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,



  • Rebuild_Icon_Cache.bat
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Last edited:


Staff member
Hi Brink
Thank you. I am also seeing your tips and procedures on Windows 7. Excellent piece of advice for newbies to quick soltuions.
The icon cache restored correctly. But what about if one gets a drop menu, while moving cursor in Mozilla firefox startup, and see the Frequent..., the recently visited pages show as generic files and not as program or sites icon. If suppose, i visit the windows sevenforum, normally in the history tab, it shows the sevenforum icon besides the topic i visited. But in the startup menu, in the firefox Frequent..., i get generic icons with the description of the pages visited. Iam having win7, but i think that it will work there also.

Where could i see that the attachment is included in my post? pl

View attachment 28743

Unfortunately, the icons for URL shortcuts seem to always never be correct off and on for the default web browser.

Clearing the temporary internet files sometimes help though.


New Member
Hi Brink,

I'm wondering if I should follow the above instructions for my particular problem. I'm using Vista Home Premium/Basic and accidentally deleted icons when using Disc Cleanup. The only icons I've lost though are the thumbnails in my Realplayer download folder (of music videos). They do not "restore" themselves however, even after playing the related video/music from start to end. I've taken the precaution of unchecking thumbnails in Disc Cleanup and tried to Reset Folder and to Restore Defaults in the Folder Options. Nothing works.

My fear is that any more tinkering might delete all the thumbnails in my Pictures folder, which is a worst case scenario for me.

So, what do you recommend?

Thanks in advance.



Staff member
Hello Rob, and welcome to Vista Forums. :)

The thumbnail cache would be different than the icon cache. When you clear either one, it'll affect all files and folders.

As a test, see if moving a video/music file from one location to another may toggle its thumbnail preview to show.


New Member
Hi Brink,

Thanks for the welcome. I tried cutting and pasting the unworking RealPlayer thumbnails into different folders but still no preview images showed or reset. Can you recommend something else?