On your Windows 10 PC, if one or more icons are not displaying as they should, it’s likely because of corrupt icon cache and rebuilding the icon cache should fix the issue.
For those who are not aware, Windows saves all icons in a file called IconCache.db located under the profile folder so that it can quickly display icons without having to search for them.
If Windows 10 showing a white color instead of the actual icon or if you are seeing same icons even after changing icons using a third-party icon pack, you can fix the issue by rebuilding the icon cache.
NOTE: None of these guides help you fix issues with thumbnails. If you are having issues with thumbnails, you need to clear or reset the thumbnail cache.
Method 1 of 3
Manually rebuild the icon cache in Windows 10
This is the easiest way to clear the icon cache without the help of third-party utilities. In this method, we manually delete the icon cache file and restart the PC to let Windows 10 automatically create the new icon cache file.
Step 1: Open File Explorer (Windows Explorer). Click View tab and then put check mark next to Hidden items to make File Explorer show hidden files and folders.
Step 2: Navigate to the following folder:
In the above path, UserName is your account user name on the PC and “C” is the drive letter of the drive where Windows 10 is installed.
Step 3: Under Local directory, locate the file named IconCache (IconCache.db), right-click on the file and then click Delete.
Click Yes if you see the confirmation box. You might not see the confirmation prompt if you haven’t enabled delete confirmation dialog.
Step 4: Finally, right-click on the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop and then click Empty Recycle Bin to clear IconCache.db and other files.
Step 5: Close all running applications and reboot your PC once to create a new IconCache.
Method 2 of 3
Use third-party software to easily rebuild the icon cache
The above mentioned method (Method 1) is the best way out there to rebuild the cache, but if you’re unable to delete the icon cache by following the directions in Method 1, you can use a free software called Rebuild Icon Cache. The program not only rebuilds the cache but also backs up the original icon cache file so that you can restore the original file if you start experiencing issues with the new cache.
Step 1: Visit this page of DeviantArt and click the download button located on the right-side to download Rebuild Icon Cache software. Extract the downloaded RAR file using WinRAR, 7-Zip or ZipWare to get Rebuild Icon Cache. Double-click on the folder to see Rebuild Icon Cache application.
Step 2: Right-click on Rebuild Icon Cache software and click Run as administrator. Click Yes button when you see the User Account Prompt. And if you’re asked to enter the admin password, please do the needful.
Step 3: Once Rebuild Icon Cache is launched, click on gears icon (the first one from the left) to rebuild the icon cache.
As mentioned before, the software creates a backup of the original icon cache before rebuilding the new one. Should you experience any issues with icons, which is unlikely, click the recycle bin icon on Rebuild Icon Cache software to restore the original icon cache.
Method 3 of 3
Rebuild the icon cache via Command Prompt
If none of the above methods working for you, please use this method to rebuild the icon cache via Command Prompt.
Step 1: Open Task Manager either by right-clicking on the taskbar and then click Task Manager or using Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut.
Step 2: If you’re seeing the lighter version of Task Manager as shown in the picture below, click More details. If you see the full version, skip to the next step.
Step 3: Under Processes tab, right-click on Windows Explorer entry and then click End task to kill the Windows Explorer. Once you kill Windows Explorer, the taskbar and Start menu will be invisible.
Step 4: Click File menu of Task Manager, click Run new task, enter CMD.exe and then click OK button to open Command Prompt.
Step 5: In the Command Prompt, type the following commands one after another and press Enter key after typing each command to execute it.
CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
Del IconCache.db /a
Step 6: Click File menu of the Task Manager again, click Run new task, enter Explorer.exe and then click OK button to restart the File Explorer.