How to clear the Windows Icon Cache on Windows 7 and earlier

A quick way to clear the Windows icon cache is to go to the Appearance tab of Desktop properties and change the default icon size. If the current size is 32, change it to 33, and then press the Apply button. After all the disk activity settles down, change the size back to 32, and apply again.

You also can delete the existing Windows Explorer icon cache. This will force Windows Explorer to build it.

Follow this procedure:
  1. Close all folder windows that are currently open.
  2. Start Task Manager by depressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC, or by running taskmgr.exe.
  3. In the Process tab, right-click on the Explorer.exe process and select End Process.
  4. Click the End process button when asked for confirmation.
  5. From the File menu of Task Manager, select New Task (Run…)
  6. Type CMD.EXE, and click OK
  7. In the Command Prompt window, type the commands one by one and press ENTER after each command:
    CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
    DEL IconCache.db /a
  8. In Task Manager, click File, select New Task (Run…)
  9. Type EXPLORER.EXE and click OK.
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2000

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