How to Rebuild and Reset Icon Cache on Windows 10

If something went wrong or you made changes on icons, Windows will not render the correct icon until the icon database is reset. In this guide, we will walk you through how to rebuild Icon cache database on Windows 10.

On Windows 10, all the icons are stored in a DLL file, but the icons you see on files and folders are stored in the icon cache database. Windows cache all the icons and store in a database file, this helps Windows to display the icons quickly without retrieving them from the origin.

When you customize the file or folder icon, probably, you don’t see any changes as icon cache is to be reset. However, In most cases, the system may not render the icons correctly, this may happen when something goes wrong with the icon database.

Although Windows doesn’t give any dedicated option to reset the icon cache database, you can easily rebuild the icon cache running a few commands in the command prompt.

How to rebuild icon cache database

To rebuild icon cache database, you need to stop the Windows Explorer, therefore close all the applications that may be running, then follow the below steps.

  1. Click the Start Menu button, then search “CMD“.
  2. Right-click the command prompt in the search result and Run as administrator.
  3. In the command prompt, type the following command to navigate the Icon cache database directory.
Command: cd %homepath%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer
  1. Type the following command to list the icon cache database, and to check whether files are at the location.
Command: dir iconcache*

The output should be like the following.

  • iconcache_1280.db
  • iconcache_16.db
  • iconcache_1920.db
  • iconcache_256.db
  • iconcache_2560.db
  • iconcache_32.db
  • iconcache_48.db
  • iconcache_768.db
  • iconcache_96.db
  • iconcache_custom_stream.db
  • iconcache_exif.db
  • iconcache_idx.db
  • iconcache_sr.db
  • iconcache_wide.db
  • iconcache_wide_alternate.db
Rebuild and Reset Icon Cache

Files having extension DB are the database files, and DIR is the directory or folder.

  1. Now, Run the following command to stop the File Explorer.
Command: taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

Once you stop the file explorer, the desktop background and taskbar will disappear, you will see only the back screen. Don’t worry; it is temporary because, if the explorer is running, it is impossible to delete all database files.

  1. Next, type the following command and hit the enter button to delete all the iconcache database files.

To copy the following command, use “Alt + Tab” to navigate to the browser.

Command: del iconcache*

Wildcards (*) is to tell the system to delete all files start from iconcache.

You might see the error “Access denied”, this is when you’re not running command prompt as administrator. So, first, run the command prompt with administrative privileges, then do this.

  1. To check whether all the database files have been deleted successfully, type the following command, then hit enter.
Command: dir iconcache*

Most probably, you will see nothing, but if some icon cache database files, make sure all the program is not running, if running, then first close and then repeat the step.

  1. Start the File Explorer, type the following command then hit enter.
Command: explorer.exe
Rebuild and Reset Icon Cache
  1. Exit the command prompt now.

Once you’ve deleted all the icon cache files, Windows will automatically recreate the database files with fresh new icons.

I hope this guide helps you to reset and rebuild icon cache database on Windows 10.

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