Purge & rebuild the Icon Cache in Windows 7 | 8

If you find that one or more of your icons are not displaying correctly, or that your Icon Cache is corrupted, you might want to rebuild the Icon Cache. The Icon Cache or IconCache.db is a special database file that Windows utilizes to keep copies of each icon handy. When Windows needs to draw an icon, it uses the copy from the cache instead of retrieving the icon image from the original application file. This helps in making Windows draw the icons faster.

Rebuild The Icon Cache

In Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista, this IconCache.db file is located at:


Whereas, it is different in the older version of Windows i.e. Windows XP.

icon cache Purge & rebuild the Icon Cache in Windows 7 | 8

If you find your Windows displaying icons on the desktop in the wrong manner you can purge & rebuild the Icon Cache In Windows.

If you need to rebuild the Icon cache, Open File Explorer > Folder Options > Views to show Hidden System Files. Next, go to C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local folder and delete the hidden IconCache.db file. Reboot. This action will purge and rebuild the icon cache.

There is also another way to do it, should the above method not work for you.

Kill Explorer.exe process. In Windows 7,  click Start button > Hold down Ctrl+Shift & Right Click on empty area in the Start Menu > Click “Exit Explorer”. In Windows 8, you may do so via the Task Manager.

Open the command prompt window, type each of the following and after every command, hit the Enter button:

cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
attrib –h IconCache.db
del IconCache.db
start explorer

Your Windows Icon Cache would have been rebuilt.

You may also want to check out our freeware Icon Cache Rebuilder Tool to automate the entire process of repairing icon cache.

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Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
  • Dustin Gibbs

    Thanks Alot it fix my computer !!!!

  • Ryan

    That worked for me also! Thanks much!

  • Gopal Adhikari

    Instead of doing all that, you can just do: ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache

  • nick

    doesnt work this little programm. The “REBUILD” Button is slightly grey and does not react. I could only click “Close” ….? strange

  • http://www.thewindowsclub.com Anand Khanse

    Try running the Icon Cache Rebuilder Tool as Administrator.

  • Abhimanyu

    Thanks a lot. This was the one that works in a sea of advice and information on the subject.

  • http://www.thewindowsclub.com Anand Khanse

    Glad it helped you. :)

  • http://www.thewindowsclub.com Anand Khanse

    That’s nice!

  • Martin

    Hello, I have a problem with Adobe reader icons. I use Windows Vista Home Premium. After installing and uninstalling Acrobat Pro 5.0 (I needed to consolidate several pdf files), the icons of pdf files don’t show the miniature first page of each document but a smaller white icon with the red adobe icon in the middle. I have tried rebuilding the Icon Cache but that didn’t work. Before restoring the system using windows restore (is that a risky process?) I thought I might ask for assistance here. Thank you very much!

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