Icon Cache - Rebuild

How to Rebuild the Icon Cache in Vista
This will show you how to delete the icon cache, to clear it, so Vista will rebuild it after a restart.
How to Rebuild the Icon Cache in Vista

information   Information
If you have any icons that are not displaying correctly in Vista, then rebuilding the icon cache will reset them. This will show you how to delete the icon cache, to clear it, so Vista will rebuild it after a restart.

The icon cache is located at the hidden system folder location below:


Note   Note

  • This does not change the icons. It only clears the icon cache to get rid of any corruption and rebuilds the icon cache with the correct icons again.
  • If this is for a internet URL icons (favicons), in IE7 Favorites for example, then you will need to delete the Temporary Internet Files to reset these icons instead. For how, see: How to Delete the Internet Explorer Browsing History in Vista
Tip   Tip
If you only have problems with a particular file (file extension type) icon, then it may be a default association problem instead. The file extension will show the icon for the program that it is associated to. This happens when a program and file extenstion has lost their default associations with each other, or associated to a wrong program instead. To resolve this, either make sure that you have all of the default associations set for the program that the file extension is for, or make sure that you have the correct default program associated with the file extension type. For how to do this, see: How to Set Default Associations For a Program in Vista or How to Associate a Individual File Extension Type With a Program in Vista

Automatically Rebuild the Icon Cache

1. Click on the download button below to download the file below.​

2. Save the file to your desktop, and run it.​
3. Click/tap on Run when prompted.​
4. Follow the instructions in the command prompt to rebuild the Icon Cache.​
5. Restart your computer to generate a new IconCache.db file.​
6. If the icons are still not displaying properly, then download and merge the ICO option in this tutorial to restore the default associations of .ico (icon) files.​

To Manually Rebuild the Icon Cache using the Command Prompt

1. Close and save anything that you are working on. This command will kill explorer and restart the computer when completed.​
2. Open the Start Menu, and type cmd in the search box and press enter.​
3. In the command prompt, Copy and Paste each command line below and press enter after each command.​
WARNING: The last command will restart the computer, so be sure to close and save anything that you are working on first.​
  • taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F
  • DEL "%localappdata%\IconCache.db" /A
  • shutdown /r /f /t 00
4. The IconCache.db file has now been rebuilt.​
5. If the icons are still not displaying properly, then download and merge the ICO option in this tutorial to restore the default associations of .ico (icon) files.​
That's it,

Last edited:
Shawn Brink


Yes, but it would be best to uninstall and reinstall it to hopefully reset it as the default program with the correct icons.
Wow its like my computer is up against me!! The Office Enterprise instalation wont run, it says there is a problem and it closes, and it also wont even unistall!! It says uninstall was unsuccesful and every program from office still runds. Interesting is that I can install office visio and web expression aqnd other stuff but cant that. Now I've also discovered some other icons are missing and that theire exe arent even in program files! And my Internet Explorer wont run! It always closes and says it was closed to prevent my computer getting damaged and DEP closed it. And it all happened today! Im rellay freaking out and I'm so pissed on my computer! Its like he is after me!! Help, is there any other way to reinstall office? I really dont know if i would laugh, or cry or be mad...

It may be best to backup anything that you do not want to lose, then format and do a clean reinstall of Vista. :(
Hey, so I did what you said, and now all icons are mostly ok, but the Tune up Utillities 2009 dissapeared (after i installed it after the reinstall of vista), and I had to replace some icons in the start menu, and the Office icons are also gone again... But other than that, everything is ok xD Thanks, maybe some other advice on how do I fix those others again except reinstalling which is what I did already?

You may need to create new shortcuts for them directly from the program's exe file, then copy and replace the shortcuts in the Start menu with them. :(
But I said I replaced the icons in the start menu already, is there any way for the files in the office (.docx) to be replaced, cause they are the exe file themselves in some way, cause u click on them to open them... So is there a way?
Mark, the only way that I know of to replace the icons for the .exe itself for this it to uninstall and reinstall the program. :(

I went through your other article about associating files with a particular program but that doesn't solve my issue so hope you can help me out.

Basically I have problems with xml files not showing the correct icon. I have recently installed Dreamweaver CS4 and by default xml files are associated with that program. Dreamweaver has it's own icon for showing xml files but in my case I just see a blank paper icon. I have tried System restore, but that didn't work. I have also tried reinstalling Dreamweaver, that didn't work either. Apparently all other files associated with Dreamweaver e.g .css, .js etc seem to show the proper Dreamweaver icon, it's only xml files that's giving me the problem.

Will your solution about deleting the iconCache.db work in my case or is it just for Vista default icons? Please advise.

Hopefully looking for a quick fix.

Hello Frinktastic, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Not sure what type of problem you are having since you did not ask a question, but it looks like you need to restore the shortcut arrow overlay icon back to default from your image.

Hope this helps,
Oh Brink I forgot to post that all is ok now, i remembered this after a long time, and i remembered i didnt switch the office exe files with missing icons lol i will do it later today, anyway it all works now, thanks :D

P.S. Frinktastic u have Left 4 Dead thats great game and u can do machinima with it. lol u have cheat engine too :D

I use Vista 32 Ultimate SP2 on a client on a domain. The My Documents are are moved to a network share and set up to sync by policy (so I get the green spiral on each document icon). It has worked fine for 2 years. Recently when I open my documents, the green spiral overlay is something different (random stuff). If I close My Documents and re-open, the green spiral is back and all is normal. Doesn't always happen.

Have you seen this before? Any suggestions on how to fix? I did delete the icon cache....


Hello Charlie, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Sorry, I have not seen this before. However, you might see if refreshing (F5) the window may help instead of having to close and reopen it. If this happens again, could you post a screenshot of it before and after?
i have tried everything but nothing is working for me the drive icon for my d drive is a square one with red dots and i want it back to the normal one like other drives but tis not happening i tried the regedit method but no good and tried this one also and everytime i restart my pc the icon cache reappears and i cant do anything plz plz help me out i want my icon back:cry::cry: