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vistaEvery now and then the shortcut icons placed on the desktop of your Windows Vista and Windows 7 may turn, without any apparent reason, completely white or blank. It looks like icons have been unassigned to the programs and applications they were linked to. Here is how to fix this issue. 

Before staring describing the procedure let me tell you that this issue is due to an  error in the  icon cache database. The procedure that follows is going to fix this issue by manually rebuilding such database.

  1. Locate the following folder: C:\Users\AppData\Local\
  2. Most probability the AppData folder is hidden from view. To make it fully visible just go to OrganizeFolder and Search OptionsView tab. Now select Show hidden files, folders and drives, and uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).
  3. Once you have got access in the AppData folder, just delete IconCache.db.
  4. Now, create a new file named IconCache.db, and set it to Read Only by going to Properties.
  5. Restart the computer for the change to take effect.
  6. Right after, right click the file you just created and from Propierties remove the Read only attribute.

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7 Comments to “How to fix blank desktop shortcut icons”

  1. Richard Heft Says:

    I found the IconCache.db file but before I deleted I decided to try to create a new one (for practice, not in the same folder). I suddenly realized that I don’t know how! Please help – how does one create this file. I need all the steps as I am lost.

  2. William Says:

    Actually this is the tool you want! http://www.askvg.com/autorun-eater-remove-suspicious-autorun-inf-files-from-usb-drives/ for your usb pen drive.

  3. William Says:

    fadzli ahmad, you could also download microsoft security essentials & set it to scan removable usb drives, also set it to completly remove any viruses, found on your system.

    Another one you could also use is gmer rootkit detector & also if you wanted to, use spybot search & destroy.

    All of the above is freeware, which i use myself & from using them over the past 2-3 years haven’t really had many problems on my pc, accept for tracking cookies, which, with a regular scan with spybot, has been sorted out & removed.

  4. Web Talk Says:

    If you have got a virus, this hack won’t solve you issue, probabily. My fear is that the virus has deleted everything in your USB dongle. Google for this keyword “antivirus for usb” and you will manage to get some good, free antivirus for your USB.

    Another thing you can try is this free software:
    If the virus merely has hidden your files, this will sove your issue.

    Let me know…

  5. fadzli ahmad Says:

    Please help.

    IMy pendrive affected by a virus. All my folder change to shortcut. My folder contain all my words and excels. Please help how to fix it

  6. Web Talk Says:

    Try to create the IconCache.db by yourself and follow the remaining steps

  7. roxanne Says:

    hello. i did all this but i cant find the IconCache.db . can it be somewhere else? i have windows 7 64 bits.


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