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Windows 7 disappearing icons

    Question

  • In my computer or any folders the icons for hard drives-folders-subfolders will not show the icons. on my computer it will show drives but if I go back, they will disappear. In any files if I go into them, go back....the icons will disappear but will show names only of files. If I click on the "invisible icon" I can see it in windows picture viewer but not in icon form.

    If I click on my computer...no icons at all show. I have to right click on my computer in that window and "open in new window" to see the hard drives-devices and others. But if I go back the icons disappear again.

    I am running a Dell XPS M1530 2.4GHz, 4 GB Ram, 32-bit OS, Nvidia Geforce 8600M GT (driver is updated)

    Any help please
    Thanks
    Sunday, September 27, 2009 3:02 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

     

    First, I would like to confirm when the issue began to occur. Have any new programs or hardware installed on the computer?

     

    Let's refer to the following steps to troubleshoot the issue.

     

    1. Restart the computer in Safe Mode and check whether the problematic icon can display normally. Please tell me the result.

     

    2. If the icon can display fine, you can perform a Clean Boot to avoid incompatible third party programs.

     

    3. Reset Desktop icon cache

    ===================

    a. Click Start, and open Computer.

    b. On the Tool bar, click Organize and choose Folder and Search Options.

    c. Click the View tab, and check to select the Show hidden files and folders option, and click OK.

    d. Then, enter the following directory:

     

    C:\Users\(User Name)\AppData\Local

     

    e. Find the IconCache.db file, and rename it as IconCache.db.old.

    f. Close the window, and restart the computer.

     

    What's the result?

     

    Thanks,

    Novak

    • Marked as answer by Novak Wu Monday, October 05, 2009 1:54 AM
    Monday, September 28, 2009 7:15 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

     

    First, I would like to confirm when the issue began to occur. Have any new programs or hardware installed on the computer?

     

    Let's refer to the following steps to troubleshoot the issue.

     

    1. Restart the computer in Safe Mode and check whether the problematic icon can display normally. Please tell me the result.

     

    2. If the icon can display fine, you can perform a Clean Boot to avoid incompatible third party programs.

     

    3. Reset Desktop icon cache

    ===================

    a. Click Start, and open Computer.

    b. On the Tool bar, click Organize and choose Folder and Search Options.

    c. Click the View tab, and check to select the Show hidden files and folders option, and click OK.

    d. Then, enter the following directory:

     

    C:\Users\(User Name)\AppData\Local

     

    e. Find the IconCache.db file, and rename it as IconCache.db.old.

    f. Close the window, and restart the computer.

     

    What's the result?

     

    Thanks,

    Novak

    • Marked as answer by Novak Wu Monday, October 05, 2009 1:54 AM
    Monday, September 28, 2009 7:15 AM
  • Hi Novak,

    problem started long ago, almost at the beginning, could not veiw photos on explorer picture viewer. Installed photoimpact, but even if I remove it, still same problem.

    Tried Clean Boot....same problem.....tried safe mode.....same problem....

    Tried reset desktop icon cache as you suggested....same problem

    Could not get into C:\Users\(User Name)\AppData\Local......where do I do this?

    If I could insert a photo here I could show you what happens on my windows screen....can I post photo??

    Thanks
    Rick
    Sunday, October 11, 2009 1:51 AM
  • Rventurini1, I'm suffering the same problem you are. Only this problem just started very recently, say in the last month or so. Disappearing icons, My Computer and Control Panel icons not loading. I do some sports photography work and now my computer won't import my pictures anymore, I have to manually drag them off the camera.

    My computer is a Dell XPS 410, Dual Core 1.86, and 3Gigs of Ram
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260

    Could this be an issue with Dell computers?

    I'll give that IconCache.db tip a try.

    EDIT:
    The IconCache tip didn't work. Icons still disappear.
    Sunday, October 11, 2009 6:01 AM
  • I am having a similar issue with icons disappearing. I have Delll 9200, upgraded video card to nvidia 9500gt 2 weeks ago (but problem started with previous video and w7 beta, then rc, now I have rtm - clean install btw) still only the my computer shortcut icon, network shortcut icon and a few other shortcuts to a ntework drive folders disappear, but other shortcuts do not! Others are shortcuts to local hard drive and local apps. It would  appear that the network would be the issue, but the local computer and network shortcuts also disappear. the problem seems to only occur after screen saver or hibernation type of action. If I reboot, they are still missing. I now have a folder in My Docs that I back up my icons, and when this happens, I drag them back to the desktop, so it is not so frustrating as it used to be. But I cannot figure out why this only happens on my pc. 2 other pc's (non Dell) do not have this problem.
    The IconCache tip didn't work. Only the same set of icons still disappear.
    Monday, October 12, 2009 3:57 AM
  • Same here.  I don't have a Dell.  I have Win 7 x64 Ultimate... 
    I first noticed the messenger icon was missing on the taskbar & then looked on the desktop & all the office file icons & .pdf icons were gone (default windows icon.  The icons for program files/Office also missing, the microsoft mouse & keyboard folder icons where white/blank. 
    I followed the IconCache.dl removal, but dosn't work.  I checked the other user accounts I have & 1 had most of the icons, so I logged out of that account, went into explorer & copied that users iconcache to my profile, ended explorer.exe & re ran it & at least the desktop .pdf's are back(not the office ones) the taskbar icons were there & the start/all programs/office were there, but still none of the various other programs. 
    Looking at the file associations are OK.  Tried the tip on changing to small icons & back again. 
    There must be a solution that works, other than blow away the install & start again?  Come on SP1...or Windows 8
    Monday, November 16, 2009 11:27 PM
  • Clearing and Rebuilding Icon Cache

    To automate this process open notepad and paste the code below, save it to desktop as RefreshIcons.bat, double click on the file and you are all set. You can do this every time the icon cache needs to be rebuilt. Make sure all your applications are closed whenever you run this.

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

    Tuesday, December 01, 2009 5:13 AM
  • I don't have some icons disappearing. They are ALL disappearing. I can't bring up windows start menu, nothing on the task bar. When I right click the desktop I do get the normal menu, but nothing happens when I check and uncheck the options. I have to shut down manually. Sometimes the icons will appear after rebooting, sometimes not. Sometimes I have to reboot a couple times before my icons appear again.

    I recently upgraded a 2 month old Dell XPS 435MT,  i7-920 processor (8MB L3 cache 266GHz), 6 GB DDR3 SDRAM, 256 MB ATI Radeon HD 3450, Serial ATA II RAID 0 with dual 500GB hard drives, from Vista 64 bit home premium to Win 7 64 bit home premium. This is really driving me crazy and in desperation I bought the Uniblue Registry Cleaner advertised on this site hoping it would help.

    So in my case, Luiz O suggestion to make the desktop icon with code encluded to rebuild the icon cache won't work because ALL of my icons disappear. Or would it help to run it to prevent future problems? The icons seem to only disappear when the computer goes into sleep mode and on waking up the icons are gone.

    Thursday, December 03, 2009 1:56 AM
  • Beeb1:

    Sounds like Explorer.exe is not starting correctly for some reason.

    Try this:
    Create the file RefreshIcons.bat with the code I suggested above when you are able to launch notepad (that is, the few times that you are able to access the start menu). Here is the code again that it needs to contain:

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

    Now that you have the file perhaps saved on your desktop (I know you won't be able to access it when the problem happens... don't worry) you can do the following when the problem happens:
    1 - Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up Task Manager
    2 - On Task Manager go to the process tab and end the explorer.exe process if it is there
    3 - On Task Manager go to file and select new task (run...) and type explorer.exe in that box and click OK
    4 - When explorer launches find the desktop folder and doubleclick on the file RefreshIcons.bat that you created

    This should fix it temporarily until next time.

    Let me know if this works and perhaps we can figure out how to do it every time your computer wakes or starts up.
    Thursday, December 03, 2009 3:38 AM
  • Hey,

    I have the exact problem..just like above mentioned with the same case and configuration.

    But i can't even open up a notepad to write up the code....All i can do is right click and see the usual options...I dont see anything else...none of my icons..no task bar..nothing..except my wall paper...

    Even i cant use the option of ctrl+alt+del.....my screen just goes blank....and once i hit ESC...it takes me back to the wall paper..

    Any kind of help would greatly be appreciated...This is really frustrating..to have just upgraded to Windows 7 and have this isssues...

    I call Dell Support and after an hour of useless waiting...They wanted to charge me about $239 to help me change the settings..I got fed up and hung up...

    Please HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thursday, December 03, 2009 4:24 AM
  • singalla:

    To troubleshoot if it is a video driver problem did you try restarting your computer in safe mode.

    For safe mode:
    1 - Restart computer
    2 - When windows logo appear press F8
    3 - Select Enable-low resolution video (640x480)

    Then just try safe mode alone
    1 - Restart computer
    2 - When windows logo appear press F8
    3 - select safe mode

    Once the computer is in safe mode you can go to device manager (use control panel) and play arround with disabling some non-essential devices like sound, scanners, etc and see if that helps find what could be the problem.

    Also remove any programs in the startup folder and see if that helps

    I confess I don't know what else to tell you. There has to be a minimum functionality for us to work with. At least task manager :)

    By the way I am just another user like you, I am not from Microsoft.

    Thursday, December 03, 2009 7:31 AM
  • Thank you Luiz. I just followed your directions. What do you mean "This should fix it temporarily until next time"? The icons are not disappearing while I am working once they are up on the desktop. They are just not there after rebooting or when the computer goes to sleep and on wake up. In any case I did as you directed and I will see if it helps the problem on reboot etc.

    Thank you for your time! I'll keep you posted.
    Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:28 PM
  • Beeb1:

    Sorry about that, I am not sure we have the exact same problem. When I have this problem on my computer and all the icons dissapear,

    1 - I press Crtl-Alt-Del and go to task manager (I assume you are able to do this. Another user reported that not even task manager comes up)
    2 - remove any explorer.exe in the processes
    2- go to file in task manager, select new task, the type "explorer.exe"
    3 - the run that bat  file through explorer

    For me this only restores my icons for that time. It does not fix the problem the next time the computer reboots or sleeps.

    Keep me posted on your progress. I hope you can fix your issue.
    Thursday, December 10, 2009 4:31 PM
  • Well I was hopeful because after I followed your directions, I did keep my icons through a couple of my computer sleep phases. No joy just now though. I had to reboot three times before my icons appeared or I had any functionality. I have the right click menu from the desktop, but not all function work. I can check and uncheck the show icons and it does nothing either way. I can't access the task manager by Crtl-Alt-Del either. This is VERY annoying! It would be bad enough if I had to reboot every time my computer went to sleep or powered down, but I hate having to power up and down multiple times. I think it messes with things doing a hard stop like that, especially over and over again.

    There is something amiss. I wish I could find a way to fix it. I tried a support ticket, but microsoft didn't allow it saying my license key is invalid or something of the like. I'm sitting here with the retail box my windows 7 came in. Sigh. I really can't find much about this problem from other users of win7 except for this thread here. On my searches I've found the problem with Vista, but the solutions did not pertain to me. It is so frustrating!


    Thanks again for your help though Luiz.
    Friday, December 11, 2009 4:15 AM
  • I have had the same issue with the Icons disappearing from the Desktop of Windows 7 Ultimate 32 and 64 bit.
    Have even used the Microsoft Support on the telephone. Even using the remote take control of my desktop, they
    the support tech's with Microsoft couldn't solve the issue or provide any information on how to solve the issue.

    The only way that I have found to solve the issue is to make a full backup of the entire Windows 7 and files on the
    harddrive. Restoring from the backup provides a temporary solution for the issue. But after a few day the Icons disappear again. Seems as if the Disk Clearner provide with Windows 7 may be deleting them or causing the problem.

    None of the information provided here or from other sites have helped with this issue

    The Windows 7 should function properly before it is sold.

    Never had this issue with Window XP or Vista!

    Hopefully a work around can be developed and added to the Windows 7 update site.

    If not I am going back to Vista; there I know that the Icons are being displayed when I want to use or create a shortcut.

