My XML files are showing the unknown programs icon.

Why can't I change the icon? I looked it up in the registry, but I found no error. Look at the following:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 

"Content Type"="text/xml" 


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 







@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Common Files\\Microsoft Shared\\OFFICE11\\MSOXMLED.EXE\" /verb edit \"%1\"" 


@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Common Files\\Microsoft Shared\\OFFICE11\\MSOXMLED.EXE\" /verb open \"%1\"" 




Can you find something wrong? Or can you paste your registry values?

I need default registry values about xml which is with the default associated exe.

  • We could also call this question Why did my XML icon go blank? (This would have helped in my searching.)
    – palswim
    May 10, 2012 at 22:00

4 Answers 4


Yes this time it has nothing to do with the icon cache. As this post correctly pointed out to me: http://www.sevenforums.com/microsoft-office/152972-no-icon-xml-files.html#post1315413

the problem is due to the IconHandler, apparently installed by some Office suite version. So it's enough to remove the IconHandler sub-key from xmlfile key, and leave a reasonable predefined string value in DefaultIcon key (like the one you already have).

  • of course backup your IconHandler key before deleting ;)
    – superjos
    Apr 17, 2011 at 7:53
  • After hours of searching and trying multiple tools to track changes in registry I saw this post and fixed the issue in seconds. Computer crashed while uninstalling office and corrupted several file associations. So Thanks again.
    – trenten
    Jul 10, 2019 at 20:35

Office uses a 32-bit Icon Handler, which breaks the XML icon on 64-bit systems.

To stop Office from trying to serve your icons for XML files, you can use this registry script:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



This sets the DefaultIcon key's default value to %SystemRoot%\System32\msxml3.dll,0 and removes the IconHandler key.

Before using this registry script, ensure you want that default key (I think Windows Vista/7/8 use that value by default), and optionally back up your IconHandler key.

  • 2
    This provides much the same data as a previous answer, but my system had "%1" in the DefaultIcon key, so I wanted to provide a quick and complete answer for those in my situation.
    – palswim
    Mar 9, 2015 at 22:49
  • This did not work for me
    – Adsy2010
    Oct 2, 2017 at 10:14

It should display the right icon, but you can try to rebuild the icon cache. A simple way is to delete the file IconCache.db witch is found in your user path under Local (in Win XP) or \AppData\Local (Vista/7). (you can restart after you delete this file)

  • um!thanx ,but i meet some problems like this! it has nothing to do with iconcache!hehe!
    – user37255
    May 17, 2010 at 14:12

I had the same problem and for me it worked to simply delete the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.xml.

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