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Windows 7 Shortcuts Changing to Default Icon or Disappearing All Together

    Question

  • I can't believe it. Many of my Shortcut Icons were changing to the Windows 7 Default Icon. I submitted a question to the Windows7Forums: http://windows7forums.com/windows-7-support/33076-many-installed-program-icons-changing-win7-default-icon.html#post124074

    The answer that I received from this question is that I should format and reinstall. I personally feel that this is not fixing the problem but circumventing it.

    I originally followed the suggested path of upgrading from Windows Vista Ult 64Bit to Windows 7 Ult 64Bit rather than doing a clean install. If this is the suggested path then, I believe, that Microsoft should offer a fix for my issue.

    Now I am finding that shortcuts are disappearing completely. The programs are still installed, because I can find them when I use Windows Explorer, but when I click on the Globe and then scroll to ie: MS Office it says that it is empty. I also had the (not very important) Snood Deluxe game installed and the same thing happened to it.  I haven't looked into every installed programs folder from the Startbar but I have no doubt that there are other Shortcuts missing.

    I have scanned my machine with both McAfee AV and SUPERAntiSpyware Professional and neither of these programs have found a Virus or Trojan of any kind. So, I do not believe that the machine has succumbed to Malware. I have not ran any Registry Repair applications (maybe I should).
    JPMTJR
    Friday, January 01, 2010 8:30 PM

All replies

  • Please let us know what you have done recently, since we can't open the link you posted, it's incorrect. It's better make a summary for your issue and troubleshooting process.

    In addition, please let us know when the issue began to happen, and where is the location of those shortcuts, on the Desktop, or Start menu.  

    Your issue may occur if your user profile is corrutped. You can try another account as a test.

    Good luck!
    John
    Monday, January 04, 2010 9:16 AM
  • As I stated earlier, in late October I upgraded from Windows Vista Ult 64 Bit to Windows 7 Ult 64 Bit. In early December I noticied that many Shortcut Icons were changing to the Windows 7 Default Icon. I then submitted a fix question to the Windows7Forum and the answer that I received was that I should Backup and then Format and Reinstall.

    I originally followed the Microsoft suggest path for upgrading. I feel that there should be a fix offered (maybe through Windows Updates or possibly a Hotfix) from Microsoft.

    I keep my machines completely up to date and I run SUPERAntiSpyware, SpywareBlaster, and McAfee AV. I have run scans with both my AV and with SAS and have not found any issues there.

    Last week I found that the Shortcut Icons (that were previously Default Icons) for MS Office 2007 and Diskeeper 2010 were completely gone from the Start Menu. I religiously backup, once per week, using Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery Desktop to an External USB hard drive. I was able to restore these Shortcuts back to the Start Menu. The Shortcuts did remain as Default Icons.

    I logged off and then logged on with the Administrator ID and these same icons are Default Icons there as well. The Default Icons are located on the Start menu, in Folders on the Desktop and on the new Windows 7 Task Bar.

    I am able to see that the programs are still installed by going to their installed locations via Windows Explorer.    

    I was able to Pin Outlook 2007 to the Task Bar from its installed location (C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12) and it is not the Default Icon.
    JPMTJR
    Monday, January 04, 2010 11:52 PM
  • Hi Jpmtjr,

    As the shotrcuts in the Start menu, if they disappeared, you can check the following folder first, 

    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

    As the shortcuts pinned in the Taskbar, you can check this folder:

    C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

    If your shortcuts disappeared in the two folders, you can try restore the Previous version to fix your issue.

    1. right-click the folder, and click Properties. The Properties dialog box will appear.
    2. On the Previous Versions tab, click the version of the file that you want to restore and click Restore. A warning message about restoring a previous version will appear. Click Yes to complete the procedure.

    You can refer to this link:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Previous-versions-of-files-frequently-asked-questions

    I hope this can help you.

     


    John
    • Edited by John Cena Thursday, January 07, 2010 2:01 AM
    Wednesday, January 06, 2010 1:59 AM
  • John,

    This did help in Restoring the icons but it did not help with returning them to their original program icons. The image that they are in is the Windows Default icon
    JPMTJR
    Wednesday, January 06, 2010 6:08 AM
  • Try booting up in safe mode, then rebooting in normal. This worked for me.
    Wednesday, January 06, 2010 5:46 PM
  • Can you collect a screenshot for your Default icons for your programs? After that, please upload them to your public folder in your SKydrive.

    At the same time, you can copy your programs' shortcut to the two folder directly. Then you would get the original program icons.

    In addition, you can create a new account, then you can pin your applications to the start menu or taskbar. Then you can copy the following two new folders to replace the old two folders.


    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    C:\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

    I hope this can help you.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    John

    Thursday, January 07, 2010 2:08 AM
  • OK John,

    I went into each Folder and captured a screen shot of any folder that had Default Icons instead of the Program's Icon.

    Here is the path to my Public Folder on the SkyDrive: http://cid-86c0808a032de455.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Public?uc=16&isFromRichUpload=1
    JPMTJR
    Thursday, January 07, 2010 7:39 PM
  • Do these shortcurs work right now? 

    As the icons show as System default icons, please right click C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs folder, and choose properties, change to the Previous Versions tab, now you can double click the previous versions to check in which version the shortcuts are fine. Then you can choose the version, you can click Restore button to restore. 

    If there is not a previous version is good, since you have many shortcuts, it would take long time to change the icon associations to the correct one. You can create a new account, then check if the shortcuts in the new account works fine, then you can copy the C:\Users\new account name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs to replace the C:\Users\old account\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs folder in your older user.

    After that, if you want to customize the shortcuts, it's better to copy and paste the shortcuts to the folder which you want. 

    I hope this can help you.








     


    John
    • Marked as answer by Vivian Xing Monday, January 11, 2010 9:54 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by JPMTJR Wednesday, July 28, 2010 4:56 AM
    Friday, January 08, 2010 2:30 AM
  • Hi John, thanks for helping us with this problem.

    I also happen to have the same problem. I tried both your solutions, In both cases, the icons aren't displaying correctly. I tried loading a previous version of the start menu that is a week old and I did not have this problem a week ago, yet it still doesn't display the icons... The shortcuts are there but the custom icons aren't displayed.

    I tried making a new account but it does have the same problem. It's weird how it only affects about half of the icons... I tried remaking these shortcuts, it doesn't work, when I make them they lose their icons.

    What else can I try?
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 6:47 AM
  • Bump!

    Can I get some support please?
    Friday, February 26, 2010 6:44 PM
  • Hello, I am just adding another voice asking for Microsoft to come up with a fix. I have users at my workplace getting very frustrated with this.

    Thank you,

    Monday, March 22, 2010 1:13 PM
  • Yet another voice to this frustrating problem. I also have users complaining about random desktop shortcuts to URLs suddenly changing. And severkal of the new icons aren't standard windows icons but rather different URL icons. Cannot restore to previous versions and deleting iconcache doesn't work either.
    Saturday, March 27, 2010 1:54 AM
  • Here is another voice of frustration...

    This does seem to be an endemic problem. I have seen it on a number of Windows 7 instances.

    Most reciently I was re-building a PC (Complete new Win 7 install) and when i copied the desktop URL shortcuts backed up from the previous XP Instance all looked good with the shortcuts showing the icons of the relevant web sites. about an hour later, they all reverted automatically to the default IE icon.

    I have seen some posts suggesting that it may due to the screeen DPI default differences (96 vs 120).

    Sunday, April 25, 2010 12:00 AM
  • I consistently run into this problem. I can never get the original program icons to come back it always stays as the Windows Default Icon and then after a while (two months maybe) the icons disappear completely from the Start Menu. MSO 2007 Enterprise has been my main problem but also smaller applications such as SnagIt. I had to reinstall SnagIt because I hadn't noticed or looked for the missing icons and my newer backup had written over the backup that contained the Shortcuts...Ugh!!
    JPMTJR
    Sunday, April 25, 2010 12:27 AM
  • Another voice.  It's a clean install from the factory on a new laptop.  When I tried restore previous version as suggested above there is no previous version to restore.  The icons were fine when the programs were installed, but turned into the defalut icons about a day or two later.  I hope they don't disappear altogether as seems to be the case for other users. Microsoft please fix this annoying issue, obviously, this is a fairly wide spread issue.
    Saturday, May 22, 2010 8:17 PM
  • This (rebooting in safe mode and then back to normal) worked for me. Thanks De. Pity the company can address this issue - especially given the number of incidences. sheesh. 
    Saturday, May 29, 2010 12:07 PM
  • This problem has been bugging the ____ out of me too.  Looking around the Microsoft forums, it seems as though there are many people who are having the exact same issue pop up.

    Someone really should address this, as it's frustrating to try and figure out exactly what is happening.  One of my guesses is that it's not 100% a Microsoft problem.  There is probably a program that we are installing that is corrupting part of the registry that relates to file types.

    This is a work computer, so I install proprietary software from vendors along with other programs.  But it seems like there are only a few programs that I have installed that hardly anyone else in the shop has installed, and since I am the only one at the moment with this problem, I'm thinking that one of these programs could be the culprit.

    Does anyone else here use these programs, or have you installed them immediately prior to having problems? : Winamp 5.572, SereneScreen Dream Aquarium 3, Google Gmail Notifier 1.0.25.0, Display Fusion 3.1.8

    Also, I am using a few gadgets in the Windows Toolbar: All CPU Meter 2.4, Black and Dark Notes 1.0, Google Search Bar 3.0, Winamp Control 1.0.0.0

    Tuesday, June 01, 2010 4:35 PM
  • I do not have any of those programs or gadgets installed. I have since upgrade my MS Office 2007 to MS Office 2010. I also upgraded Diskeeper to the 2010 version. Both of those seem to be holding onto their icons (for how long I do not know.

    I do still have the issue with many (not all) of the icons in the application folder of Roxio 2010 and also in Windows Live.

     


    JPMTJR
    Wednesday, June 02, 2010 6:39 AM
  • Seems that another user at my work lost his icons as well, so that definitely rules out the software I listed anyway.

     

    I'm thinking now that it's an issue with Windows, in which case the ball would be back in Microsoft's court.    :'(

    Tuesday, June 08, 2010 7:38 PM
  • I had the same problem this helped me:

    Download and install Winbubbles and in the icons tab click the bottom button, Restor All To Default, then reboot.

    Saturday, June 19, 2010 6:51 PM
  • I have also had the same problem, started with Beta and now with Final release. Looks like Microsoft, is not going to fix the problem or feels that it is low importance. They must know, very sad.

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010 4:59 PM
  • Hopping aboard the "I'm affected" train as well!  Seems to occur after an update (or 2 or 3 or...), but that's just my opinion!  Here's my last run of updates (after which this occurred again):

    Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB980846)

    Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile for Windows 7 x64-based Systems (KB982670)

    Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB982519)

    Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems (KB982526)

    Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows 7 x64-based Systems (KB981078)

    And some SE definition updates, but surely those wouldn't cause it!

    ~Tina

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 2:18 PM
  • I downloaded the same "upgrades" last week and lost MS Outlook, Excel, Word AND Quicken icons; they reverted to generic which all look the same.  I tried rolling back to previous, that didn't help and I tried reloading "upgrades" again (fingers crossed) and still only the generic icons. It is very frustrating. 
    Wednesday, July 07, 2010 5:59 PM
  • I run a small computer practice. I first saw this bug on Vista systems. I now see it on Windows 7 systems.

    Microsoft needs to escalate the bug and find a solution. I see it on approx. half of the Vista and Win7 systems I service.

    Not fatal, but it makes normal people nervous.

    Monday, July 19, 2010 5:03 AM
  • In my case, running Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit, KB9979441 changed the InfoPath 2007 icon to the default white version and KB979440 changed the Access 2007 icon.  Uninstalling both patches reverted the icons back to their original, and correct, versions.  What is interesting about these two updates is that they both show up in Add or Remove Programs TWICE.  Uninstalling one or both of the entries for each patch fixed the related icon issue.  However, if I left only one of each entry in Add or Remove Programs, Windows Update would then want to install the patches again.  They're definitely is something odd about them.

    Russell

    • Proposed as answer by G0.K1W1 Sunday, July 25, 2010 9:33 AM
    Friday, July 23, 2010 3:54 PM
  • The - Boot in safe mode - Boot in normal mode - worked a treat with me ... this 'feature' has been bugging me for a while ... appears to come and go at random ... or maybe I just upgrade my software and the 'bug' disappears with the newer version of the software.

     

    I can't believe Microsoft has not produced a fix for this bug yet ... it is such an obvious bug - really 'in your face' - there must be a lot of PC vendors really pissed off with Microsoft when this 'bug' shows up on their PC's ... especially the ones on display ... what do you say to your customers ... "oh, that's a bug in Windows 7 that Microsoft have not bothered to fix yet !!!"

     

    Wake up Microsoft and fix this ... and all the other 'little' bugs out there ... oh ... and give me back the old XP scan software that you have mangled with Windows 7. 

     

    Sunday, July 25, 2010 9:35 AM
  • So have you found an answer?

    I just noticed it after installing my old HP 2510 - but using the "update search for drivers on line" option. It found the HP driver for Win7 64, ok. But this problem came to my notice as I wanted to test the printer from Word 2010.

    It makes Win7+ Office 2010 look ugly. Can MS please make look better!!!! PlZ

    Sunday, July 25, 2010 6:23 PM
  • Add another person to this list.  EXTREMELY ANNOYING, FIX THE BUG!!!
    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 8:07 PM
  • Me too, started to happen just minutes ago. Right after installation foxit pdf creator. all Explorer icon refresh automatically (usually happen after any installation). Then 4 icons is missing in the taskbar.They turn to default icon. The icons are Office 2010, autoCAD, Snagit editor, etc.
    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 7:49 AM
  • The FIXIT update did cause this on my machine.  Went back to the download site and saw that it stated that it would happen.  Restored back to that point and everything is the same as it was prior to the update.  The icon change did not occur until the computer was restarted.  So if you have done the security update FIXIT this will be the result, and it is suppose to happen.

    JB

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 8:44 AM
  • The FIXIT update did cause this on my machine.  Went back to the download site and saw that it stated that it would happen.  Restored back to that point and everything is the same as it was prior to the update.  The icon change did not occur until the computer was restarted.  So if you have done the security update FIXIT this will be the result, and it is suppose to happen.

    JB


    Thanks for the info JB.  That sounds like a typical M$ "fix".  I, too, am affected by this problem and would like it corrected.  I don't know about everyone else, but the biggest problem I have w/ it is in the taskbar.  I can't just jump from program to program because they all look the same down there.

    It's a shame that an otherwise nice OS has such an annoying flaw.

    John

    Friday, July 30, 2010 2:05 PM
  • I have the same problem, and I have clients complaining that the custom icons for my software are reverting to default.

    Has anyone from Microsoft read this thread? I don't see any interest in fixing this REAL problem from the supergiant software company. Come on Microsoft, get your act together. Tired of expensive operating systems shipping with obvious bugs.

    Thursday, August 19, 2010 7:25 AM
  • Did you use the Office Customization Tool?  I have a ticket open with Microsoft on this, to create a hotfix, as it happens that we had created the Office desktop icons using the Office Customization Tool and those icons are the ones that are getting messed up by patches.  If we create shortcuts directly from the exe's, those are not affected.  So now we don't use the OCT to create desktop icons, but copy the saved shortcuts from the network with another script as part of our push distributions.

    Russell

    Thursday, August 19, 2010 4:20 PM
  • Running Windows 7 Enterprise. I've had missing icons in my MS Office 2007 programs as well as iTunes and Windows Live Mail for many months now. Today I did the following and got my icons back:

    1. Did the restart to Safe Mode and then restarted normally. Icons 'changed' to a different system style but still not program specific.

    2. Unpinned all broken icon programs from Start Menu and Taskbar.

    3. Dug through Program Files folders and made desktop shortcuts (used Send To->Desktop (create shortcut)) for each program with default icons (normal icons were showing in Program File folders). Desktop shortcut icons showed up correctly.

    4. From the main program app file I re-pinned the apps to Start Menu and Taskbar. Icons now showing up correctly.

    5. Deleted all of the unneeded desktop shortcuts I had just made.

    Note: If I tried to pin programs to Start Menu/Taskbar without first creating a desktop shortcut they still showed up as default icons. I can't explain how or why this worked, but it did for me. Hopefully it will stick, only time will tell.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 6:26 PM
  • I have the same problem and it is really a pain in the ... I am trying to figure out what is wiping out the installer directory at this time.
    Monday, September 20, 2010 8:54 PM
  • I wonder if the Windows 7 update somehow resets "folder properties", though I can't remember how to change it back. I do remember having to look through the registry and change something.

    I have customized icons for folders i have on my desktop and even though in properties, it shows my custom icon, on my desktop its just the usual folder icon.

     

    thats my 2 cents

    Friday, October 15, 2010 6:32 PM
  • Hi JPMTJR!I'm handling the same issue and can't seem to find solution for it yet. Were you able to solve yours? Would you mind telling me what solved yours?

    http://www.cesabarre.com/
    Sunday, October 24, 2010 11:15 PM
  • Hi folks.

    I had the same problem only with my case it happened after I updated my Iobit programs. I tried making new shortcuts to the program on my desktop but that didn't fix the problem. In any case, I took a closer look at the shortcuts and found that the icons for the Start Menu shortcuts for these programs referred to the corresponding .exe files in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Iobit\XX folders. By chance I looked in the Program Data folder and saw that there was an Iobit folder in that directory and on further inspection that it contained an empty folder named for one of the programs. Putting two and two together, I copied the corresponding .exe file (which had the desired icon) into that second Iobit folder. I then went to the offending shortcut and under properties - change icon, changed the reference to the new .exe file in the ProgramData folder rather than the one in the Program File (x86) folder and voila! the icon was restored!

    So, to recap: using Security360 as an example:

    Create a new folder for the program e.g. C:\ProgramData\Iobit\Security360 (Note, ProgramData is a hidden folder so you will need to unhide it).

    Copy the Security360.exe file that has your desired icon from the C:\Program Files (x86)\Iobit\Security360 folder to this new folder.

    Go to the Start Menu shortcut, right click and go to properties. Click "change icon" and change the icon reference path from C:\Program Files (x86) \Iobit\Security360\Security360.exe to C:\ProgramData \Iobit\Security360\Security360.exe and the icons should be fixed. It worked for me ;)

    Note, I did NOT change the target address, only the path used for the icon.

    Hope this helps!

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 9:21 AM
  • had same problem, upgraded from home to ultimate after two days everything went mad, then icons went to basic and could not find network &  troubleshoot was not working.. i really tought i was going to have to get everything wiped off and start again :(

     

    had a good read of all this and tried safe mode, and it worked :) . put my computer into safe mode waited 10 mins ( cause i didn't know how to get back ) went to msconfig and unclicked safe mode , went to boot and advance and max memory and 2 processor apply and restart ( finger crossed ) and it worked .... hope this helps someone that has the same problem i had.... 

    thanks everybody

    gmanireland

    http://www.facebook.com/gearoidmaguire

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010 11:36 PM
  • Thanks DeOnline - logging off to Safe Mode and back on in Normal Mode worked great for me. All my missing program icons which all had the Windows default icon showing actually first re-appeared when I was in Safe Mode.

    Whatever happened to the old Windows XP right clicking on the icon, selecting properties, clicking change icon and selecting the folder where the icon was stored or even selecting some other icon you preferred? Too easy I suppose!

    Saturday, October 30, 2010 12:54 AM
  • Booting into Safe Mode and then restarting normally was the only method which was successful for me as well. My particular problem was initiated by me manually creating a new desktop folder to act as a repository for a number of desktop shortcuts/icons which were cluttering it. Rather than deleting them (which I wasn't interested in due to their usefulness) I decided to simply transfer them over to this new unified destination, a technique which I've used without issues for years on XP. Windows 7, however, seems to have some pretty significant issues with moving shortcuts or creating unique icons for folders, etc. After transferring these shortcuts to this new folder, everything seemed fine until I returned a little later and noticed that 10 of the 14 icons had disappeared, replaced by default ones. Anyhow, long story short... Tried basically everything mentioned here and the only solution was simply booting into safe mode, and then restarting Windows normally. Presto! Icons back.
    Thursday, November 04, 2010 8:33 AM
  • Hi JPMTJR,

    I have the same problem as you and after searching for a day for a definitive solution, i have found this one that works on another forum located here: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/49819-icon-cache-rebuild.html

    The reason seems to be that icons stored have for some reason disappeared (inexplicably?). The solution is also stupidly simple after i've tried every suggestion in this thread.

    1) go to start menu and search for: cmd

    2) right click on cmd and choose "run as administrator" (--> this causes command line to change from C:\users\<account name> to change to: C:\windows\system32).

    3) turn off everything you are doing after saving your work because now you will be closing explorer.exe

    4) in the command line enter each command separately and with enter following each line

     

    • taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F
    • CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
    • DEL IconCache.db /a
    • shutdown /r

     

    5) after the restart, everything should be back to normal.

     

    This is a complete fix for the problem and not a work around and I can verify that it worked for me. Good luck all.

    also this is a copy and paste from my original post but i think we also have the same problem

    • Proposed as answer by dvdbaan Tuesday, December 14, 2010 7:07 PM
    Sunday, November 28, 2010 2:07 AM
  • hey hows it going. i just upgraded to windows 7 ultimate,  same  ____ all my short cut keys dont work.i keep getting a command error,flash 10 stopped working,errors comming up on web pages. im sorry i even upgraded.

    Saturday, December 11, 2010 3:32 AM
  • I think I have another option to fix the sudden 'default' look of some shortcut icons. 

    Right-click on the shortcut in question and select properties.

    Under the 'Shortcut' Tab click on 'Advanced'.

    Check the box that says 'Run as Administrator' and click OK and click 'Apply'.

    Now click on 'Change Icon'.

    The appropriate icon is probably already selected and not doing its job, at this point you should re-select it (just click on it again).

    Click Ok, click 'Apply' and when prompted for confirmation as administrator click 'Continue'.

    Your shortcut Icon should now display the correct image.

    Good luck.

     

     

     

    Sunday, January 09, 2011 2:08 PM
  • i think the best solution's in her http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/19449-default-file-type-associations-restore.html when u chose "lnk - Shortcut link (LNK) files."
    Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:08 AM
  • I had the same issue with shortcut to Apps on my mapped network drives.

    I deleted the icons /shortcuts from my desktop and from the frequently used items in the start menu.

    I then proceeded to run each of the apps from their mapped location without using a shortcut. After running each app I created a new shortcut and the icons came back.

     

    I hope this helps some of you.

    Cheers

    Tuesday, February 01, 2011 8:05 PM
  • I found a potential fix, here: http://randomslant.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/missing-microsoft-office-icons-for-windows-7-heres-a-potential-fix/

    This will, at least temporarily, fix the problem.

    Be careful messing around with the registry though...some users have noted that it might be a security feature built into Windows that has gone awry.  :)

    • Proposed as answer by OH NODE2 Friday, February 04, 2011 3:39 PM
    Friday, February 04, 2011 3:38 PM
  • My Outlook 2007 icon changed to a generic icon in Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. After searching answers and coming up short, I took one bit of information I saw make sure the path leads to the program. If you use the "send to" desktop shortcut method, it appears to lead to the desktop shortcut, even though the program opens. So I deleted that shortcut and went to windows explorer found the Outlook application and created a desktop shortcut from there and then pinned it to the taskbar. It is showing the Outlook icon now, but I did just do this so have not had time to see if Windows 7 could find a way to mess it up.
    Monday, February 21, 2011 1:02 PM
  • I got  the simplest solution of that. Just Amazing when all desktop and start menu  icons are changed with single icon. when i open windows media player by

    'open with' option and all of my desktop icons are replaced with WMP default  icon. I was decided to format and reinstall it again. But it was too boring for me. 

    finally i got an idea to crate new user account and delete previous one. which worked as best solution for me.

     

    If  someone have other solution please tell me!.................

    Saturday, February 26, 2011 5:03 PM
  • This worked for me Thanks!
    Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:27 PM

  • My Outlook 2007 icon changed to a generic icon in Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. After searching answers and coming up short, I took one bit of information I saw make sure the path leads to the program. If you use the "send to" desktop shortcut method, it appears to lead to the desktop shortcut, even though the program opens. So I deleted that shortcut and went to windows explorer found the Outlook application and created a desktop shortcut from there and then pinned it to the taskbar. It is showing the Outlook icon now, but I did just do this so have not had time to see if Windows 7 could find a way to mess it up.

    I'm going to have to join the ranks here.

    I'm having all the same symptoms, I repaired my MS Outlook suite, and now all my icons have changed to Word document icons.

    I tried the repair, only because my Word documents were all showing up as generic documents.
    I thought I had repaired everything, until I clicked on one of the shortcuts and everything turned into Word document icons.

    It seems like it might be something very simple, but I'm *pounding my head on my desk* right now trying to figure this one out.

    MS  HELP US!!!!!! 

    Thursday, April 07, 2011 2:39 AM
  • Most of the programs that this problem displays itself to were those that were installed prior to WIN7 being installed.

     

    It is usually an upgrade from Vista when this issue pops its head up.

    I have MS Office 2007 installed and this was a problem. I them upgraded to MS Office 2010 and it seems to have gone away.

    There were other applications that displayed this error but most of them have been upgraded and then the issue disappeared.

     


    JPMTJR
    Thursday, April 07, 2011 4:59 AM
  • I got the same problem here and this solution doesn't work at all. It happens on both 32bit or 64bit Windows 7 version and it's a fresh install (brand new computer). it is not only affecting All office applications but also Adobe, Skype,  MSN messenger. one thing i notice is it happens right after the system said my recycled bin is corrupted.
    Tuesday, May 24, 2011 2:26 PM
  • Denle, Did this happen after you restored some programs from another machine onto your new machine or have you installed everything fresh onto your new machine? Also, was this a factory installed Windows 7 (like HP or Dell) or did you do the install yourself?
    JPMTJR
    Friday, May 27, 2011 5:57 PM
  • Hi JPMTJR,

    I have the same problem as you and after searching for a day for a definitive solution, i have found this one that works on another forum located here: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/49819-icon-cache-rebuild.html

    The reason seems to be that icons stored have for some reason disappeared (inexplicably?). The solution is also stupidly simple after i've tried every suggestion in this thread.

    1) go to start menu and search for: cmd

    2) right click on cmd and choose "run as administrator" (--> this causes command line to change from C:\users\<account name> to change to: C:\windows\system32).

    3) turn off everything you are doing after saving your work because now you will be closing explorer.exe

    4) in the command line enter each command separately and with enter following each line

     

    • taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F
    • CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
    • DEL IconCache.db /a
    • shutdown /r

     

    5) after the restart, everything should be back to normal.

     

    This is a complete fix for the problem and not a work around and I can verify that it worked for me. Good luck all.

    also this is a copy and paste from my original post but i think we also have the same problem

    worked for me.  Had a case of a local user account and transitioned it to a Domain user account by doing some reg edits and account renaming and copying.
    Monday, August 01, 2011 1:57 PM
  • This just happened to me as well. Win 7 64. A couple of my program icons that I have copied to the taskbar changed to the default Windows icon. Even deleting and then re-adding them didn't work. My solution was suggested above, and was to find the program icon in the Start menu, right click, properties, shortcut, change icon, then re-select the icon, OK the administrator permission dialogue, and finally drag the icon back down to the taskbar. 
    • Edited by jpfitz Friday, November 18, 2011 2:39 AM
    Friday, November 18, 2011 2:38 AM
  • Also check your C:\Windows\Installer folder  as I deleted mine to make space and that messed it all up. Restored it and all was working again. Odd but some ICO files are stored there.
    • Proposed as answer by ChadChadChad Tuesday, August 28, 2012 5:55 PM
    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 5:21 PM
  • Also check your C:\Windows\Installer folder  as I deleted mine to make space and that messed it all up. Restored it and all was working again. Odd but some ICO files are stored there.
    Thanks for the in sight Dittaspank!

    solutions are not always answers

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 5:55 PM
  • do you know if anyone has resolved this somewhere??

