to my start button. It showed me the Folder option, where the hidden files were. But guess what? I simply click the “Restore Default” button at the bottom…..then I close the program and went to see if the icons in my Picture Folder were back to normal. Wow… was a sight for sore eyes……Thank, again

  2. BD says

    It happened to me, but it was my fault I guess, my disk was getting full and decided to erase some temporary folders inside windows, don’t remember which ones but after that many of my icons were broken. Not a biggie, I’ll have to repair some programs but nothing important.

  3. Alan says

    Deleting the *.db file and rebooting the computer did not solve the corrupted icon problem.

  4. Nick says

    My computer doesn’t have a icon cache in my system folder… And it’s still showing white icons next to the icon. Help?

  5. flavis says

    any of those solutions worked for me…. finally my solution was:

    1. edit the iconcache.db
    2. check WHERE is supposed to be the office’s icon files (wordicon.exe, pptico.exe and xlicons.exe)
    3. since that folder does not exist, I created it and copied those files from office14 folder

    now it is working fine

    I also had .PDF file with same issue and same solution for it.

    I hope this can help anyone.

  6. Jeff says

    For what it’s worth, I’ve used the command “sfc /scannow” from a command prompt. It is the system file checker and should correct any problems with wrong icons showing up. Make sure you run the command prompt as an Administrator.

    Hope this helps! -Jeff

  7. Chris Priest says

    This solution works. I have a batch file that deletes the icon cache and it works perfectly. Only thing is the problem has recurred several time after reboot. Not every time though. Any permanent solution or ideas what is causing this?

  8. R says

    great ……………all icon change type to .wmp in my desktop .Your solution worked perfectly for me! Thanks!

  9. Danny (Xenomorph) says

    This also works with Win 8,As new themes/Icon packs are coming out of the woodwork for this OS some will definitely run into this as i have.And gang,Always remember to make a backup before installing any third party themes/icon packs.
    Cheers for the tut =)

  10. M H says

    This worked like a charm. Thanks again for saving me some time trying to find the right procedure to fix this problem.

  11. Don Christofferson says

    I had this same problem with Windows 7. Many of my Desktop Icons were changed to the Windows Media Center Icon and everytime I tryied to open many of the installed programs Windows Media Center would execute.
    An IT friend correct the problem except to the Icons. He provided a single step solution of each executable probram to change the Icon. What I dis is to remove a program and reinstall it after rebooting the computer. What happened as the program was installing the Icon for this program the Icon db was rebuilt and all of the Desktop Icons were repopulated. I am back to normal now.

  12. Rob says

    I have multiple programs in my Start menu which display the incorrect icon, but if I rename them, they display correctly. Naming them back takes them back to the corrupt icon again. Same goes for the executable file they’re linked to.

    Your solution worked perfectly for me! Thanks!

    Tip: You don’t actually need to restart Windows; shutting down and relaunching explorer.exe is all that’s required to rebuild the cache once you’ve removed/renamed it.

  13. Nico says

    Hello guys I need your help… I currently run windows 7 on my computer. My problem is a little bit different from tthe one above.
    I followed ANH BEO’s suggestion and I created new shortcuts from the .exe files. Now I finally have all the Office 2007 programs correctly displaying on my computer. Anyway it didn’t help to get back the files’ icons(Excel, Word, Outlook…). I mean apart from the Power Point files, all the others do not display the correct icon(right now they all have a white squared icon with a little windows window inside). How can I change that?? Please help, I’m getting nut!!!

  14. ANH BEO says

    Hello Lou, and welcome to Seven Forums.

    You might see if changing the shortcut’s icon back to the correct default one a few times may be able to restore it.

    If not, then recreate the shortcut’s directly from the program’s EXE file to see if they display properly.

    Hope this helps,

  15. richard says

    Deleting the *.db file and rebooting the computer did not solve the corrupted icon problem.

    thank you anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *