How to Rebuild Broken Icon Cache in Windows

Almost every file and program on your Windows system will have its own icons. As you can tell, these icons allow you to quickly recognize the applications, file types, and settings on your Windows system. Typically, Windows caches all those icons so that it can display them faster without needing to grab the icon from the target program each and every time. As useful as it is, the icon cache can sometimes get corrupted which results in broken icons for some applications and settings. In those situations, rebuilding the icon cache might help. Here is how to rebuild the I con cache in Windows 7, 8 and 10.

Note: rebuilding the I con cache is a bit different for Windows 7 and Windows 8/10. Follow the steps depending on your Windows version.


In Windows 7 the system stores a database of all the icons in a single file called “IconCache.db.” By deleting this file, Windows will automatically rebuild the icon cache.

To start, press “Win + R,” enter the follow path while replacing “Username” with your actual username and press the Enter button.



The icon cache file is hidden by default; you need to unhide it before you can delete it. To do that, select the option “Folder Options” from the “Tools” menu.


Once the Folder Options window has been opened, navigate to the “View” tab, select the option “Show hidden files, folders, and drives,” and then click on the “Ok” button to save the changes.


This action will reveal the “IconCache.db” file. Simply select the file and delete it using the Delete key on your keyboard.


After deleting the file, you need to restart the Explorer to see the changes. To do that, open the Task Manager, navigate to the “Processes” tab, right-click on “explorer.exe” and then select the option “End Process.”


Now, navigate to the Applications tab and click on the “New Task” ¬†button.


Here in this window, enter “explorer.exe” and press the Enter button on your keyboard to start the new process. That’s all there is to do. You’ve successfully rebuilt the broken icon cache in Windows 7.


Though Windows 8 and 10 have the same “IconCache.db” file in the same location as in Windows 7, deleting the file won’t work. In Windows 8 and 10 there are several icon cache files located in a different location. Since there are several files to delete, we are going to use the Command Prompt approach as it makes things easier.

To start, press “Win + X” and then select the option “Command Prompt” from the list of options. Once the Command Prompt has been opened, execute the below command to navigate to the Explorer folder. Of course, replace “Username” with your actual username.

cd C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer


Once you are here you can use the dir command to see all the files in the directory.


Now, use the below command to delete all the icon cache files in one single step.

del iconcache*


The above action will delete all the icon cache files. Now open the Task Manager, navigate to the Processes tab, right-click on the process “Windows Explorer” and select the option “Restart.”


This action will restart the Explorer, and Windows will automatically rebuild the icon cache.

That’s all there is to do. Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above methods to rebuild the icon cache in Windows 7, 8, and 10.

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