Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

XP SP3 no longer allows changes to shortcut icons

I've been using XP SP3 for some time now with no problems, but it seems that since the last update (about 10-12 days ago?) I can no longer change the icons on my desktop shortcuts and they have mostly reverted to a generic icon (looks like a document). Also, all of the icons in my favorites list have also reverted. If I right-click on a shortcut icon and click properties, I can get to the "Change Icon" button and go throuhg the steps without any error message, etc. However, the icon simply does not change to the one I select, neither the "preloaded" windows icons or any custom one I browse to. It used to work fine, but now no matter what I enter, it reverts to some cryptic file name (%system%\\%system32%\something.dll or something like that). The only other change I have made recently was to change the size and spacing of my icons. Any help or ideas would be appreciated.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: XP SP3 no longer allows changes to shortcut icons
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: XP SP3 no longer allows changes to shortcut icons
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Please Try This...

In reply to: XP SP3 no longer allows changes to shortcut icons

Simply reboot into Safe Mode, the reboot back into "normal" Windows.. It will usually reset the iconcache and allow the icons to look normal again:

How To Start In 'Safe Mode'

Hope this helps.


Collapse -
Thanks.but no luck

In reply to: Please Try This...

I tried it but no change. Thanks for trying!

Collapse -
Do you mean 'all' shortcut icons?

In reply to: XP SP3 no longer allows changes to shortcut icons

Collapse -
Just web shortcuts

In reply to: Do you mean 'all' shortcut icons?

Seems that only the shortcuts to web pages are affected. Also all the little icons in my "Favorites" list are the generic ones. Could this be a problem with IE7? Perhaps a repair (if possible) of IE7 would fix this. I'm not sure how to do that.

Collapse -
(NT) Did you try that workaround?

In reply to: Just web shortcuts

Collapse -
Yes but no luck

In reply to: Did you try that workaround?

Thanks Mark for the suggestion. However I tried that workaround and it will not allow me to type in the path. I have tried with and without quotes and it doesn't like the spaces either way. It also adds a leading C:\ before if I use quotes, and either way it changes the http:\\ to http:/ and no matter what I try, it just says the program *whatever I try to type* cannot be found.
Maybe the next update will fix the problem. Thanks again.

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.