Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.



Windows 7: Lost File Type Icons in Windows Explorer

18 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 v6.1.7600
 
 
Lost File Type Icons in Windows Explorer

I keep losing the icons in Explorer, even with a fresh install of Windows 7. It takes some time, but sooner or later they disappear. It's always Internet Explorer first (associated with .mht files) and now I've lost Chrome (associated with .htm).

Any ideas as to why this happens? Is there any fix you guys know of?

Rebuilding the Windows 7 icon cache has not worked in the past.

Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

18 Jan 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello IveyLeaguer,

The icon cache would have no affect on file associations. They are two different animals.

The most common reason for file association issues is folks changing them using Open with.

If you like, you could use the tutorial below to quickly restore the default association of any file extension.
Default File Type Associations - Restore
If you are sure that you or another user is not changing the file associations, then I would recommend to do a full scan of your system with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free to help make sure that your system is clean.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 v6.1.7600
 
 

Shawn,

Thanks for the reply, but it isn't file association. All the files open with the proper programs, i.e., .htm with Chrome, .mht with Internet Explorer, etc..

We can rule that out.

One thing, just in case it gives a hint ... when I save a webpage .htm or .mht file from any browser, the 'save' explorer-type box that opens shows the icons, at least in the type of the file designated to be saved.

Here are some pics that I hope will better give you guys an idea ....



You can see that the Chrome icon shows in this Save As window, as it should for htm files.



Same here for Internet Explorer, as the correct icon shows for mht files.



Now here is my Explorer window, which shows the problem. Note the only files without icons are web/browser files, both htm and mht, all the missing icons are exclusive to those files. All other file icons display as they should (in this case, pdf and rtf files).

Thanks for any help you guys may be able to give. This is an annoying problem for several reasons, primarily because I'm constantly delayed when I can't tell what type file it is (without taking Explorer to full screen, which is even more of a delay).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


05 Dec 2013   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by IveyLeaguer View Post
Here are some pics that I hope will better give you guys an idea ....
Unfortunately, none of your screenshots actually appear in your post.

Did you upload them as attachments? Did you post them on some Internet posting site and then plant the links to them here in your post?

Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums

However you did it, I'm afraid it was unsuccessful. So we still can't see what you want us to see.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2013   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by IveyLeaguer View Post
Rebuilding the Windows 7 icon cache has not worked in the past.
You say that the default file associations for the files are still in effect, so that double-click launching of any of these problem files (which are missing their mini-icons when looked at with Windows Explorer) actually DOES launch the correct program. So it's not a file association issue, as you've commented.

In that case I am really surprised that rebuilding the icon cache has not worked. It's ALWAYS worked for me when this kind of an issue (which is typically preceded by installing some random media player program which has its own file association logic for assorted file types it can support, hence why I am very careful about these installs for any new program I've not worked with before).

There are really two different ways that both work to rebuild the icon cache:

Icon Cache - Rebuild

(1) from an Administrator command prompt, enter
taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F
cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
del IconCache.db /a
shutdown /r /t 0
None of these commands should present any kind of error, but of course the most crucial command is the "del IconCache.db /a" command which is what will delete all current valid/invalid icons in the cache and force Windows to reconstruct it from scratch at the next re-boot.

The last command will trigger a re-boot and upon the reappearance of the desktop all of your mini-icons should now once again appear properly in Windows Explorer.

(2) Another way to actually accomplish the same result without involving entry of commands is simply to change the "color depth" on your Windows desktop properties, from 32-bit (true color) to 16-bit (high color) and then re-boot. This re-boot will also trigger the complete rebuild of your icon cache, at the new 16-bit color depth, but of course you really wanted this to happen while at the original true 32-bit color depth.

So, you do this again, a second time, this time changing the "color depth" again from the unwanted 16-bit setting back to the original 32-bit setting. And again, re-boot. Once again Windows will rebuild the complete icon cache but now back at your original desired 32-bit setting.

And we're done. Icon cache rebuilt, and you're still at original 32-bit color. Took two reboots, but the end result is the same as the command-prompt method and one boot.


Either of these approaches has always worked for me to restore all the mini-icons as they should look both in Windows Explorer folder view as well as in the Start Menu (where those icons were also previously corrupted).

You're absolutely positive this does not work for you?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2013   #6

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by IveyLeaguer View Post
This is an annoying problem for several reasons, primarily because I'm constantly delayed when I can't tell what type file it is (without taking Explorer to full screen, which is even more of a delay).
Well, even without the mini-icons visible in Explorer you should still be able to see what "type" of file it is from the extension on the file name.

