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Icons randomly change to different icons

Article ID : 132668
Last Review : January 19, 2007
Revision : 3.1

This article was previously published under Q132668


Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure to back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:


256986 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/256986/) Description of the Microsoft Windows registry





Some icons in My Computer, Windows Explorer, on the desktop, or in the Quick Launch toolbar may randomly change.


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This behavior may occur if the icon cache is not properly updated.


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Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.
To resolve this behavior, use one or more of the following methods:


Press the F5 key to refresh the icons in the current folder.
1. Right-click the desktop and then click Properties.
2. Click the Settings tab.
3. Change the color depth from the current setting to a new setting. For example, change from Highest (32 bit) to Lowest (16 bit).
4. Click Apply, and then click Yes to accept the changes.
5. Change the color depth back to its original setting.
6. Click Apply, and then click Yes to accept the changes.

• Using Registry Editor, add the Max Cached Icons string value with a value data of 2000 to the following registry key, and then restart your computer:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \Explorer

If the icons are still incorrect, delete the ShellIconCache file. The Max Cached Icons value data range is between 100 and 4096. The default value is 500.

The location of the ShellIconCache file is as follows for XP:

C:\Documents and Settings\Your User Name\Local Settings\
Application Data\Iconcache.db

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