Incorrect Icon Shown for a File Type in Vista

Recently I received a query wherein the user had incorrectly associated .zip file type with Adobe Reader. Later they got the association problem straightened out by running the .zip association fix from the File association fixes for Windows Vista page. The problem is that the .zip file type is still showing the Adobe Reader icon, although the association settings are correct.


Usually, the icon should be refreshed after a restart. If that does not happen, you can force a shell icon refresh by performing a task that triggers the calling of SHChangeNotify API. For example, you can use the Default Programs applet and set Internet Explorer as your default browser, in order to refresh the shell icons. Follow these steps:

1. Click Start, Default Programs

2. Click Set your default programs

3. Select your web browser, email client or any other item in the list.

4. Click the Set this program as default button.

5. Click OK.

Check if the icon for .zip file type is fixed.


Whenever the file association settings are changed or new association is created via the registry or script, the system might not be aware of the change unless the SHChangeNotify API is called specifying the SHCNE_ASSOCCHANGED event, or until the system is restarted.

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  1. Raj Singh
    said this on Thursday, April 3rd 2014 11:36 pm

    THANKU FOR HELPING ME OUT WITH THIS lnk FILES PROBLEM.Wish you for your further successfull journey

  2. Nikhil Sharma
    said this on Friday, June 28th 2013 4:53 pm

    I used to face this issue at times which is definitely frustrating. However THANKS to Schmock i know how to fix it easily without even rebooting.

  3. Timothy
    said this on Sunday, February 17th 2013 3:27 pm

    @Schmock — Thanks!

  4. Schmock
    said this on Sunday, August 7th 2011 2:15 am

    The easiest way to force a refresh of the icon cache is to change the color depth of your desktop. Switch from 32-bit to 16-bit and back. That will always force a rebuild of the icon cache.

  5. Trey
    said this on Tuesday, January 18th 2011 11:08 pm

    I’ve been looking for a solution for like, 2 hours now.
    I accidentally associated .dll files with the editor, and now every .dll file had the corresponding icon.
    THIS finally helped me solve the problem – the simple ways are always the best.

  6. rahman
    said this on Sunday, October 31st 2010 1:06 pm

    thanks a lot friends

  7. Rahmat
    said this on Thursday, October 14th 2010 3:02 am


  8. Samir
    said this on Wednesday, August 25th 2010 8:12 pm

    Thank You!

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