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All my program icons in Windows 7 have disappeared:

like that

What could be causing this? I followed the instructions in this question but it didn't fix them. What can I do?

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Does it work in another user account? – Vervious Aug 25 '10 at 1:19
No. Other account doesn't work too. – siracel Aug 26 '10 at 6:09

I also have a suggestion which may be completely useless (since it's very situation specific) but worth a try:

  • run regedit
  • navicate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\shellex\IconHandler
  • check if the value is {00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}. if not change it (back up the registry key first, I'm not responsible if something bad happens, since I've never done this to my own computer before)


  • then navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\piffile\shellex\IconHandler
  • also backup and change its value to {00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} if not already done so

  • restart computer

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Thank you so much! It is fixed! It works! :) Solved! – siracel Aug 26 '10 at 6:16

If you’ve removed your recycle bin icon, or you previously added the some of the “special” icons like Computer, User or Control Panel to the desktop and they are now missing, you might want to know how to add them back.

Go to Control Panel \ Personalize (or right-click on the desktop and select Personalize), and then choose the link for “Change Desktop Icons” on the left-hand side.

Now you can chose the icons you want back on the desktop by checking the box next to the name:

Click the Apply button, and you should see the icon show up on the desktop immediately.

(How to Geek)

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I think he means the icon image files (.ico?) are not properly displaying in the task bar. – Thomas B. Aug 24 '10 at 23:46

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