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How to Fix Shortcut icon change to Internet Explorer icon

Internet Explorer icon

If you guys are facing this issue where all icons in Start Menu or Desktop actually have changed to Internet Explorer icons. Then chances are the .exe file association might have been broken via some 3rd party program conflicting along with Registry. The programs mess along with the IconCache.db as well as the .lnk extension. That is why you guys are seeing the Internet Explorer icons all over your Windows shortcuts. Now the main problem is that you guys can’t open any programs via Start Menu or Desktop since they all have Internet Explorer icons. In this article, we are going to talk about How to Fix the Shortcut icon change to the Internet Explorer icon. Let’s begin!

Now there is no specific reason as to why this issue occurs. However, it surely has to deal along with malicious software or in most cases viruses from executable files or from a USB flash drive. It is also advised after the issue is resolved you buy good Antivirus protection for your system as well. So without even wasting any further time let’s see how you can actually Fix Shortcut icons changed to Internet Explorer icons with the help of the below-troubleshooting step.

How to Fix Shortcut icons change to Internet Explorer icon

To help you guys solve it, there are two things that you can try, and both of them have been proven in order to work for a fairly big user base, so one of them will definitely help you guys.

Registry Fix

  • Tap on Windows Key + R and then type Regedit and click on Enter in order to open Registry Editor.
  • Now navigate to the following registry key:


  • You have to make sure to expand the FileExts folder and then find the .lnk subfolder.

Internet Explorer icon

  • Now right-click on .lnk folder and select Delete.
  • You have to close Registry Editor and reboot your PC in order to save changes.

Try System Restore | Internet Explorer icon

  • Tap on Windows Key + R and type”sysdm.cpl” then click on enter.
  • Choose the System Protection tab and select System Restore.
  • Tap on Next and select the desired System Restore point.
  • You have to follow the on-screen instruction to complete the system restore.
  • Now after reboot, you may be able to Fix Shortcut icons changed to Internet Explorer icons as well.

Run CCleaner and Malwarebytes

  • First of all, download and install CCleaner & Malwarebytes.
  • Then run Malwarebytes and let it scan your system for harmful files.
  • If malware is found, then it will automatically remove them.
  • Now run CCleaner and in the “Cleaner” section, that is under the Windows tab, we suggest checking the following selections to be cleaned:

Clear Thumbnails cache | Internet Explorer icon

You have to run Disk Cleanup on the disk where the folder along with the black square appears.

Note: This would reset all your customization on the Folder. So if you guys don’t want that then try this method at last as this will definitely fix the issue as well.

  • Head to This PC or My PC and right-click on the C: drive in order to select Properties.
  • Then, from the Properties window tap on Disk Cleanup under capacity.
  • It will actually take some time in order to calculate how much space Disk Cleanup will be able to free.
  • Now just wait until Disk Cleanup analyzes the drive and gives you a list of all the files that can be removed.
  • It checkmarks Thumbnails from the list and taps on Clean up system files at the bottom under Description.
  • Just wait for Disk Cleanup to complete and then see if you are able to Fix Shortcut icons changed to Internet Explorer icon.
  • When you’ve made certain the proper points are checked, just simply click Run Cleaner, and let CCleaner run its course.
  • In order to clean your system further select the Registry tab and make sure the following are checked:
  • Choose Scan for Issue and permit CCleaner to scan, then tap on Fix Selected Issues.
  • Whenever CCleaner asks “Do you want backup changes to the registry?” choose Yes.
  • When your backup has been completed, choose Fix All Selected Issues.
  • Just restart your PC in order to save changes.

Delete the IconCache.db file | Internet Explorer icon

If deleting the .lnk key from the Registry Editor didn’t help, you guys may try to delete the IconCache database file. That will also reset any shortcut issues whenever you reboot. The steps you guys can use to do this are below.

  • Just close all folders that you have opened.
  • Tap on simultaneously the Windows and keys on your keyboard, and in the Run window, type taskmgr.exe. Click on Enter on your keyboard, or tap on OK to open the Task Manager.
  • Just switch to the Processes tab, and locate explorer.exe. Right-click it, and select End Process. When asked for confirmation, tap on End Process.
  • From the File menu on the menu bar in the Task Manager, just choose New Task (Run…).
  • Just type in cmd.exe and tap OK or click on Enter.
  • When you’re inside the Command Prompt, you will have to type in a few commands. Just make sure to click on Enter on your keyboard after each command to execute them.

CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local

DEL IconCache.db /a


  • Head back to the Task Manager, tap on File from the menu bar, and then New Task (Run…).
  • Then type in explorer.exe in order to restart the process and click OK.
  • Reboot your PC.


Alright, That was all Folks! I hope you guys like this article and also find it helpful to you. Give us your feedback on it. Also if you guys have further queries and issues related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a Great Day!

Also See: How to Fix Windows Cannot Find Steam.exe

About the author

Windy Moore

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