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What causes icon corruption in Windows 7?

I have both Firefox 3.6 & Chrome pinned to my taskbar in Windows 7. The icons for these two programs show up as the ugly default icon from yesteryear. Strange. Is there some way to force an icon refresh for pinned programs?

  • When I first added them they showed properly, but several days later they reverted to this state
  • Un-pinning the program causes the icon to show up properly, and re-pinning it causes it to break again.
  • These other proggies show up fine: Media Center, Media Player Classic HC, Hulu Desktop, Windows Media Player, and the folders.

I have 2 user accounts on this box, and both are showing this behavior. I have tried changing the taskbar icon size to 'small' and back, but to no effect.

Edit (Add)

The icons show up as broken in the start menu too, but I can navigate to the EXE directly. When I click "change icon" in the properties for the start menu entry I get the error : Can not find %ProgramFiles%\Google\Chrome...\chrome.exe.

It looks like this is a program installation problem, or an issue with the 'all users' start menu analogue folder.


I've not seen this behaviour in Win7x64, but one thing you might want to try is rebuilding your icon cache.

Try the instructions here:


  • That works, but the "change icon" button still reports that the icon it is using can't be found. Worried about this showing up again, since it appears this just fixes the symptom and not the cause. – Andrew Backer Mar 20 '10 at 9:33

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