Repairing or Rebuilding the Icons in Windows XP using Tweak UI

One of our readers wrote to tell that the registry edit to change the open folder icon did not work in their Windows XP system, even after several reboots. Usually the shell icons refresh automatically after a restart, and if that does not happen, we can force an icon refresh using Microsoft’s Tweak UI PowerToy for Windows XP. That indeed fixed the problem on that occasion.

Rebuilding the icons in Windows XP

Rebuilding the icons causes the desktop icons to lose their custom positions. (Tip: Prior to repairing the icons, you can save the custom icon positions using the layout.dll shell extension. Later, the saved setting can be restored. For more information, see article Save and Restore Desktop icon layout.)

1. Download the Tweak UI PowerToy and install it.

2. Run Tweak UI using the shortcut in Start, All Programs.

3. Click Repair in the left pane

4. With Rebuild Icons option selected in drop-down, click Repair Now

5. Click OK.

Editor’s Note: To refresh the icons in Windows Vista, read article Fix Incorrect icon shown for a file type in Windows Vista. If a shell folder in your Windows XP system is showing incorrect icon even after repairing using Tweak UI, get the ShellIconFix tool.

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.