    Sunday, December 20, 2009 8:37 AM
  • I have the same problem with user icons disappearing
    It started when I bought a Dell with Windows 7 Pro
    Never had this problem with XP PRO or Vista

    Microsoft should come out with a hot fix asap or I will have to go back to xppro
    WOW the customer is going to really like that!
    There is NO way any user or admin should have to be editing registry files or running and scripts to fix this.
    This IS a Microsoft problem NOT a user problem and should be addressed ASAP!
    WTF The poor souls are running restore every time to fix this...Give me a break!

    WHERE IS THE HOT FIX??????

    Monday, January 25, 2010 8:36 PM
  • Am having the same problem - but it is JUST shortcut icons to networked drives.  Need help.
    Wednesday, February 03, 2010 6:24 PM
  • Thanks for the tip koolch...I hadn't thought of saving my disappearing icons to another folder--I'll give that a try.

    Within a week of upgrading from Vista to Win7, I noticed that my DVD icon, and any icons to network drives (or to folders on network drives) would disappear.  Usually, they'll be fine for a week or two, and then one day, I notice that they're gone!  I never hibernate, but do ocassionally re-boot, so perhaps after a re-boot, they're gone.

    Anyway, neither XP nor Vista ever did this, it's new to Win7.  I sure hope that MS comes up with a patch to this problem.

    Steve
    • Proposed as answer by avazquez_nj Monday, February 08, 2010 4:40 PM
    Thursday, February 04, 2010 8:47 PM
  • Just in case you haven't' tried it yet, just click anywhere is the desktop got to view -> then check if show desktop icons has a check mark beside it, it should, if not click it to put a check mark beside it. Hope this helps a little bit.

    Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io
    • Proposed as answer by avazquez_nj Monday, February 08, 2010 4:51 PM
    • Edited by avazquez_nj Monday, February 08, 2010 5:07 PM spelling mistakes
    Monday, February 08, 2010 4:51 PM
  • Tuesday, February 09, 2010 4:56 AM
  • Thanks fixed my missing icon issue
    Friday, February 12, 2010 7:44 AM
  • Hi guys,

    I found the cause of the misteriously disappearing Windows 7 desktop icons and the reason why Show desktop icons now and then gets unchecked.

    It’s INFRARECORDER !! Try for yourselves, when you start Infrarecorder and close it again, go have a look at “Show desktop icons”, it is unchecked (but the icons are still there). Check it on again and start Infrarecorder…. it is unchecked again.

    This Windows 7 “bug” is irritating me since the beginning and now I found the cause: It’s Infrarecorder which is causing this problem.

    Test it, please let me know and spread the news :-)

    • Proposed as answer by Matt Kelliher Tuesday, September 03, 2013 2:53 PM
    Sunday, February 21, 2010 12:15 PM
  • Well I just found this problem while Googling it and I have been experiencing the exact same problem.

    Once you said INFRARECORDER, that immediately confirmed it in my head.  Because I didn't realize it but I was searching for free burning software last night and someone recommended that to me. 

    Yeah, none of my icons show up on the desktop (even though they are checked under personalize to show all of them).  Plus I'm missing my regular icons.  Oh, also I noticed you can't click, drag and select the desktop with that translucent rectangle that shows up (obviousally i'm not really missing that but just thought I would tell you about it). 


    Infrarecorder is apparently only for up to Vista, and not on Win 7.  So I guess I can't complain there.  Well I would have to say that Infrarecorder IS the cause.....now how can we still use Infrarecorder and fix the problem?  That's the real question
    Monday, February 22, 2010 11:56 PM
  •  I sent an email to the creator of infrarecorder and got a reply back he will fix this :-)
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 7:39 AM
  • My problem:  When I opened the control panel I couldn't see any of the categories or the application short cuts themselves, and I also couldn't see any of the links on the left side of a folder when you open it.  *except for the basic 3 links that are always there*  When i'd go to the computer link, it wouldn't show the hard drives and would just be blank and appeared to be continuously loading.

    My desktop icon's weren't affected, and nothing was unchecked.

    The solution:  I killed the process "dllhost.exe" *which restarted the process* and everything worked again.  I suppose that process was frozen, or something which caused things to hang.  The other people in this thread with the same problem as me, also possibly have a frozen process.  What causes the problem likely varies, since I don't have "infrarecorder" and/or don't use it.

     

    Since a few people in this thread also have the same exact problem, I decided to add this post to the thread.

    • Edited by Mark8723 Friday, April 16, 2010 4:41 AM typo
    Friday, April 16, 2010 4:40 AM
  • TO ALL !

    If you have vanishing desktop icons (specially when they are renamed) do the following :

    1. open Control panel

    2. open Troubleshooting

    3. choose change settings

    4. choose  "off" ; uncheck ; uncheck  ; OK

    Now they will not disappear anymore !

     

     

     

     

    • Proposed as answer by edgurr Wednesday, June 30, 2010 6:35 PM
    Friday, April 23, 2010 8:25 PM
  • This worked for me. Thanks a lot !
    Sunday, June 20, 2010 1:22 PM
  • That did not work. Create a new shortcut to desktop. That one can be renamed without losing it.

    More ____ from Microsoft

    • Proposed as answer by Toadstool 42 Tuesday, July 06, 2010 6:51 PM
    Wednesday, June 30, 2010 6:48 PM
    • Proposed as answer by Toadstool 42 Tuesday, July 06, 2010 6:53 PM
    Tuesday, July 06, 2010 6:52 PM
  • Thanks, toadstool 42. That explained it for me, and validated dissappear's suggestion of April 23.
    Tuesday, July 13, 2010 1:13 PM
  • you really think this is bad....

     

    PROBLEMS GET WORSE EACH WEEK...

     

    recently upgraded a pc to 2 gig ram and from vista to windows 7, after upgrade the icons on the desk top disappear every few days...

     

    these can be found in recycle bin....  from last week now folders in MyDocs and My Pictures are disappearing... would be funny if I had deleted it by myself by mistake, but when you switch the pc on you dont expect full prog's to disappear over night.

     

    Not to mention pictures taken for sentimental reasons with in folders are missing... appears to be no hot fix and even after a recovery the problems persists.

    You dont expect this to happen when you pay good money for a product, not forgetting that my mother is in her 60's how is she expected to alter registery settings and update bat files.....

    seems to be auto deleting or archiving files not used on a daily basis, or even hibernation mode resets it self some days...

    after deactivating hibernation mode some times after reboot i notice that hibernation is back on, then you get pc trying to hibernate and when it does it turns the power off to the screen but you can still see a part desk top below...

     

    this is mad.... thought it was a inverter issue with pc, but after checking with a software and pc engineer it appears inverter is all ok....

    software relased with ot thorough testing is a complete hash brownie.... :(

    microsoft get a grip on things.... or next time I upgrade it will be to a Imac.........

     

    regrds.......

    • Proposed as answer by Helen Marie Monday, August 09, 2010 7:04 AM
    Thursday, July 15, 2010 4:01 PM
  • Thanks man... I just had the same problem, and this fixed it.

     

    Why the heck would this option disable itself?

    Friday, July 16, 2010 11:32 AM
  • I have been pulling my hair out ever since I loaded Win7 on my computer - due to disappearing icons & task bar!!!

    However - today I believe I have fixed it. Haven't had a problem all day, yet before, I couldn't use my computer for most of the day!

    As soon as I got the icons to work this morning, I deleted all of them. Then I went into power settings & turned the sleep mode & all other modes to "NEVER". I then reloaded the icons I want.

    Computer has been perfect all day! I think the problem is 2 fold. One...that the icons that carry over from the previous versions of windows are not compatible with 7 & the sleep\hibernate modes create havoc & wipe out the icons.

    When I leave the computer, I now just turn the monitor off & leave the computer running. At night I will turn the computer off so hopefully, tomorrow morning everything will work perfectly again. Will let you know if it doesn't!

    Hope this helps someone else!

    FOOTNOTE:   HMMM! Computer worked fine all day until I turned it back on next day!

    Got it working fine now tho!

