Word .docx and .doc files Show Up with Generic or White Icon

Many users have reported that the Word icons are not showing up for .docx and .doc files. They show up with a generic (unknown) or plain white icon even though the file association settings are intact.

word .docx and .doc files show generic white icon

Blank or missing Word icons may occur due to multiple reasons such as deleting the Office installer folder which contains the Office icons, or installing multiple versions of Office in a computer. It can also happen due to incorrect ProgId (e.g., docx_auto_file) or file association settings for Word documents.

This article tells you how to fix the icons for Word document file types .docx and .doc using different ways.

Fix: Word .docx and .doc files show Up with Generic or White Icon

Follow these steps to fix the icons for Word document file types .docx and .doc:

Step 1: Re-associate .docx and .doc files with Word

  1. Open admin command Prompt and then run the following command:
    assoc .docx=Word.Document.12
  2. Exit the command Prompt window.
  3. Right-click on a .docx file and click Properties
  4. Click the Change button
  5. Select Word from the list and click OK.
    word .docx and .doc files show generic white icon
  6. Repeat the same for .doc files if the .doc icons are showing as a plain white rectangle.
  7. Logoff and login back if the icons or file association changes are not refreshed.

Step 2: Fix Word documents icon in the registry

  1. Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Go to the following key:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.Document.12\DefaultIcon
  3. Double-click (default) and its value data to the following:
    For Word 2016 regular (.msi) installations:
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\wordicon.exe,13
    
    For Word 2016 CTR Setup (Office 365)
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Root\VFS\Windows\Installer\{90160000-000F-0000-1000-0000000FF1CE}\wordicon.exe,13

    word .docx and .doc files show generic white icon - registry defaulticon

  4. Repeat the same for the .doc file type branch here:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.Document.8\DefaultIcon

    The icon path for .doc files is below:

    For Word 2016 regular (.msi) installations:
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\wordicon.exe,1
    
    For Word 2016 CTR Setup (Office 365)
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Root\VFS\Windows\Installer\{90160000-000F-0000-1000-0000000FF1CE}\wordicon.exe,1

    For Excel, use the following registry paths and icons for .xlsx and .xls file types respectively for Office 365 installations:

    File type: .xlsx
    Registry Key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Excel.Sheet.12\DefaultIcon
    Icon Path (O365): C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Root\VFS\Windows\Installer\{90160000-000F-0000-1000-0000000FF1CE}\xlicons.exe,1
    
    File type: .xls
    Registry Key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Excel.Sheet.8\DefaultIcon
    Icon Path (MSI): C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\XLICONS.EXE,28
    Icon Path (O365): C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Root\VFS\Windows\Installer\{90160000-000F-0000-1000-0000000FF1CE}\xlicons.exe,28

    For PowerPoint, use the following registry paths and icons for .pptx and .ppt file types respectively:

    File type: .pptx
    Registry key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\PowerPoint.Show.12\DefaultIcon
    Icon Path (MSI): C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\pptico.exe,10
    Icon Path (O365): C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Root\VFS\Windows\Installer\{90160000-000F-0000-1000-0000000FF1CE}\pptico.exe,10
    
    File type: .ppt
    Registry key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\PowerPoint.Show.8\DefaultIcon
    Icon Path (MSI): C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\pptico.exe,17
    Icon Path (O365): C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Root\VFS\Windows\Installer\{90160000-000F-0000-1000-0000000FF1CE}\pptico.exe,17

    If you’ve installed Office 2016 (32-bit) on a computer running 64-bit windows, replace the path C:\Program Files with C:\Program Files (x86)

  5. Exit the Registry Editor.
  6. Refresh the icons manually using the procedure listed in this article.

Note that the icon paths used for Office .msi installation are also valid for Office 365 as well.



Registry file for the above

Here is the .reg implementation for the above:

;Fix Word document icons showing incorrect or as blank rectangle
;The icon paths are valid for both .msi and CTR installations (Office 365)

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.docx]
@="Word.Document.12"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.Document.12\DefaultIcon]
@="C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office\\Root\\Office16\\wordicon.exe,13"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.Document.8\DefaultIcon]
@="C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office\\Root\\Office16\\wordicon.exe,1"

See how to apply the .reg file on your system.

Step 3: Repair Office via Apps & Features

  1. Right-click Start, and click Apps & Features
  2. Select Microsoft Office entry from the list, and click Modify
    word .docx and .doc files show generic white icon - repair office
  3. For Office .msi installations, select Repair.

    For Office Click-to-run installations, select Quick Repair and then click Repair. Quick Repair is faster and it takes approximately 3-5 minutes to repair the Office settings, corrupt files, and other registry settings automatically.

    word .docx and .doc files show generic white icon - repair office

    For more information see Microsoft Office article Repair an Office application

That should fix the Office/Word icons for standalone Office installations as well as Office 365 installations.

word .docx and .doc files show generic white icon


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

2 thoughts on “Word .docx and .doc files Show Up with Generic or White Icon”

  1. Thank you for these tips! I am running into a slightly different problem. I am running Office 360 with OneDrive that synchronizes my 3 computers to have the same desktop files. Because I have Win10 32-bit on 2 computers and Win10 64-bit on 2 other computers, I have found I have to keep 2 Word, Excel, PowerPoint icons on the destop…one for the 32-bit and one for the 64-bit installation since they have different pathways. Isn’t there a better way to do this? Thanks.

    Reply
  2. this is the only solution which works – locate wordicon.exe for your version of windows, locate the default icon in the registry and point it to wordicon.exe,1 – for my “click to run” office 2013, Word 2013 it is in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.docx_auto_file\DefaultIcon

    “Microsoft answers” is misleading

    Reply

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