How to Rebuild the Icon Cache in Windows

Are the icons on your Windows PC incorrect, slow to load, distorted, or missing? Your Windows icon cache may be corrupted. But don't worry—rebuilding your icon cache should restore your icons and clear up the glitches. We'll show you how to fix your broken icons by deleting and rebuilding the icon cache in Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. 
If you're using Windows 8.1 or 10 and these steps don't work, see the article How to Completely Rebuild the Icon Cache in Windows 8.1 and 10.

Manually Deleting the File

Press the Start button at the bottom-right corner of your screen.

Type folder options and select the result that matches your search.

This will allow you to change file viewing settings so that you can see hidden files like IconCache.

Go to the View tab.

Scroll down under Advanced settings:

Click or tap the OK box to save your changes and close folder options.

Open File Explorer

File Explorer lets you see all the files on your computer, including system files like IconCache.

  • Note: In Windows 7 and earlier, it is called Windows Explorer.

In the address bar of File Explorer, type %userprofile%/AppDataLocal.

Scroll through all of the files until you find a file named IconCache or IconCache.db.

Right-click or hold (for touchscreen devices) and select Delete from the menu that appears.

Confirm deletion if prompted by pressing Yes.

Open the Recycle Bin and empty it

We have a guide on how to do that (just click on the green sentence before this). You can quickly open it by launching the Start menu/screen and searching for Recycle Bin.

If the Recycle Bin is already empty, there’s nothing you need to do.

Proceed to the next step.

Clear the thumbnail cache

Restart your PC.

The icons should now be fixed.

Using Command Prompt

Open the Command Prompt

The quickest way to open the Command Prompt in any version of Windows is to:

  • Press the at the same time.
  • Type cmd.
  • Click/tap or hit .

Type the commands in.

Type the commands below into the Command Prompt, hitting enter after each line of code is entered. You can also highlight and copy them (either by right-clicking and pressing Copy or by pressing Ctrl+C. Right-click in the Command Prompt and select Paste. Ctrl+V won’t work.

  • cd /d %userprofile%AppDataLocal
  • attrib –h IconCache.db
  • del IconCache.db
  • start explorer

Restart your PC.

The icons should now be fixed.


  • Make sure to only delete the IconCache or IconCache.db file. Deleting any other system files can mess up your PC and possibly render it inoperable.

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