How To Rebuild Windows Icon Cache Without Rebooting

Every software installed on Windows has an icon. For every icon, the system stores updated information in a file called IconCache.db which stays hidden. The data about new icons is first stored in the main memory and then the cache file is updated regularly.

Sometimes, icons of the applications fail to load on the screen, or there is a delay in loading of some icons. It mostly happens when there are issues with icon cache file, for example when Windows fails to update it. This issue can be fixed by restarting your system. But if you want to get the issue fixed without rebooting the system, here is how you do it.

Rebuild The Icon Cache

Before doing anything close and save all the programs that you are working on. Now follow these steps to rebuild the icon cache.

  • Go to the Taskbar and make a right click on it.
    Task manager
  • You will get a context menu, choose Task Manager.
  • You will get a list of processes running on your system. Navigate to Windows Explorer (in Windows 10) & explorer.exe (Others) and right click on it and choose End Task.
    task manager end task
  • Locate File at the top of Task Manager window. Click and select Run New Task.
    create new task
  • Now you will get a small window, create a new task, type cmd.exe and click OK.
  • Type the below mentioned commands to delete the IconsCache.db file.

cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local

cmd.exe file

del IconCache.db /a

iconscache.db file


  • Once you are done with it, the icon cache is deleted and you can start Windows Explorer process. To do that, go to File in Task Manager window and click on Run New Task.
    task open explorer
  • In Create a new task window, type explorer.exe and click OK.

In order to clear the IconCache.db file, you need to close explorer process

Alternative Method:

You can clear cache on your system, by using this alternate method as well:

  • Press Windows and X to open Windows Tool Menu.
    system run
  • Now click Run to open Run Window.
  • Enter the following command to instantly clear cache if you have Windows 10:

ie4uinit.exe -show

run command

and press Enter.

  • If you have any other version of Windows installed, use this command instead:

ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache

And press Enter.

So, these are methods to refresh icon cache without restarting your Windows. Try them and let us know what worked for you in the comments below.

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