How to Fix Blank Icons on Windows 10?

by Linas Kiguolis - -
12

Question

Issue: How to Fix Blank Icons on Windows 10?

A couple of weeks after the Creators Update, all icons turned blank. Not all, but mosto f them. Desktop icons are all blank. What could I do to fix that?

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Solved Answer

An icon on Windows OS is a small „picture“ illustrating and representing apps and programs. For example, when looking for Microsoft Excel tool, people don‘t have to read the names of apps because Excel distinguishes from the others by its bright green icon with an X sign in the middle. Unfortunately, but sometimes Windows icons unexpectedly change location, gone missing or blank. Blank/inactive or missing icons can impede PC user‘s work experience heavily. Presumably, issues related to Windows icons are usually triggered by corrupted update components and that explains the fact why most of the victims encountered blank icons issue after installing Creators Update or cumulative updates. One of the possible solutions would be to undo recent system’s changes, for example, removing the latest updates or uninstalling third-party software.

showing blank icons on Windows 10

Nevertheless, the most reasonable solution for missing or blank icons on Windows 10 would be to reset icon cache. All icons are stored in the icon cache database. This database allows displaying them quickly on the screen without retrieving them from the initial source. The more icons there are, the more clogged icon cache database gets, which is why some of the icons may get broken. Therefore, to fix blank icons or other icon-related issues on Windows 10, you should try to reset icon cache:

Resetting Icon Cache on Windows 10

Unfortunately, Windows 10 OS does not provide an option to reset the icon cache database. Neverthless, there's a way to reset it by using an elevated Command Prompt. If you want to try this method, please follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on Windows key and select Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Type cd %homepath%\\AppData\\Local\\Microsoft\\Windows\\Explorer command and press Enter.
  3. To verify the location of the icon cache database files, enter the dir iconcache* command and press Enter.
  4. After executing the command, you should see a list of the following database files:
    iconcache_1280.db
    iconcache_16.db
    iconcache_1920.db
    iconcache_256.db
    iconcache_2560.db
    iconcache_32.db
    iconcache_48.db
    iconcache_768.db
    iconcache_96.db
    iconcache_custom_stream.db
    iconcache_exif.db
    iconcache_idx.db
    iconcache_sr.db
    iconcache_wide.db
    iconcache_wide_alternate.db
  5. Now you have to stop File Explorer. For that, enter the taskkill /f /im explorer.exe command and hit Enter to execute it. File Explorer exploits icon cache database, so without disabling it, you won’t be able to remove the icon cache files.
  6. Once File Explorer is disabled, type the del iconcache* command and press Enter to delete the icon cache files. If you received an alert that the access is denied, double-check if you are running Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
  7. To double-check that icon cache files have successfully been removed, enter the del iconcache* command one more time and hit Enter.
  8. If you received some icon cache files, close the apps that are running and using the mentioned icons and then repeat the above-listed steps.
  9. Finally, enter the explorer.exe command and press Enter to enable File Explorer.
  10. Close Command Prompt.

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