Repair icon issues with Microsoft® Windows® XP®

What are the problems, symptoms, and solution steps related to icon issues with Microsoft® Windows® XP®?

It is generally seen that for speeding up performance, Microsoft Windows XP caches the icons for all the items on the desktop. That way it does not have to look inside each file for each time the system boots. But the icon cache may become corrupted, or it can simply be too small to be detected. If the desktop items display the wrong icons or no icons at all, enlarging and refreshing the icon cache should help in recovering it. One of the easier ways is to download Microsoft's free Tweak UI Power Toy, which comprises a tool for repairing desktop icons. The problems with icons should be rectified in a safe and reliable manner as it affects the system performance.

Following are the problems, symptoms, and tips associated with icon issues on Microsoft Windows XP:

  • Problems

  • Symptoms

  • Tips for fixing the issue


The system tray or taskbar notification area is the icon strip located near the right end of the taskbar, next to the clock. Some Microsoft Windows XP installations show a peculiar defect such as some of the systray icons disappear or rather, do not appear. This happens when the system is booted and when the user logs on. The problem is even more prevalent on systems with auto log on functionality. The most frequently affected icons are the speaker icon and the power icon.


When we click on an icon, it may take a long time to load, and the system may even shut down. Those are the major symptoms of icon issues on Microsoft Windows XP. If you understand the symptoms, it can help you to detect the problem fast and resolve it.

Tips for fixing the issue

For fixing the icon cache issues, right click on the desktop, choose 'Properties', click on the 'Appearance' tab in the dialog box that pops up, and click on the 'Advanced' button on that tab. In the next step, click on 'OK' to dismiss the advanced appearance dialog box, then click on the 'Apply' button. It makes the desktop fade and then return back to normal. Click on the 'Advanced' button again, change the icon size back to what it was, and click on 'OK' again.

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