What would cause a desktop shortcut to have two different icons depending on what size the desktop icons are set to?

I had one icon, and then later changed the icon file, replacing it with a new icon. When I assign the icon to the shortcut, it works fine if I have the icon size set to small. However, if I change to using medium or large icons, the old version of the icon still appears.

Edit: One detail is that the shortcut was to a .accde file.

  • That depends on how the resources (e.g. images, etc.) are added to that executable. You can configure/change those resources with Resource Hacker.
    – Biswapriyo
    Aug 11, 2017 at 20:38
  • @Biswa I'll have to keep that program in mind. I found a different solution though.
    – Quark
    Aug 14, 2017 at 14:04

2 Answers 2


Let's take an example of empty Recycle Bin shortcut. The default icon of empty bin is %SystemRoot%\System32\imageres.dll,-55. These icons can be find in imageres.dll file in System32 folder. Open imageres.dll (Windows Image Resource) in Resource Hacker. Go to icon group folder and open #55 group (as shown).


Here you see the icons from #500 to #507 are the empty recycle bin icons depending on their icon dimensions. Open icon folder in resource hacker, you can see the icons from #500 to #507 (image below).


Hence when you change the icon size, it changes according to the dimensions of that icons (see the animation). Icon sizes can be changed with Ctrl++ keys.

Recycle Bin animation

  • Yes, I see how resource hacker works, and I tested it on a few shortcuts to .exe files. The problem is that this shortcut is for an access .accde and for some reason resource hacker will not open those. I will change my question to include that.
    – Quark
    Aug 16, 2017 at 11:08
  • That depends on which application is associated with that .accde file type.
    – Biswapriyo
    Aug 16, 2017 at 12:02
  • It opens in access runtime. The target path has the path of the file with ` /runtime` at the end.
    – Quark
    Aug 16, 2017 at 12:08
  • The answer I put down worked for me. Thanks for the answer, but it seems I was working with a special case somehow.
    – Quark
    Aug 30, 2017 at 11:57

So apparently windows doesn't let go of the past very well. The old icons were cached in memory and wouldn't change back even after a restart. The fix was to run:

ie4uinit -show

which according to winaero's website, forces windows to refresh the cache.

  • Your answer does not match with your question. I have more to say. May I post that in a new answer?
    – Biswapriyo
    Aug 14, 2017 at 14:29
  • @Biswa Sure. I don't know how they don't match though...
    – Quark
    Aug 14, 2017 at 16:31

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