Saturday, August 09, 2008

Fixing Broken Vista Icons ~ Windows Vista

Sometimes you might find yourself browsing around Vista Explorer and suddenly running into a broken icon, you'll know it when you see it, it's the icon that no longer shows your regular applications image, but instead, an UGLY Windows 95/98 style icon in it's place. There is an easy way to fix this, and it boils down to deleting a system file, but don't worry, it'll get replaced by Vista as soon as it's deleted, and fix your ugly 95/98 icon problem.

First open up your start menu and type CMD inside the search box to locate Command Prompt. Right click it and choose Run As Administrator, and keep it open, you'll need it later on.

Next, bring up Task Manager, right click the taskbar and it'll be on that menu.

Locate Explorer in the process' list and choose it, then click End Process, you'll notice everything will disappear, save for the windows you have open at the moment.

Next you'll need to navigate back to command prompt and since you'll be starting out at your Windows\system32 folder. Simply type "cd .." twice so that the command prompt says C:\>.

Next type in "cd Users\Username\AppData\Local" (Username is the name of the Windows account your currently using.)

Now the file we need to delete is hiding itself, we'll have to show it by inputing another command.

Type in "attrib -h IconCache.db" to allow command prompt to view the file.

Next we'll need to delete the IconCache.db file, simply type in "del IconCache.db" and hit enter.

Now, close Command Prompt, and CRTL+ALT+DEL and choose Task Manager.

Go to File, Run, and type in Explorer.

Hopefully with this fix you'll notice that your icons are back to normal. :)

21 comments:

energythief said...

Fantastic tip. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

It worked! Thanks a lot. Quite a few of my frequently used shortcut icons broke for no apparent reason. This fixed them all.

carousel horse said...

If this procedure fixed all broken icons except MS Office suite 2003 files, what would you suggest? Thanks.

John-Hiroshi said...

It should fix icons system wide, unless the shortcut directing to that executable is broken aka the shortcut points to a program that's no longer installed.

Faux said...

GREAT! Thank you sooo much! No more ugly broken icons. o.O

(This worked for me in Windows 7 RC).

lk2race said...

It did not fix my Shortcut icons they still have a White error icon where the shortcut arrow should be how do I fix that?

John-Hiroshi said...

It should have worked, odd that it didn't.

Anonymous said...

i cant seem to get it to say just c:\>.

akau said...

Great way to do this. Odd that I tried this by another method of opening up the file manager and deleting it that way then rebooting like the tutorial said and still some icons were broken. This worked fine though. Thanks.

kauhl said...

Thanks you! What an annoying bug this is.

dave said...

Hi i tried using your tip. I'm sure it worked, but i got kinda lost on the part when you said Simply type "cd .." twice so that the command prompt says C:\>. I didn't really understand that fully because in not all that computer savvy. So I'd really appreciate it if you could break it down a little.

Cody said...

W00t Worked great, and I'm on Windows 7

Victor said...

Thx- very nice solution.
I actually just renamed IconCache file and moved it to the desktop. Then stopped and started Explorer from Task Manager and it fixed the situation. No need to go to CMD.

icon manager said...

this is one of the best blog i have ever seen.

Ba Bugil Le said...

What a great article, i got a lot of things from here. Thanks!

regards,
Anthony

Maldoro said...

thanx alot more than 3 monthes trying to fix it, it works now

wren495 said...

It worked! Thank you so much! Huge help. (Using Vista Premium 64 and looking forward to 7 Home Premium.)

Jenny said...

YOU ARE MY HERO!!!!
Thank you so much!!
<333333333333333

Sean said...

Thanks much for this tip. It worked perfectly!

Joel said...

Funny story...

I had this happen shortly after installing the Microsoft Office 2010 beta suite. I followed your instructions and it worked perfectly

Or so I thought

A week later, It started happening again. I tried your method and SUPRISE, it didn't work. I ended up doing a system restore and it suddenly worked again.

Or so I thought

I went to uninstall a program a short time later and suddenly the icons are back to being crap!

I googled it for a bit and came up with this site

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7files/thread/10dc441c-6329-49b6-b6d2-0cb14fdfc02d

Lets see if it works

http://unknownrebellion.blogspot.com

Gursimran said...

2 good man!