Windows 8 desktop and explorer icons don’t work – default icons shown

iconswindows 8

I'm starting to see a very interesting issue. Some icons are being shown as 'default' icons despite the fact that they launch fine with their proper associated programs. This is in the traditional desktop mode, not the Metro mode. I've attached a screenshot, one showing the Outlook 2013 icon in the taskbar and the other showing a PDF icon in Windows Explorer.

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How do I fix this to get the proper icons displayed? Again, the application launches just fine.


Rebuilding the icon cache doesn't seem to help on Windows 8. i.e.

  • delete c:\users\<username>\AppData\Local\IconCache.db
  • reboot
  • same problem as before.

The icon cache rebuilder tool doesn't seem to allow me to rebuild the cache either:
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Best Answer

Unfortunately, none of the responses helped. The issue was corruption within the C:\Windows\Installer folder (folder empty). For some reason all shortcuts were using icons that lived inside the installers there instead of the actual programs themselves. I guess this is a weird Windows 8 issue. I had to reinstall the programs to get the installer folder populated and then the path to icon files worked and the icons came back. It's pretty hard to have all the installers also live on your hard drive when you have an SSD (they aren't that big). Painful.