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Clear Icon Cache


This is a tool I've written that helps with a bug in Windows Vista and Windows 7. The bug affects Windows and Explorer and can affect Opus by proxy.

For example, if you updated from Opus 9 to Opus 10 but still see the Opus 9 icon on your desktop or taskbar, this tool should fix it. It may also help with missing or corrupted file and folder icons either in Opus or Explorer (or both).

Clear Icon Cache will cleanly exit Windows Explorer (and Directory Opus, if you use it), delete the shell icon cache (IconCache*.db) and localized thumbnail cache (ThumbCache*.db) and then restart Explorer (and Opus).

Windows is full of icon-caching bugs which mean it frequently shows incorrect, missing or out-of-date icons for programs and shortcuts on the desktop, taskbar, start menu, etc. When that happens, simply running this tool will usually fix things.

There are lots of guides on the web about how to do this manually but many of them have the details wrong. Even the good guides almost never tell you how to cleanly exit Explorer and are too complex for many users. (As well as using Task Manager and/or Command Prompts, it is vital that you stop Explorer, delete the file, then restart Explorer in the correct order; mixing up the steps means nothing happens.) With Clear Icon Cache you just double-click the program and it takes care of the details for you.
Clear Icon Cache is for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 (and hopefully above). If you are using Windows XP, you can use TweakUI instead.

To prevent message-boxes telling you if the program succeeded or failed, run ClearIconCache.exe /QUIET


  • (12/Mar/2016): Updated to find new icon cache location used by Windows 8 and Windows 10. Now also deletes the shell thumbnail cache.
  • (02/Nov/2012): Now restarts Directory Opus (if you are using it) in addition to Windows Explorer.
  • (02/May/2011): Initial release.

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Clear Icon Cache has been updated so that it will restart Directory Opus in addition to Windows Explorer. You no longer have to manually restart Opus after clearing the cache.

(The tool still works for people who don't use Opus. It will only try to restart Opus if it detects it is already running.)


New version Updated to find new icon cache location used by Windows 8 and Windows 10. Now also deletes the shell thumbnail cache.

FTP site icons show as filled black rectangles

Thank you! I rarely (never) encountered icon cache problems myself, but I know some people that did. I do not use windows themes (Win7), maybe that's why? Anyway, I hope to remember this thread next time I see it happening for others. This tool needs some more promotion it seems. It's probably the best of all, but it only shows up on page 4 when searching for "clear icon cache windows" in google! o)