Are Your Photo Icons Blank?

Fixing Blank Icons fix-blank-icons

Have you ever experienced blank photo icons on your Desktop or in a Folder? Instead of seeing that thumbnail image of your last vacation, it appears as a blank image with an icon of the default application for opening photos on your system. blank-icons

Possible Fixes 

Most of the time the problem is due to a corrupted icon cache. Opening the image in your default program may make it appear for a while, but it might revert to a blank image after a while. Below are several methods you may try to fix the problem. To prevent any mistyping, the text shown in red below can be copied and pasted into your CMD Window. run-as-administrator

System File Checker: Start by typing CMD in Search. Type sfc /scannow at the prompt and then Enter. It will scan your system for any corrupted files and fix them if necessary. sfc-scannow-command

DISM: Open CMD as explained above and type: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealthdism-command

Hit the Enter key and wait for the process to complete. This should clear the icon cache as well as restore any corrupt system files.

Disk Clean Up: This uncomplicated process may reset your icon cache. using-disk-cleanup

  • In Search, type disk cleanup. Click on the Disk Cleanup System App check-thumbnails
  • Scroll down and ensure that Thumbnails is selected and click on OK. If all your icons are working, you have finished

Reset the Icon Cache: This will delete the existing cache and rebuild it. This third method is the one most likely to fix your problem and it is only four commands:

  • Open CMD as explained above and enter:
  • cd %LocalAppData%\\Microsoft\\Windows\\Explorer – This will change the directory to the location of Explorer 
  • taskkill /f /im explorer.exe – This will kill the Explorer task 
  • del iconcache* – This will delete the Icon Cache 
  • start explorer.exe – This will rebuild the Icon Cache and restart Explorer reset-icon-cache


Files can become corrupted for many reasons, and it is nice to know that with a few simple commands, you can repair and rebuild the database containing your icons. I have repaired several systems for my clients and the last option has never failed to work. 

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