Stop Desktop Icons from Randomly Refreshing
By Stephen Bucaro
Do your desktop icons keep redrawing every 30 to 60 seconds? This can be very
distracting. You've probably noticed that your computer has also started running
much slower than usual. Random refreshing of the desktop icons is usually caused
by a full or corrupted icon cache.
The solution is to delete the Iconcache.db file, which will cause Windows to
rebuild the file. The Iconcache.db file is located here:
By default system files are hidden, so if you haven't already, you need to go
Control Panel | Folder Options and on the View tab under Hidden
files, folders, or drives set the radio button next to "Show hidden files,
folders, and drives".
Save all current work and close all desktop applications before performing the
1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the path shown above. Make Explorer full
screen to cover all the desktop icons to make sure Windows doesn't access the icon
cache to redraw the screen.
2. If you prefer, rename the Iconcache.db file to old_Iconcache.db file. You
can always delete old_Iconcache.db after the new Iconcache.db file is created.
3. Windows keeps an active copy of Iconcache.db in RAM. So without closing or
resizing Windows Explorer, select Start | Shut down. This will cause the
icon cache in RAM to be lost.
Upon restarting, Windows will rebuild the Iconcache.db file. You should find
that your desktop icons no longer randomly refresh and that your computer performs
More Windows Tips:
• Introducing Screensavers
• Change Internet Explorer's Default Search Engine
• Swap Mouse Buttons
• Vista - Restore Deleted Recycle Bin
• Where Did My Recycle Bin Go?
• Free Goodies for Your PCs
• How to Configure Windows 7 Autoplay
• Turn Off the User Account Control
• Change Your PC's Name
• Windows Mouse Dead? - How to Get Around Windows Without the Rodent