Without reason one of our Microsoft Windows 7 PCs started displaying incorrect icons on the desktop and in Explorer. The original icons were replaced with a Windows default icon – the kind you get when Windows doesn’t know what icon to show.

We’ve had similar problems in previous versions of Windows and knew that the answer was to clear the icon cache. Here’s how you do it in Windows 7:

  • Close all Explorer windows and applications
  • Press CTRL-SHIFT-ESC to open Windows Task Manager
  • Click the Processes tab and locate Explorer.exe on the list of processes
  • Right-Click on Explorer.exe and select End Process
  • Click File and New Task (Run) and type CMD and click OK
  • In the Command Prompt window type each of these lines – pressing Enter/Return after each line:cd %userprofile%\AppData\Localdel iconcache.dbexit
  • Now back in Task Manager Click File and New Task (Run) and type explorer.exe and click OK – Your icons should now be back to their correct icon.