How to fix messed up Icons in Windows 10

Time and again it is possible that icons in Windows 10 that shows up on programs, documents, pictures, etc. may get messed up and corrupted, and as a result you could see icons mismatched and distorted. The problem is more prominent in cases where the PC was upgraded from earlier version of Windows to Windows 10.

Windows 10 icon cache rebuild

Windows 10 Icons

Before proceeding to fix it, let me quickly brief why this happens at first place. Windows 10 saves the icons in a cache section so that it can be quickly loaded. It would take lot of time to just display the files and their icons if Windows digs out each item from hard disk. That’s the reason Windows builds icon cache every now and then you launch explorer and things like that. But sometimes this cache can go haywire due to script errors and memory overruns and as a result icons get cross-linked and you will see wrong icon for a extension. The easiest fix to this problem is to rebuild icon cache. Let’s get started.

Tip: Before proceeding make sure to save all documents and close everything because at last step your PC will restart instantly. Also, if you are copying or moving any large files in the background, make sure to finish them before proceeding further as explorer will be killed in the process and copy/move will be terminated.

Type Command Prompt in the taskbar search box and select Command Prompt from the list.

Launch Command Prompt

Launch Command Prompt

Copy and paste ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache in the command line tool and hit enter.

Copy and paste taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F and hit enter. This will kill explorer.exe process.

Explorer Terminated

Explorer Terminated

Copy and paste DEL /A /Q “%localappdata%\IconCache.db” and hit enter.

Copy and paste DEL /A /F /Q “%localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\iconcache*”

Rebuild Windows 10 Icon Cache in Windows 10

Rebuild Windows 10 Icon Cache in Windows 10

Finally, copy and paste shutdown /r /f /t 00 and hit enter. Windows will immediately restart and icon cache should be flushed and ready to reload. That’s it. Did icon rebuilding work for you? Do let is know in comments below.

Kiran Kumar

Hi there! Kiran Kumar is an Engineer by profession, and loves blogging primarily on Microsoft Windows operating system and also enjoys reviewing software and products. Currently, he is exploring Windows 10 and you will see a lot of articles on know-how about it. When he is not writing for TWP, he enjoys time with his Family, listens to lot of music, enjoys Biking, and occasionally plays racing games on Xbox One.

  • chad cole

    Followed the instructions and everything seemed to work got no error messages… my question is since this is mostly on upgraded pc’s and all my pc’s were upgraded to windows 10 from different versions 7, 8 and 8.1.. is this a permanent fix or just temporary and do I need to do this occasionally… If it is not permanent what’s the point after all just simply pressing the power button and doing a reboot also puts the icons back in order too… I’m looking for a permanent solution which doesn’t seem to be coming from Microsoft itself… I don’t know which one was worse… windows 8 and 8.1 or windows 10… Microsoft should have taken all the goodness from 7 and just incorporated it to 10… after all windows 7 was windows xp all growed up?