    I had the impression that windows 7 was settling down now that it's out for a little while.....so when my laptop died a couple of weeks ago, I finally gave in and got windows 7 professional on the new thinkpad and am moving from years of decent stability on windows xp -- have had it just a couple of days and feel like it's one of the worst moves i've made..... icons keep disappearing or changing- something keeps putting 'desktop.ini' files on my desktop - lenovo points to microsoft and microsoft tells me to go to lenovo.....what a headache

    is there a fix anywhere for the icon problem? 

    Monday, October 01, 2012 2:20 AM
  • My first time on this sight.  I came to the office on Tuesday morning and my Outlook icon had changed to the default. No one else in the office was having the probelm.  I tried several of the suggestions from this forum to no avail.  I was unable to use the change icon option in properties due to a lockdown of our server rights and no on-site IT help to give me permissions.  Finally I went with the solution shown at Nanci2121 and it worked!  Of course, tomorrow is a new day.
    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 3:48 PM
  • Same problem here(two years later).  In my case, this was due to shortcuts pointing to a network resource, mapped drive, or removable drive that was not always available..  Before the shortcuts were removed completely (see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2642357), their icons were changed to the default windows icon.

    The easiest fix I found was to simply change the Windows desktop theme, and then change it back.  I've applied the fix noted in the above KB article but do not know if it will really work yet.

    Thursday, October 25, 2012 4:27 PM
  • I'm migrating to an HP Win 64 laptop.  Everything went along swimmingly till all of the sudden all the desktop and taskbar shortcut icons got changed to Windows Media Player (shortly after I used it to test the iTunes migration).  Holy moly!  Did I do something wrong?  Turns out that all the shortcuts had .lnk (i.e, link = shortcut) added to their names, and for each one the "Type of File" was now "Windows Media Player."  Every time I clicked on one of the shortcut icons, I was taken to WMP.  I could get around it by going into Win Explorer and working my way to the correct .exe file, but what a pain!  So off I went to Google and found this thread.  Clearly, this is not a new problem, but I couldn't find a Microsoft solution.  So I did some more fishing and came upon a winhelponline link.  I tried to include the link here, but Microsoft says it needs to validate my account first...but it already did!  So after you go to winhelponline, add /blog/unassociate-file-types-windows-7-vista.  Crossing my fingers, I downloaded unassoc.zip and followed the instructions from there.  Voila!  I'm whole again. I'm sorry for all of you who've struggled with this and never stumbled upon unassoc.zip -- maybe it didn't exist in 2010.  Needless to say, I'm not deleting the unassociate file pgm 'cause I might need it again.
    • Proposed as answer by waenda Monday, January 21, 2013 1:10 AM
    Sunday, November 11, 2012 12:14 AM
  • Mine did the same this is what I did

    1. Open Windows Explorer
    2. Open C:
    3. Open Program Files
    4. Open Microsoft Office
    5. Open Office 15
    6. Scrolled Down to Outlook (the icon I was missing)
    7. Right Clicked on the Outlook Icon
    8. From here you have a couple of options. I chose create shortcut, but you can also choose Pin to Start Menu etc.

    Once I did this my icon was back... Hope this helps

    • Proposed as answer by RaquelElleBell Thursday, April 04, 2013 6:59 PM
    Thursday, April 04, 2013 6:58 PM
  • Thanks Raquel!

    Finally an answer that works!


    "solutions are not the answer" - Richard M. Nixon

    Thursday, April 04, 2013 8:57 PM
  • I tried all the suggestions below.

    Finally I did a restore of my windows/installer directory rebooted and all was ok again!

    Friday, September 27, 2013 9:39 AM