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Windows 7: Selective black icons in explorer and themes

18 Sep 2018   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
Selective black icons in explorer and themes

Windows 7 Pro; Dell OptiPlex 5050

I have black shortcut icons but not all of them; the fixes I've found here haven't worked.

I'm trying to narrow it down. When I hover from start menu, all icons look fine.

When I actually open (I use Open All Users) Programs, the shortcut icons are black; the same happens when I drill one step further.

Again, when I hover - no matter how far down I drill - the icons are fine.

The other part of the puzzle involves themes. It seems the themes I've modified, show up black in the personalization menu. This did not used to be true. Those themes have showed up fine in preview and I've used them extensively.

This would have been easier to explain if I could have interleaved the images in the narrative but maybe I've given you enough to at least ask questions. I've just previewed and it seems the images are all a-jumble. Ah well.

This is not an end-of-the-world problem. I've put up with it for awhile but it does get annoying and I thought I'd ask for help solving it.

Thanks for 'listening' and appreciation is forthcoming for any ideas.


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My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2018   #2

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN

Hi Gorham,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Gorham View Post
Windows 7 Pro; Dell OptiPlex 5050
I have black shortcut icons but not all of them; the fixes I've found here haven't worked.
What fixes did you try?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2018   #3

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN

I'm sure a Repair Install with rectify your issues. It replaces the OS with a fresh copy and is performed while you are using your computer and preserves all you installed programs, files, folders, music, video, pictures, etc. it just replaced a damaged Win 7 OS with a fresh copy.

Here's some info
Repair Install - Windows 7 Help Forums

If you don't have a Win7 ISO you can obtain it from TechBench all editions (pro, home premium, etc. ) can be made available from any windows 7 ISO - either by removing the ei.cfg file from the sources folder, or by using
The only links to Microsoft's page currently working on TechBench are for Ultimate x32 and Ultimate x64. You have to install the same version as is currently on your machine or it will not activate.

You will have to extract the files from the ISO with
7-Zip. I create a new folder on the desktop and extract it there. That prevents your desktop being filled with the numerous files and folders in the Win7 ISO. You can only install the version that is currently on your system, otherwise it will not activate.

Before you start the repair install process you want to run Disk Cleanup : Extended - Windows 7 Help Forums with all options checked, which will significantly shorten the install process, and it also reduces the size of the Windows.old backup it creates.

Here's a video by Brian at Britec Computers UK
Repair Install to Fix Windows 7 Without Reformatting by Britec

Repair Install is piece of cake, at the appropriate screen you want to choose UPGRADE

If you don't have your 25 character CD key which is either on the exterior of the case, or in the battery compartment of a laptop you can use KeyFinder | Magical Jelly Bean to locate it. You want CD key not Product ID. copy and paste to, say, notepad and print to prevent typos.

Currently there are over 240 updates for Win7
After the repair install, use DISM++ to install the updates you wish. You also want to temporarily set Win Update to Never Check for Updates and use DISM++, it prevents Win Update from trying to download hundreds of updates, while DISM++ is doing that. When finished installing the updates you choose, the reset Win Updates to whatever you wish, or leave it turned off and run DISM++ every week or so for updates.

Dism++ | New Windows Utility
Direct download DISM++

Run DISM++ click on updates, click on scan, choose the updates you wish to install, it will inform you of the problems other have experienced with the update and provides you with a choice.
It only install relevant current updates, not superseded one as WU does, and it does not require a reboot or prerequisites to be installed before others as WU does or days receiving updates to be current. It's done in one felled swoop!

If you have any questions or concerns, by all means let us know and we'll do our best to provide the answers.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Sep 2018   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

Hi Nic,

Sorry I missed your first post. Most of what came up on Google was the shortcut icons on the desktop, not in the menus. There was this one: How to Fix Black Desktop Icons in Windows 7: 4 Steps. But this one looked promising: Thumbnail Cache - Clear and Reset Alas, it didn't do anything that I could see.

The other links I didn't even try.

Okay, now I'm muddling through your *very* thorough response. I'll see if I can find a restore point first; I'd forgotten that option. Then I'll try to be brave enough to do the repair install. Gulp!

Seriously, thanks so much! You put a lot of thought into that. I'll try to do it justice and will get back to you. Life is intruding though and since it's not an end-of-the-world problem, it might be a few days before I report back.

Again, many, many thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2018   #5

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone


You could try and create a new user account and see if the black icons problem exists there, in the new account.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2018   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

Well, as others before me I think, all of a sudden the problem went away. Maybe the threat of action? I have no idea!

If it rears its head again, @iko22, I'll give it a try. Thanks for helping.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Selective black icons in explorer and themes

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