How to Fix Black Background Behind Folder Icons in Windows 10

The Windows 10 File Explorer can display your files and folders in several different styles like Medium icons, Large icons, Extra large icons, Content, etc. Sometimes, when you set your file or folder icon style to small, medium, or extra large, you might see a black background behind the actual folder icon. This looks pretty ugly, and no matter how may times you refresh, the black background will not go away. If you are facing this issue, here is how to fix the black background behind folder icons in Windows 10 File Explorer.

Using Disk Cleanup Tool

The fast and easiest way to fix the black background behind the folder icons is to use the built-in Disk Cleanup utility. Search for “Disk Cleanup” in the Start menu and click on it to open the tool.


The above action will start the Disk Cleanup wizard. Here, select “C” drive from the drop-down menu and click on the “OK” button.


The above action will start the scanning process. Once the scan has been completed, scroll down and select the “Thumbnails” checkbox under the “File to Delete” section and click on the “OK” button.


As soon as you click on the button, you will receive a confirmation window. Click on the “Delete Files” button to continue.


Restart your system, and you will no longer see the black background behind the folder icons in the File Explorer.

By Deleting Thumbnail Cache Manually

Besides using the Disk Cleanup tool, you can also fix the issue by manually deleting the thumbnail cache files. To start, press the keyboard shortcut “Win + E” to open the File Explorer.

After opening the File Explorer, select the checkbox “Hidden Items” in the View tab. When you select it, File Explorer will show all the hidden files and folders.


Now navigate to the following location. Don’t forget to replace “<username>” with your actual Windows username.


Once you are here, scroll down the folder, find “IconCache.db” and press the Delete key on your keyboard.


After deleting the file, navigate to the following location, select all the files using the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + A” and press the Delete key to delete them. Again, don’t forget to replace “<username>” with your actual Windows username.


You might receive an error message telling you that the files are in use and cannot be deleted. Simply select the checkbox “Do this for all current items” and click on the “Try Again” button.


You will receive the same error message again. Click on the “Cancel” button to close the window. After closing the window, you will find a new folder with the name “ThumbCacheToDelete” or “IconCacheToDelete.” This folder ensures that the files will be automatically deleted when you restart your system.


Using a Simple .bat File

If you want to, you can achieve the same thing by creating a simple bat file that deletes all the thumbnail cache files with one double-click. To create a bat file, right-click on your desktop, and then select the option “New > Text Document.”


Name the file as you want, but make sure you change the file extension from .txt to .bat. In my case, I renamed my file to “ClearThumbCache.bat.”


Now, right-click on the bat file and select the option “Edit.”


The above action will open the file in Notepad. Copy and paste the below commands in the file, save, and close.

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
timeout 2 /nobreak>nul
DEL /F /S /Q /A %LocalAppData%\IconCache.db
DEL /F /S /Q /A %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\iconcache_*.db
DEL /F /S /Q /A %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\thumbcache_*.db
timeout 2 /nobreak>nul
start explorer.exe

After closing the file, save all your work and double-click on the newly created .bat file to fix the black background behind the folder icons issue. When you execute the file, Windows Explorer will stop temporarily and start again. So don’t worry if your screen goes blank for a second or two.

Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above methods to fix the issue.

Vamsi Krishna

Vamsi is a tech and WordPress geek who enjoys writing how-to guides and messing with his computer and software in general. When not writing for MTE, he writes for he shares tips, tricks, and lifehacks on his own blog Stugon.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox