How to Fix Icons in Windows 10

blank-iconIf you have recently upgraded to Windows 10, you may have found yourself in a whole new world of aggravation. In my experience, every day there is a new problem that needs fixing with the new OS. Luckily, most issues are not too difficult to fix. However, today’s issue is fixing program icons that don’t show correctly in the task bar. Basically when you load a program from a shortcut on your desktop, it shows a blank page icon in the task bar. Which can be difficult when navigating between multiple programs.

There are four possible methods to attempt to solve the issue


Method #1 – Manually Fix the Icons

You simply delete the shortcut and create a new one from the program’s .exe file or another shortcut. As simple as that! It appears the problem arises when you drag a shortcut from the apps browser and copy it to a new location, such as the desktop. What happens is that instead of the shortcut’s target being set the location of the .exe file, the target is set to the shortcut  in the app browser.

For the fix…

Right click on the shortcut that is having the issue and select “Open file location”. Then right click on the selected item that pops up in Windows Explorer, and select “Create shortcut” (Don’t copy & paste).  All you have to do next is delete the old shortcut and replace it with the new one.


Method #2 – Using SFC

The icons may not be showing correctly due to corrupted Windows files. This method checks Windows to make sure it isn’t corrupted in any way by running the System File Checker (SFC). If any bad files are found, SFC will attempt to fix them. To do this, run Command Prompt as admin, then type:

sfc /scannow


Method #3 – Using DISM

If SFC doesn’t work, you can try the Deployment Image Servicing and Management utility (DISM) to check for errors. To do this, run Command Prompt as admin, then type:

dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
//Scans your Windows image.

dism /online /cleanup-image /checkhealth
//Checks if any errors were found.

dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
//Attempts to fix the errors.


Method #4 – Rebuilding the Icon Cache

This method clears the icon cache, which causes windows to rebuild it. Run Command Prompt as admin and type the following commands:

*Be aware that this will close Windows Explorer, and can make it difficult to use your system. If you run into trouble press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and select Sign out.

taskkill /im explorer.exe /f
//Force close Windows Explorer so the icon cache can be deleted.

cd %localappdata%\microsoft\windows\explorer
//Change the directory of the icon caches.

del iconcache*
//Delete the icon caches.

cd \
//Change to the root directory.

//Re-open Windows Explorer.

After you have run the commands, restart your computer.