How to Refresh the Icon Cache Quickly Using IE4UINIT.exe


We saw how to clear the icon cache and let Windows rebuild it, in post Completely Clearing and Rebuilding the Icon Cache Database which applies to all versions of Windows including Windows 10.

Here is a quicker way to just refresh the icon cache, using a neat little command-line, which works in Windows 7, 8 and 10.

Refreshing the Icon Cache Quickly

Press WinKey + R to bring up the Run dialog. Then, run the following command and hit ENTER.

ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache

In Windows 10, run this command instead:

ie4uinit.exe -show

Here is a small video clip to demonstrate this.

Incorrect icon shown for .txt file, fixed immediately after running the above command.

Note: If you’re looking for information on how to completely Clear and Rebuild the icon cache, check out this post How to Rebuild the Icon Cache in Windows Vista, 7, 8 and Windows 10.


About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

10 thoughts on “How to Refresh the Icon Cache Quickly Using IE4UINIT.exe”

  1. This one actually worked, while “How to Rebuild the Icon Cache in Windows Vista and Windows 7” didn’t. The problem was that some of the icons in my taskbar were replaced with the default icon for a program, because the icons pointed to a network drive that I map manually after Windows starts.

  2. THANK YOU! A straight-forward command that doesn’t involve rebooting or killing explorer.exe. Worked with Win7, IE11.

  3. Thank you. I was wondering why the Wireshark installer was executing C:\Windows\system32\ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache at the end of the install process.

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