Of course, by default Windows installs so as to HIDE those extensions (perhaps not to confuse newbies who aren't too computer savvy), so you must UN-CHECK that "hide common extensions" option using the Organize -> Folder options -> View tab in order to now present extensions with all file names, rather than suppressing them. So that is one way to make your life easier if/when this icon issue reappears.

File Extensions - Hide or Show


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 v6.1.7600
 
 

Thanks dsperger. The screenshots should be working now. Not sure what happened.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperger
Well, even without the mini-icons visible in Explorer you should still be able to see what "type" of file it is from the extension on the file name.
I can, of course, but I'm in Explorer so much that even the smallest delay is either time-consuming, annoying, or both. I use half-size windows for Explorer because that is significantly faster when saving and titling web pages.

Titling is important in my work and and I have a lot of long titles as you can hopefully now see in the screenshots above. So most of the time I can't see the extension unless I maximize the Explorer window which is a big time-killer and distraction.

Anyway, thanks for the help. I'm executing your procedure for rebuilding the icon cache shortly.
~~~
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2013   #8

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by IveyLeaguer View Post
Thanks dsperger. The screenshots should be working now. Not sure what happened.
Yes, I see they now appear. But they are VERY VERY TINY (225x400?). I cannot make out anything on my 1920x1200 monitor. Did you use the URL links for the "thumbnails" maybe? Hard to believe those would be your screenshots of an open Explorer window.

Anyway, I truly cannot make out what you want to show...although I'm sure it's there.


Quote:
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber
Well, even without the mini-icons visible in Explorer you should still be able to see what "type" of file it is from the extension on the file name.
I can, of course, but I'm in Explorer so much that even the smallest delay is either time-consuming, annoying, or both. I use half-size windows for Explorer because that is significantly faster when saving and titling web pages.
You're missing the point. I didn't expect you to dynamically change anything on-the-fly just to see the extensions.

The Folder Options -> View tab -> do not suppress known extensions option is a PERMANENT setting (at least for as long as you have it checked or un-checked). From that point on you will ALWAYS either see or not see the extensions.

For example, here's a "list" Explorer sample from one of my folders. Of course my mini-icons are showing, but also the extensions are showing next to each file name.



If your filenames are long, you can just use "details" mode and spread the first column so that the entire name and extension is completely visible, if that works better for you.


Quote:
... as you can hopefully now see in the screenshots above.
As I said above, your screenshots (or thumnbnails) are too small for me to read.


Quote:
So most of the time I can't see the extension unless I maximize the Explorer window which is a big time-killer and distraction.
Just stretch your window on that folder. Its size and location will be remembered when you close the window, and it will be the at the same place and with the same size when you next re-open that folder.

Also, if you spread the column heading separators so that the column detail data in each cell is fully visible, again that will be remembered by Windows when you close the Explorer window. Next time you re-open that folder the separators will be just where you last spread them.

If you want to be in "details" mode just set it, and spread the columns appropriately. Again, the extension will be easily visible after each file name... even if the mini-icons are not shown.




Quote:
Anyway, thanks for the help. I'm executing your procedure for rebuilding the icon cache shortly.
You mean the recipe I provided above was NOT how you presumably rebuilt the icon cache? I don't know what alternate technique you had used, but the above command sequence is the right way to do it (as documented by the tutorial on this forum).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 v6.1.7600
 
 

I'll try again on the screenshots ....


Attached Thumbnails
Lost File Type Icons in Windows Explorer-windows-7-save-window-.htm-.jpg   Lost File Type Icons in Windows Explorer-windows-7-save-window-.mht-.jpg   Lost File Type Icons in Windows Explorer-windows-7-explorer-window.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2013   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 v6.1.7600
 
 

I have now tried both procedures for rebuilding the Icon Cache, with no success. so we can rule that out as a cause and solution.
~~~
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Lost File Type Icons in Windows Explorer





Thread Tools



Similar help and support threads for2: Lost File Type Icons in Windows Explorer
Thread Forum
Office 2010 Office File Type Descriptions & Icons Incorrect Microsoft Office
File type icons not showing in explorer General Discussion
Flac files incorrectly displayed as mp3 file type in explorer!?!? Music, Pictures & Video
Solved File-type special icons reset after MS Essentials Uninstall BSOD Help and Support
FILE TYPE ICONS NOT SHOWING WITH CHROME AS DEFAULT BROWSER General Discussion
Windows XP file type icons Customization
Can't change file type icons Customization

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:04 AM.
Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App
  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33