    What I did next day was to go into desktop & download new wallpapers such as "space" & with the download I believe came the drivers it needed to make the new wallpapers work & in doing so, fixed the disappearing icon problem.

    Therefore, I believe the prob exists in the "transparent" thing! Without the right driver, I don't think it's transparent & it's actually sitting on top of the icons so you can't see them!

    Strangely enough, my problems all started after putting win7 on & it all worked fine until I changed the desktop from the win logo, to a lovely scene - which lead me to believe it had something to do with the wallpapers in the end!

    It's all fixed so hope it helps you!

     

     

    Monday, August 09, 2010 7:19 AM
  • Welldone Nogeffdam, I would never have suspected Infarecorder.. it was so for me too. Nice one
    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 10:40 AM
  • another problem can be resolved by here, and I quote. This is for shortcuts that delete when directed to a network address

     

    "irazor wrote on March 1, 2010, 2:44pm

    The removal of shortcuts is caused by a cleanup task in Windows 7 that is planned to run on sunday at 1 o'clock AM. This cleanup task scans the shortcuts on the desktop and removes any shortcuts for which it cannot find the destination file (or when it doesn't have the appropriate permissions).

    This task is called "Diagnosis". To disable it:

    Open the Start Menu.
    Go to Control Panel , System and Security , Administrative Tools (near the bottom) , Task Scheduler , Task Scheduler (Local) (near the upper left) , Task Scheduler Library , Microsoft , Windows , Diagnosis. In the right pane , Right click on Scheduled , choose 'Disabled'.

    btw ... This task can be started manuelly here:
    Control Panel > Troubleshooting > System & Security > Run Maintenance Tasks."

     

     

    Monday, October 18, 2010 2:08 PM
  • Tell me about this. Even more annoying is getting calls for help from some my relatives almost daily about this problem (since I'm labeled the "computer guy"). I've learned my lesson and try not to suggest new software/features because it always comes back to bite me.

    you really think this is bad....

     

    PROBLEMS GET WORSE EACH WEEK...

     

    recently upgraded a pc to 2 gig ram and from vista to windows 7, after upgrade the icons on the desk top disappear every few days...

     

    these can be found in recycle bin....  from last week now folders in MyDocs and My Pictures are disappearing... would be funny if I had deleted it by myself by mistake, but when you switch the pc on you dont expect full prog's to disappear over night.

     

    Not to mention pictures taken for sentimental reasons with in folders are missing... appears to be no hot fix and even after a photo recovery the problems persists.

    You dont expect this to happen when you pay good money for a product, not forgetting that my mother is in her 60's how is she expected to alter registery settings and update bat files.....

    seems to be auto deleting or archiving files not used on a daily basis, or even hibernation mode resets it self some days...

    after deactivating hibernation mode some times after error reboot i notice that hibernation is back on, then you get pc trying to hibernate and when it does it turns the power off to the screen but you can still see a part desk top below...

     

    this is mad.... thought it was a inverter issue with pc, but after checking with a software and pc engineer it appears inverter is all ok....

    software relased with ot thorough testing is a complete hash brownie.... :(

    microsoft get a grip on things.... or next time I upgrade it will be to a Imac.........

     

    regrds.......


    • Proposed as answer by Timothy Cox Friday, October 22, 2010 2:18 PM
    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 3:45 PM
  • This guy came up with a .vbs script that does the fix & backs up the old version

    http://www.ghacks.net/2010/03/30/fix-windows-7-desktop-shortcuts-disappearing/

    "Icon Maintenance" Dumbest MS feature EVER, I mean I have laptops who go off-net for a few days and lose network shortcuts, STUPID EPIC FAIL MS.

    I enjoy Win7 for lots of reasons, why is it we have to find these dumbass problems and fix them ourselves? I'm still not going back to XP over this, but what will we find next? A clean-up utility that deletes your profile if it gets over 2GB?


    I hate computers, That's why I'm in I.T.
    • Proposed as answer by Timothy Cox Friday, October 22, 2010 2:19 PM
    Friday, October 22, 2010 2:18 PM
  • Hi,

     

    First, I would like to confirm when the issue began to occur. Have any new programs or hardware installed on the computer?

