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Windows 7: Icon Cache Size - Change in Windows

Icon Cache Size - Change in Windows

How to Change the Icon Cache Size in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8
Published by Brink
10 Dec 2012
Published by

How to Change the Icon Cache Size in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8

information   Information
When an icon is loaded for the first time it is cached in the iconcache.db file. The cached icons load faster than icons loaded directly from the source resource files. If the limit of the cache file is reached and overridden, you could experience incorrect or corrupted icons. Increasing the icon cache size helps to prevent icons from reloading from the source or being corrupted.

This tutorial will show you how to change the maximum size of the icon cache (iconcache.db) file to be more or less than it's default 500KB size for all users in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

You must be logged in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

Note   Note
The icon cache is located at the hidden system folder location below for each user:


To Automatically Reset or Change Icon Cache Size using VBS File
1. Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below.

2. Save the .vbs file to your Desktop.

3. Double click/tap on the downloaded .vbs file to run it.

4. Click/tap on Open and Yes (UAC) when prompted.
NOTE: If you like, you can stop getting the Open prompt by unblocking the downloaded .vbs file.

5. Follow the instructions in the prompts by the VBS file for what you would like to do. (see screenshots below)
A) To Set a Custom Icon Cache Size
B) To Reset Icon Cache Size Back to Default
NOTE: This restores the default 500KB icon cache size.
Name:  Reset_Icon_Cache_Size_to_Default_VBS.jpg
Views: 14152
Size:  33.3 KB
6. Be sure to restart the computer to apply.

7. When finished, you can now delete the downloaded .vbs file if you like.

To Manually Reset or Change Icon Cache Size using Registry Editor
1. Press the Windows+R keys to open the Run dialog, type regedit, and click/tap on OK.

2. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes (Windows 7/8) or Continue (Vista).

3. In regedit, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

4. Do step 5 or 6 below for what you would like to do.

5. To Set a Custom Icon Cache Size
A) If you have not already, in the right pane of Explorer, right click or press and hold on an empty area, click/tap on New and String Value, type Max Cached Icons, and press Enter. (see screenshot below step 3)

B) Double click/tap on Max Cached Icons to modify it. (see screenshot below step 3)

C) Type in a number for how many kilobytes (KB) you want the maximum icon cache size to be, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: (1024KB = 1 MB) Setting this to 8192 KB (8 MB) gives good results. Your millage may vary, but you can always adjust the size to your needs at anytime.
Name:  Icon_Cache_Size_Registry-2.jpg
Views: 14048
Size:  17.8 KB
D) Go to step 7 below.
6. To Reset Icon Cache Size Back to Default
NOTE: This restores the default 500KB icon cache size.
A) In the right pane of Explorer, right click on Max Cached Icons and click/tap on Delete. (see screenshot below step 3)

B) Click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Icon_Cache_Size_Registry-3.jpg
Views: 13975
Size:  26.9 KB
C) Go to step 7 below.
7. Close regedit, and restart the computer to apply.
That's it,

14 Jan 2016   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Can same steps be applied on Windows 10 (64bit)? Is it ok to use a string value still? I read some instances suggesting it should be a QWORD. Very confused. If it should be a QWORD then what value needs to go in to achieve 4096kb? Thanks, Wayne

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2016   #2

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Wayne,

Sure, it can safely be used as is in Windows 10 as well. I hope it helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2016   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Just out of interest what is the default icon cache size on Windows 10, is it still 500 Kb? I did this on my Windows 10 rig, maybe has improved it a bit but will see how it goes. I went for 4096 kb in the end
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Jan 2016   #4

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

I can only assume so since there is nothing in the registry by default to say what it is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2016   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Thank you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2016   #6

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

You're most welcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2016   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

The correct value type for this setting is an SZ string. If changed Windows would not recognize it and use the default value.

For interest only:
I first saw the reference to this as 500 KB but that was back in Windows 98 days and it may be older than that. I don't believe this was ever officially documented, just an implementation detail that was valid when given but subject to change at any time. And I believe it has changed. As the current size of the cache file in my Windows 7 system is about 1.5 MB (with no registry setting) it would seem to be at least that. The actual default size would be difficult to determine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2016   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

It does seem a little puzzling why the default was set so low by MS at 500kb especially as systems nowadays come armed with so much RAM. A few years back I had icon corruption on Windows 7. Only a bit and it affected thumbnails where the icon overlaid it at the bottom. The overlaid icons were random! Setting max icon cache on the machine to 4096 totally sorted it out and have never seen the issue since. So I guess whatever it is in Windows 7 it's set at less than 4096. On my Windows 10 machine there is no corruption but it baffled me as to why on booting the desktop icons weren't instant - well most are but stragglers come up with white paper generic icon and don't correctly display for another 2-3 seconds. Not long but noticeable. As the system is SSD it surprises me. Compare that to Windows 7 where as soon as the desktop displays the desktop icons are correct instantly, no delayed refresh. Now the Windows 7 with a cache SSD does take quite a bit longer to boot so maybe it has more time to get its house in order ready for the big display, the Windows 10 machine literally loads in seconds as it goes past bios and in an instant Windows 10 is ready waiting for me stick my PIN number in to login. I guess it's just a Windows 10 thing.

I do apologise as I have drifted away from the topic. I am glad both of you have set me right on the fact it needs to be a string regardless of Windows version or whether it's 32 or 64 bit OS. Google gives conflicting guides and in some cases a DWORD does get mentioned but it didn't sound right to me which is why I posted here. I'd still be so curious as to what Windows 10 default icon cache size is and whether it does use this registry entry (perhaps being a different animal it ignores it?). Frustratingly there is not really much info on the net with regards Windows 10 and icon cache probably as it's still only been mainstream a few months. If I ever find out I'll be sure to update on here and also post it on

As much as I craved the new machine it's been a stressful bumpy ride. Quirks like this, Windows 10 is still a bit buggy, lost features like native DVD playback and more annoyingly no native playback of mpg files forcing risky codec packs to be sought, skylake processor bug (I just had to get the one with the bug in it!!!). Am much preferring good old laptop and Windows 7 so far. Maybe the new machine will grow on me one day!!!!!

Cheers, Wayne
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2016   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Sorry to bother you again guys. I just wondered if the max cached icons string is correct for Windows 10? I have set it 4096, I even rebuilt the icon cache. But I see no improvement. I checked the size of the icon cache.db file before and after and it's still sitting at around 570 kb. It's as if Windows is not adding to the max cached icons beyond 500-600 kb. Most folders show the icons instantly but a number of them, mainly newer installed stuff, is slowish to populate first time around after a restart. Subsequent browses into these folders are instant but it's not saving the cache I am sure. On the ten forums thread someone was adamant it should be a DWORD. I don't really understand this or what I should be entering to make it as 4096 as it references hex

I just really don't want to mess things up.

See here General Discussion - Windows 10 Forums
Icons on desktop - Windows 10 Forums

Thanks Wayne
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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