One of the “jobs” of Windows is still the work we have to do now and then reset the icon and thumbnail cache. If your icons get corrupted in some cases, occupied by another application, or don’t display as they should, resetting the icon cache might fix the problem.

The same goes for thumbnail cache, which helps retain previews of images, videos, and documents. There are different directions for doing that. The most common way is to use the command line. Or you can use a free third-party extension. We will look at both options.

Reset icon and thumbnail cache

If your icons are damaged or not showing correctly, you can reset your Windows 10 icon cache to fix it.

The easiest way to do that is to use the free Winaero Tweaker utility. This free utility offers a wide range of options to fix common problems that users will encounter in Windows 10 from time to time. It’s just a 2 MB download, too. After downloading, unzip the file, then launch the Winaero Tweaker installation file, click Next, choose Normal mode and accept the license agreement.

After completing the setup, launch Winaero Tweaker, scroll down to the Tools group, select Reset Icon Cache, and then click Reset Icon Cache. That’s it; Your icon will be back to normal.

Fix icons and thumbnails from Run or Command Prompt

If you don’t want to go through a third-party app, you can try resetting a few ways. From the Run command, type: ie4uinit-show and then press Enter.

Still can’t see those symbols? Then let’s jump into the command line and shake our dirty hands. First of all, you need to disable Explorer.exe. Press Windows + X and then press Task Manager (or press Control + Shift + Esc ). On the Processes tab, select Windows Explorer, right-click it, and click End task.

Click File> Run new task, type: CMD, hold Shift, then click OK. This will open a command prompt window with administrator privileges.

Type each of the following commands and press Enter.

cd% homepath% AppData Local Microsoft Windows Explorer

dir iconcache *

del iconcache *

dir iconcache *

Type explorer.exe to restart Windows Explorer.

Exit the command prompt, then verify your icons are working again.

Reset your Thumbnail Cache

A similar problem can occur when previewing your thumbnail. Instead of looking at previews of your actual images, videos, or documents, you might only see one icon in general.

Fixing this should be much more comfortable. Press Windows key + R, type: cleanmgr.exe, and press Enter. Scroll down, then select the checkbox next to Thumbnails, then click OK.

So those are your options if your icon starts not to work. Let us know which method you’d like to use.