     

    Let's refer to the following steps to troubleshoot the issue.

     

    1. Restart the computer in Safe Mode and check whether the problematic icon can display normally. Please tell me the result.

     

    2. If the icon can display fine, you can perform a Clean Boot to avoid incompatible third party programs.

     

    3. Reset Desktop icon cache

    ===================

    a. Click Start, and open Computer.

    b. On the Tool bar, click Organize and choose Folder and Search Options.

    c. Click the View tab, and check to select the Show hidden files and folders option, and click OK.

    d. Then, enter the following directory:

     

    C:\Users\(User Name)\AppData\Local

     

    e. Find the IconCache.db file, and rename it as IconCache.db.old.

    f. Close the window, and restart the computer.

     

    What's the result?

     

    Thanks,

    Novak


    I was having this problem and several other very odd things going on in Windows Explorer.  This fixed it all.  Thanks!

     

    Friday, October 29, 2010 3:57 PM
  • for me, i ran the bat file, then navigated to the location of IconCache.db, deleted it, then ran the bat file again, and it worked! thank-you so much!
    Sunday, April 03, 2011 1:51 AM
  • This made it worse - I was only missing the Outlook icon and now all the Office icons are missing.
    Friday, April 08, 2011 4:03 AM
  • What made what worse?

    Your post doesn't detail what you actually did.

    See my post above for a solution that does work for me.

    Friday, April 08, 2011 4:09 AM
  • Thanks Luiz creating the refreshicons.bat shortcut worked perfect for me thanks alot
    Monday, May 30, 2011 1:40 PM
  • You are a genius!!  Totally worked.

    I need to keep you on speed dial.

    -aric

    Monday, August 15, 2011 1:39 PM
  • When I tried to update the icon by right clicking on the generic icon and hitting properties/change icon, I would get a message that %system folder%\installer blah blah blah was not found. 

    I made the Installer folder visible as it is a hidden folder (windows explorer/organize/folder and search options/view) uncheck Hide protected operating system files.

    Go to the now unhidden Windows/installer folder, right click and select restore previous version.  Find a date that you last remember you computer working and restore just that folder.    Now the subfolders are there to get your icons back from.  Yay!

    • Proposed as answer by Elly Klamo Wednesday, September 28, 2011 10:45 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by Elly Klamo Wednesday, September 28, 2011 10:45 AM
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 11:19 PM
  • OMGGGGG I think i have figured it out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I had this problem a while ago and I found 1 post only that fixed it!!!

    It happened to me again this week and i remembered it was REALLY REALLY SIMPLE! But I forgot how...

    I spent ages trawling through hundreds of posts, all saying crap like reinstall windows, run a virus scan, blah blah blah. None of which worked. But i think i have got it!

    Go to :

    control panel > system and security > Power options >

    In select a power plan : Is the setting Power 4 Gear Quiet Office (or equivalent) checked ?

    If so: change it to Power 4 gear entertainment (or equivalent)

    and VOILA!!! ICONS ARE BACK! Restart computer. The icons are still there!!!

    Its fixed!

    Let me know if this was the same problem you had, and if it worked 4 u?!!!

    Yay - spread the word

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 10:46 AM
  • I was having the same problem. I am running 7 home premium, 64 bit on a Gateway laptop, if that matters.  I tried your suggestion and it worked.

    Thanks.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 2:41 AM
  • Can you tell me where exactly are those settings?  (power 4 grear XXXXXX) 

    Thanks.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 8:10 PM
  • Bee1,

    I have had sim. problems with new p/c running Winows7. Have tried all fixs that i could poss. come up with.Am no amature when it comes to computer repair or building. I found a fix that has worked for me & its been several wks now & all is fine. This might not be called a fix but rather a get around,why it works i dont know,but it has. I found this by accident really,i found if i am hooed up to the internet either by ethernet cable or my wireless connection on my laptop & i shut down myp/c on boot the next day ALL MY ICONS & TASK BAR IS GONE,but if i unplug my ethernet cable or shut off my wireless connection on my laptop ,then shut down ,all will be fine when i boot up again,after system is started & fully booted i hook up my ethernet cable on turn on my wirerless connection ALL IS  OK,

                                     NOTE: but remember to disconnect internet again before you shut down or same thig will happen,why tis works for me I HAVE NOT DISCOVERED YET,I think has somethig to do with exploer???? PS let me know how you make out.

