Once in a while, the shortcut icons on the Windows desktop may suddenly been changed or became blank or ‘white paper’ icon, where supposedly the icons should be colorful and customized in style and color. It’s as if the icon for the shortcut has been removed or unassigned, and been replaced with default blank icon in white.

The bug happens whenever there is corruption in icon cache database. For example, in Windows 7 pre-RC release, a network connection or broadband connection shortcut’s icon placed on desktop by user manually will go haywire and turn into blank default icon if there is another third-party program places an icon on desktop later.

In order to fix the problem where shortcut icons turn to blank icon, try to refresh or rebuild the cache database for icons. There are many system management software utilities that may reset the icon cache db automatically, but here’s how to reset the icon cache db manually.

To refresh and reset the icons cache, go to the following folder:


To see the hidden AppData folder, go to Organize -> Folder and Search Options -> View tab, and select Show hidden files, folders and drives, and uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).

Once inside the folder, delete IconCache.db. Create a new file named IconCache.db, and set it to Read Only attribute in Properties (if the file is not read only, the cache won’t be reset). Then restart the computer. Remove the Read Only attribute of IconCache.db file, and the icons cache will be refreshed. The step will restore the desktop shortcut icons to their lawfully icons.