How to Clear Icon Cache and Fix Black Background in Windows 10

From time to time, the Windows icon cache may become corrupt or broken. In those situations, the icon will turn black or shows black background behind the icons. In that case, clear icon cache in Windows. Here’s how.

Generally, Windows dynamically builds the icon cache when needed. Once the icons are made, they’re kept in a cache database folder. Next time you visit the same folder, Windows can just show the icons from the cache. Showing icons from cache is a lot faster than dynamically generating theme.

However, there will be instances when Windows shows a black icon or black background behind the particular icon. This occurs because either the icon cache database is broken or corrupt. The good thing is, you are able to clear and rebuild icon cache with a few simple steps.

So, without further ado, allow me to show you how it’s done.

Clear Icon Cache and Rebuild It

Though we are using big words like database, all you need to do is delete several cache files and Windows will automatically rebuild the icon cache whenever needed.

However, there’s one catch. Since icon cache files are actively utilized by the File Explorer, we cannot delete them from the File Explorer. Rather, we have to use a couple of commands. It’s pretty easy. Just follow the steps as is and you’ll be good.

1. First, open the start menu, look for “Command Prompt” and choose the “Run as Administrator” option. You can also choose the same option by right-clicking on the Command Prompt result.

2. In the Command Prompt window, make use of the below command to visit the folder in which the icon cache files are stored.

cd %homepath%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

Related: Wondering what’s the %homepath% within the above command? This is an environment variable. Here are some useful Windows environment variables.

3. Because the File Explorer is actively while using icon cache files, we first need to stop File Explorer. To achieve that, make use of the below command. Don’t worry when your screen goes blank. It’s totally normal.

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

4. After stopping File Explorer, we are able to safely delete the icon cache files. Execute the below command to do so.

del iconcache*

The above command is only going to delete the icon cache files. Once deleted, you will not see any message as long as there is no error.

5. Finally, restart explorer while using below command.



That is all. It is that simple to clear icon cache in Windows 10 or other versions of Windows. As mentioned before, you don’t have to manually rebuild the cache. Windows will dynamically generally the cache when you initially go to a folder.