Rebuild Icon Cache on Windows 11 [Tested Methods 2022]

Written By FarhanMax

You run your PC, and suddenly you notice your Windows 11 PC icons seem broken, blank, corrupted, or don’t load correctly.

You try to solve the problem by restarting your computer, but it doesn’t work. Are you worried and frustrated and can’t find a way out?

If this issue is the case, there is nothing to worry about.

I have been in a similar situation as you, and I have been able to get out of this issue with proper tests and research. So, if you are looking for an ultimate solution to solve your broken or corrupted icons problem on your Windows 11 computer, you are in the right place then.

This post will show you some of the best practical and effective methods to rebuild icon cache techniques to solve your broken, blank, or corrupted icons issue on your Windows 11 computer.

Keep reading and precisely follow the instructions.

So, let’s get started to solve your broken, blank, or corrupted icons issue.rebuild-icon-cache-on-windows-11

Check our exclusive tutorial on turn on or off device Encryption on Windows 11.

Why are the Icons Broken or Corrupted on Windows 11

The icon appears damaged, empty, or corrupted because your PC icon cache database may have been corrupted. When your icon cache database may have become corrupted, it creates conflicts with the system and doesn’t load your PC icon correctly.

Scanning the files manually and loading them each time is a slower process that turns the system process slower.

For this reason, Windows saves the icons that appear for files in an icon cache to be displayed as fast as possible to speed up the process instead of scanning the files and loading them each time.

The icon cache database could become corrupted when more and more files are added. You may notice that some icons are broken when the database is corrupted.

You can also face the same issue with the file thumbnails on your Windows 11 computer. If the thumbnails seem broken or corrupted on your PC, then your thumbnail cache database has been corrupted.

In most cases, rebuilding the icon cache and thumbnail cache will solve the issue of the broken, blanked, corrupted, or doesn’t load icon or thumbnail correctly on your Windows 11 PC.

You’ve seen the possible causes of the damaged, empty, or corrupted icon problem on your Windows 11 computer so far, and in the next part, I’ll show you several tested and proven solutions to solve the problem.

So, let’s get started to know the solutions to solve the damaged, empty, or corrupted icon issue.

Here’s a complete guide on how to use Windows 11 installation assistant.

How to Rebuild Icon Cache on Windows 11

Many Windows 11 users face the damaged, empty, or corrupted icon issue when the icon cache database is corrupted.

In the previous section, you’ve seen the possible potential reason for the damaged, empty, or corrupted icon issues on your Windows 11 computer so far. This section will show you several tested and proven solutions to solve the problem.

In most cases, rebuilding the icon cache will solve the issue of the broken, blanked, corrupted, or doesn’t load icon correctly on your Windows 11 PC.

So, let’s dive right in to know the solution for the damaged, empty, or corrupted icon issue.

Also, check out our separate post on Windows 11 high disk usage.

Here are the steps to rebuild the icon cache on Windows 11:

1. Refresh Icons

The first method to fix your damaged, blank or corrupted icon appear issue on your Windows 11 computer is to refresh the icons using the Command Prompt.

Follow the steps below to refresh the icons using the Command Prompt:

  • Press the Win + S key on your keyboard to open the Windows Search panel.
  • Type cmd and click on Run as administrator to open the Command Prompt with admin privileges. cmd-run-as-administration
  • Type the exe -show command and hit the Enter key to execute and refresh all Windows icons.exe-show-command
  • Check to see whether your problem is solved. If not, then try the following solutions.

Here’s a complete guide on how to fix can’t install Windows 11 on SSD.

2. Rebuild Icon Cache Using File Explorer

Using File Explorer, you can quickly rebuild the icon cache on your Windows 22 computer.

Follow the steps below to rebuild the icon cache using File Explorer:

  • Click on the Windows File Explorer icon on the taskbar to open the Windows File Explorer. Or,
  • Press the Win + E keys on your keybaord to open the Windows File Explorer. windows-file-explorer
  • Click on the address bar and enter the following path to navigate:
    • C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorerappdatalocalmicrosoftwindows
  • Select all the files beginning with the name iconcache_.
  • Click on the Trash icon at the top of the menu bar or press the Del key on your keyboard to delete the selected files.iconcache
  • After deleting the files, a folder named IconCacheToDelete creates or appears automatically.
  • Restart your computer to disappear the IconCacheToDelete folder and rebuild the icon cache.

Also, check out our separate post on install active directory users and computers on Windows 11.

3. Rebuild Icon Cache Using Command Prompt

Another effective and proven way to rebuild the icon cache on your Windows 11 computer is by executing some commands into the Command Prompt.

Follow these steps to rebuild the icon cache using the Command Prompt:

  • Press the Win + S key on your keyboard to open the Windows Search panel.
  • Type cmd and click on Run as administrator to open the Command Prompt with admin privileges. cmd-run-as-administration
  • Enter the following path to navigate the Windows Explorer folder:
    • cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Exploreruserprofile
  • Enter the following command to select all the files beginning with the name iconcache_: attrib-h-iconcache
    • attrib –h iconcache_*.db
  • Enter the following command to delete the selected files and start File Explorer:
    • del iconcache_*.db start explorer
  • Close the Command Prompt window and Restart your computer to rebuild the icon cache.

Check out the easiest way to compare two folders on Windows 11.

How to Rebuild Thumbnail Cache on Windows 11

If you face the thumbnail corrupted or blank issue, like an icon on your Windows 11 computer, your thumbnail cache is corrupted. For this reason, you can meet the corrupted or empty thumbnail issue.

To solve the thumbnail corrupted, damaged, not loading correctly, or blank, you need to delete or clear the thumbnail cache and rebuild the cache file.

Follow these steps to rebuild the thumbnail cache using the Command Prompt:

  • Press the Win + S key on your keyboard to open the Windows Search panel.
  • Type cmd and click on Run as administrator to open the Command Prompt with admin privileges.cmd-run-as-administration
  • Enter the following path to navigate the Windows Explorer folder:
    • cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Exploreruserprofile
  • Enter the following command to select all the files beginning with the name iconcache_:
    • attrib –h thumbcache_*.dbattrib–h-thumbcache
  • Enter the following command to delete the selected files and start File Explorer:
    • del thumbcache_*.db start explorer
  • Close the Command Prompt window and Restart your computer to rebuild the thumbnail cache.

Check out the easiest way to fix blue screen on Windows 11.

Final Thoughts

Scanning the files icon or thumbnail manually and loading them each time is a slower process that turns the system process slower.

When your PC icon or thumbnail cache database may have been corrupted, the icon or thumbnail appears damaged, empty, or corrupted. The corrupted files can conflict with the system and incorrectly load your PC icon or thumbnail.

Here, I demonstrate several tested and proven solutions to solve the damaged, empty, or corrupted icon or thumbnail issue by rebuilding the cache on your Windows 11 computer.

Using these practical methods, you can successfully solve your system’s damaged or corrupted icon or thumbnail problem.

I hope you found this post to be informative. If you found your solution, please let me know which method works for you.

You may also look at other posts if you’re interested in learning more about similar topics.

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