                                          lobojo22  (josephlobozzo@msn.com)

    • Proposed as answer by lobojo22 Friday, February 10, 2012 7:16 PM
    Friday, February 10, 2012 7:14 PM
  • I have had the same problem with 2 Icons only disappearing. I tried everything on this forum and nothing worked for me. I mentioned this to a friend who said he had had the same problem and fixed it - dead simple!

    I replaced the missing icons and then right clicked on the desktop and then clicked refresh. I have not lost any icons since!

    I hope it works for you :)

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012 10:52 PM
  • I found a fix for me:

    - Restore some trash in c:\windows\installer !

    I remembered that the day before icons disappeared I cleaned 10GB of trash from C:\MSOCache and C:\Windows\Installer. Not just deleted but backed it up just in case. Clever me ;] I noticed that folders like {0CB3B7EE-52C7-4136-AF40-605567D90318} inside C:\Windows\Installer contained some icons and doesn't take too much space. So I restored them. Log off, log back on and VOILA - desktop, taksbar and file icons are back!

    hiding/showing desktop icons and recreating IconCache.db didn't work for me as well as stupid Microsoft Fix it troubleshooter.

    Good Luck!

    /Artem

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 7:32 AM
  • I solved the issue by disabling the Windows Maintenance service. Not a pretty sexy solution but it worked.

    Cheers.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 1:14 PM
  • i tried your advice but there is no changes..i still lost the notification of battery,network,volume.what must i do
    Saturday, April 21, 2012 2:11 PM
  • Hi,

          I am unable to get IconCache.db, what i can do?

    Thursday, April 26, 2012 8:22 AM
  • Hello All,

    This is the cause most likely for the missing icons:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978980

    Windows performs Desktop Cleanup and if shortcuts point to a location not visiable at the time the cleanup task is ran and the number of these types of shortcuts are greater than 4 then the shortcuts will be deleted by the Desktop Cleanup.

    "broken" shortcuts are ones pointing to a network folder or USB device and when not connected to the network nor the USB is connected then the Desktop Cleanup thinks it is "broken".

    Here is a workaround by changing the Task scheduler for a time you know for certain that you will be in the network or the user will have the USB device connected:

    To find Task Scheduler:

    Open Control Panel.

    Admin Tools.

    Double-click Task Scheduler.

        On the left pane

            Expand Task Scheduler Library

            Expand Microsoft

            Expand Windows

            Select Diagnosis

        On the right pane -- double-click Scheduled.

            one can change the schedule to fit the users' time if the GPO will not override it.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 12:10 PM
  • My o/h was having this problem but found a solution. In her tray, she has something called "Instant Desktop - Presentation". She right clicked on this and there was a "Hide Desktop Icons" option which she unchecked and now her icons have stopped going missing. I'm guessing this is a laptop thing as I have a desktop with the same o/s but without the Instant Desktop icon. Hope this helps someone.
    Thursday, July 19, 2012 7:30 PM
  • it is easy, just right click on the Desktop, click Personalize, at the top left corner, click Change desktop icons

    in the first part of the dialog box, put a tick next to the icons you want back, click Apply and OK

     Voila! you are done!

    cheers all

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012 12:20 AM
  • Appdata can befound when you unhide this folder.

    To do this:

    Either click "Alt" key and you will see the classic menu's. Or go to Organize>Folder and search options.

               Under this new window(folder options) click on the "view" tab.

               and hit the option to unhide hidden icons.

    after this setting is set you will be able to see the appdata.

    on another note I've tried this and yet to see the out come to be corrected.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012 12:04 AM
  • This did the trick.  My disappearing items were "broken links." Which, in my case were network drive shortcuts that were not available when the troubleshooter ran, so they got cleaned out. Thanks.
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:12 PM