I have nearly brand new Windows 10 1903. A day after installing it from scratch, I have installed Irfan View as well. Another day later I have realised that it has (?) replaced my Settings' icon:

enter image description here

Things that I tried so far:

  1. Reset the icon cache database.
  2. Recreate the thumbnail cache (both described methods).
  3. Reset Default Apps to... default (as suggested in Irfan View's forum).
  4. Reset the Settings app to its default.
  5. Uninstall (and some days later re-install) IrfanView.

The last one has actually killed me. I was more than sure that completely removing the program that caused (probably) icon to be replaced (and then performing another icon cache purge) will resolve the issue. Yet, it didn't. IrfanView is gone from my system, replaced Settings' icon remains.

A really weird thing (?) happened when performing step 3. After clicking Reset Windows 10 has reset the default app for photos to... IrfanView. Had to manually "reset" it to Paint (the original Photos app is uninstalled).

What can I do to get rid of it and get Settings' original icon back?

Edit: The issue is not limited to Settings. I have just noticed that Your Phone component also has Irfan View's icon instead of default one:

enter image description here

  • 1
    I have IrfanView here (two Windows 10 Pro machines). Try running DISM and SFC to see if this corrects your issue. Open an Admin Command prompt and run dism.exe /online cleanup-image /restorehealth followed by SFC /SCANNOW. Allow these to complete, restart and test.
    – anon
    Commented Nov 3, 2019 at 1:35
  • @John (1) dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth --> The restore operation completed successfully. The operation completed successfully. (2) SFC /SCANNOW --> Verification 100% complete. Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations. (3) System reboot. No effect -- incorrect Setting's icon remains. But, thank you.
    – trejder
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 10:28
  • 1
    I know it is nearly new, but perhaps at this point do a Windows 10 Repair Install from the Microsoft Media Creation link. I have done this before in tough situations
    – anon
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 11:19
  • It doesn't sound to me that I'd like to use a cannon of that size to resolve a single issue with a pesky little one icon. But, thanks for your another advice, I'll surely reconsider it.
    – trejder
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 11:21
  • 1
    Funny Little Issue. We also have a MicroSoft Windows 10 Operating System Software Installation that is almost new. And it also has IrfanView on it. And the Settings Tile is looking just nice. So do not blame IrfanView. You must have played with something in the dark.
    – user1018743
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 13:55

3 Answers 3


Back in April 2020 I had this same problem and after trying many proposed solutions in the the end including all those suggested by the OP I eventualy found that changing the Display Scaling in Settings from the recommended 150% to 125% and then back to 150% fixed it for me. The inspiration for this came from this answer to a similar question Icons not showing in windows 10 search.

However, fast forward to October 2021 and the problem re-occurred and the earlier Display Scaling switching did not fix the problem this time! After some reading I found this solution to a Some Windows 10 UWP icons not displaying on search, or in settings problem and it seems possibly that my new problem was potentially caused by an upgrade from Google Backup and Sync to Google Drive File Stream. In this solution the Display Scaling switching, deletion of all keys under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.png\ShellEx was required as well beforehand (and presumably to prevent new keys being added, the permissions for the ShellEx key are removed for Administrators).

In the suggested solution I skipped one step, and so this is what I actually did:

  1. Start Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.png.
  3. Look for a ShellEx key with at least one subkey. If you see any subkeys, you've probably found the culprit.
  4. Delete the subkeys.
  5. Right click on the ShellEx key and click on permissions.
  6. Under Groups or user names select Administrators and under the permissions tick Deny for both Full Control and Read, and then and choose OK.
  7. Skipped: Restart your PC and if you have more than one monitor attached to your system, turn off the power to them. Only keep one monitor active.
  8. In Windows Search type Change the size of text, apps and other items and then select the matching item. It will take you to the appropriate Settings Display page.
  9. On the Display Settings page under Scale and layout change your scale from 100% (or whatever is the scale currently set on on your system) to a different scale.
  10. Once you change the scale first wait at least 10 seconds and then search again for any UWP apps whose icons were broken before. You should see that these icons are back to their normal state. If you don't see that, again change the scale back to the original and then again to a different one. Do it a couple of times as in some cases, it takes more than one try to make it happen. Every time you change the scale first wait at least 10 seconds and then search again to check if the issue has been resolved. As soon as you see the issue is resolved, change the display scale back to your original scale.

I.e. I didn't need to reboot or logout for the fix to take effect (and I only have one monitor and so didn't need to power any additional monitors down). I did have to wait about 5-10 seconds after performing a Display Scaling switch as the problem was not fixed when I initially performed a Windows start menu search immediately after the Display Scale switch. Presumably it takes some time taken for the search icons to be regenerated in the background after a Display Scaling switch has been made.

  • Just wanted to let you know that in my case it didn't work at all, so it seems like a coincidence of things you did vs. effects you've got. I did follow your guide step-by-step with only difference that I had to change from 100% recommended to 125% and then back to 100%, because other options are not available on my laptop. I'll double check on my other computers (this problem occurs on every PC that I have with Windows 10). Thus... thanks for your effort and detailed answer, but I can't offer anything else as just an up vote.
    – trejder
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 17:18
  • That's unfortunate trejder as I actually just tried my suggested Display Scaling fix on another Windows 10 PC which I was preparing to give away today and it worked immediately without any other prior fixes when I changed from the scaling it was already on (150%) to the recommended one (125%) and the fix also continued to work after changing back to 150%. I should add that this was on a new user account (as I deleted my usual one in the clean up) but I suspect it would have worked on the old user account as well. Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 16:30
  • Just wanted to chime in, that it fixed the wrong association of icons, but it left it without any correct icons - probably need to restore some defaults.
    – Patrick
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 10:06
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    I also had to restart explorer.exe for the changes to take effect. Thanks!!!
    – Qwerty
    Commented Mar 3, 2022 at 3:39
  • 1
    Your suggestion worked! WIn10 professional edition 22H2 64bit. Fo rme no need to restrat explorer.exe only regedit subkey deletion and changing diplay scaling.
    – lsassa
    Commented Jan 29 at 8:44

The root cause for me was that I had disabled thumbnail view in advanced performance settings. It seems Windows uses the thumbnail display of Windows to display the app icons. So, I enabled thumbnail view and then refreshed the icon cache via the display scaling as mentioned above.

  • Thanks for your answer and welcome to the society. I am no longer able (right now) to verify your answer, because all my PC already are running on Windows 11, which doesn't have this problem (as Start Menu is quite totally redesigned there). Whenever I get my hands on some Windows 10 gear, I'll try to review your answer. Thanks.
    – trejder
    Commented Jul 25, 2022 at 21:33

One important hint from this answer: The location for the Windows 10 Start Menu icon cache is


If you delete all these files contain here, then the start menu will show the default icon again until the Thumbnail provider (could be Irfanview or Google Drive) which causes the issue is recreating them.

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