My Laptop Icons Won't Open

by James Stone

When Windows icons fail to launch a program, your icon cache may have experienced a file corruption. In Windows, the icon cache remains hidden under the Windows directory folder "ShellIconCache." This directory contains all the default desktop icons and program-related icons. After experiencing difficulty; icons may black out, display incorrect icons or fail to launch the program. To reset your cache, delete the icon cache and restart your system.


Click the "Start" button and then type "Command Prompt" in the search box. Double-click the "Command Prompt" application shortcut. The Command Prompt window displays on the screen.


Type "C:\%SystemRoot%" to change the directory to this folder.


Type "attrib -h shelliconcache" and press the "Enter" key.


Type "del shelliconcache " and press the "Enter" key to delete the file.


Restart Windows and log on, and the icons should be restored.

About the Author

James Stone began writing professionally in 2007 as a technical writer. He specializes in technology articles for various online publications. Stone holds a Bachelor of Science in computing science from Simon Fraser University.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera desktop folder image by Sean Gladwell from