For some of my programs, the icons have vanished. This applies to both the pinned Start Menu items and the programs in their program folders as well.

enter image description here

Inkscape and IrfanView have both had their icons disappear. SVG and image files associated with the respective programs still show the right icons -- it's just the main .exes that don't have icons any more.

How do I restore them?

  • 1
    Do you have any antivirus program running? Has it detected anything suspicious recently?
    – gronostaj
    Nov 3, 2013 at 13:29
  • Yes, in fact -- Microsoft Security Essentials detected a very old virus on a very old IDE drive I plugged in a few days ago to retrieve a very old file. Nov 3, 2013 at 13:31
  • 1
    Well, I guess that may be the cause of the problem. Try uninstaling and reinstalling Inkscape and IrfanView and see if it helps. Don't run them before this operation, also be sure to manually uninstall first and ensure no application files are left before reinstalling.
    – gronostaj
    Nov 3, 2013 at 16:11

3 Answers 3


Try the following.

Open Notepad and paste the below code.

taskkill /F /IM explorer.exe
cd /d %UserProfile%\AppData\Local
attrib –h IconCache.db
del IconCache.db
start explorer

save the file as a .bat file on your desktop.

Lastly, double click on the .bat file that you saved on your desktop and all icons should be restored.


  • worked for me too, thank you @QMechanic73
    – volume one
    Nov 8, 2014 at 21:24
  • If you are missing icons for windows explorer and notepad you may also need to delete the windows explorer icon and thumbnail cache databases in %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer however those files aren't immediately available for deletion after the taskkill command completes so it failed for me in a batch file. Maybe a short wait would help after the taskkill as well.
    – Jeremy
    Nov 9, 2016 at 16:23

From what I can see it seems like a 3rd party program removed the root directories of these programs. Or it could have been you deleting something on accident. But that is the icon you get when a program root gets deleted but the shortcuts correlated with it don't get removed also

You're going to have to reinstall the programs that were deleted


Its due to corrupted IconCache, You can delete the database file described above and reboot

Another workaround is temporarily setting your windows DPI Scale to medium (120 ppi)/or any other than default in advanced display settings

"Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Display"

Log off and revert to your old DPI scaling

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