Microsoft is providing users with a fix designed to help them deal with problems related to icons changing randomly on their computer.

According to the Redmond company, this issue can affect Windows 7, but also older releases of Windows, such as Windows Vista and Windows XP.

The software giant explained that the problem is caused by incorrect updates of the icon cache.

“Some icons in the following locations are randomly changed to other icons on a computer that is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7: My Computer, Windows Explorer, Desktop and Quick Launch bar,” Microsoft noted.

Microsoft has provided an automated Fix IT solution for the issue described above. Users that are affected by this particular problem need to navigate to KB 2396571 and run the Fix It, in order to have icons no longer being altered randomly.

Do-it-your-selvers can of course implement the fix manually. And the Redmond company has made sure to provide the necessary steps for users to do so.

“To fix this problem, follow these steps:

step 1: Close all open windows if a Close Open Programs Interaction dialog box is displayed.

step2: Verify the Max Cached Icons registry value that locates in the following registry subkey equals to 2000:


Delete IconCache.db that locates in the following path:

Windows XP – %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data

Windows Vista or Windows 7 - %userprofile%\AppData\Local.”

But in this regard, customers should be extremely careful about tweaking the registry. Fact is that users should not mess with the Windows registry unless they know what they’re doing and if they are aware of the risks involved.

“This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly,” Microsoft warns.

“For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs.”

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