Have you noticed that after you have had your computer for a few months it starts to slow down or sometimes you notice the icons on the desktop flashing or blinking or desktop icons and shortcuts losing their icons or desktop shortcut icons randomly changing to different icons?

One of the more common ways this problem appears is when icons in the following places start to experience this problem.

#1 My computer

#2 Desktop icons

#3 Icons in Windows explorer

#4 Windows start menu icons

This problem occurs under Windows vista, Windows XP and Windows 7 and you can fix this issue without having to call out a technician.

This issues is related to something called the icon cache in most cases and there are a few ways that you can fix this quickly.

#1 Close all open programs and close anything that you have open on your computer.

#2 Start the registry editor by going to start, then run and type in regedit and press ok.

#3 Once the registry editor is open scroll down to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then to Software then Microsoft then scroll down to Windows then Current Version and finally explorer.

#4 Once you are in there check if there is a key called “Max Cached Icons” without the quotes and if it is present ensure the value is set to 2000. If it is not present you need to create it. To do this is really easy.

Right click on the right pane of the registry editor once you are in the explorer sub menu. Then click on new and then string value and then copy and paste the name exactly as it is here and ensure there is a space between each word.

Once you have done this right click on where it says max cached icons. Then click on modify and where it says value data enter 2000. Once you have done this press on OK and close the registry editor. Do not alter or change anything else.

#5 Once you have done this delete the file called IconCache.db.

In Windows XP this file is located in:

%userprofile%Local SettingsApplication Data.

User profile is your account name so if your account name is David for example and you are using Windows XP you would go to the c: drive then documents and settings and then go to the folder with your user name and then scroll to the local settings folder and finally application data folder.

If you cannot see these folders do the following. Go to the start menu, then run then type in explorer and click on. On the Windows explorer box that appears go to tools then folder options. From there click on view and click on the button called show hidden files and folders. Then scroll down to the box called hide protected operating system files and uncheck it and then click ok. This will make these folders visible to you so you can fix the flashing Windows icons issue.

In Windows vista and Windows 7 the IconCache.db file is located at:


You can find the user profile using the same method as detailed above for Windows XP.

Once you have followed these steps the issue with icons should be resolved and you need to restart your computer for this to take effect.

If you still find you are having problems or are unsure about these steps you can download a system and registry scanner which will carry out all these steps automatically. This will scan for and fix any registry errors and Windows file errors too and will help you to fix the Windows flashing icons error in just a few minutes.

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