How to restore / repair all icons in Windows Vista

I use a Dell XPS 1330 with Windows Vista Ultimate OS installed. Seeing the same Aero theme bored me and in the process of using configuring to use different themes, installed programs  that are not supported for patching Vista styles like Style XP, Starkdock Theme Manager with XP styles.

Even thought, it gave me an error saying this is not supported on Vista, I forced it to apply the theme and it messed up the all the icons for files and folders. They all look likedamaged icons vista the screenshot here. All the below attempts to repair the icons didn’t work.

  • I have uninstall Style XP etc to repair the icons.
  • Tried Vista Repair Options through DVD.
  • Tried to restore system files using sfc /scannow
  • There is no proper System Restore point.

Solution : Enter ‘regedit’ in Search box and Open Registry Editor; Navigate and delete the entry HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer\Shell Icons 
Exit Registry Editor, Logoff and login to see the icons restored. The software uninstaller blanks out the values, rather than deleting them.

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7 Responses to “How to restore / repair all icons in Windows Vista”

  1. Thanks very much for this, Iconpackager messed my windows 7 icons, and this one helped me out to get my default icons working.

  2. Fully cool.
    Fixed now thanks to you and your instructions.
    I had a red cross also on all the hard drives except ‘c’ drive prior to this fix, and all the desktop icons were crazy with folders superimposed over them.
    Thanks again!

  3. Thank you very much! Really helped me out =)

  4. it worked.

  5. Yeah, thank you very much, it WORK!!

  6. Thanks for the solution. This worked great and on Windows 7, did not even require log off! I had this weired issue(Thanks to a Stardock software) for days and had searched a lot but no method worked. Now, my icons look great like before!

  7. Using Windows 7 Professional.

    This didn’t worked for me. StarDock’s myColors ate my icons.
    After I deleted the key (and rebooted), most of the icons got recovered but not all of them… For example, the folder icons were correct, but when generating their thumbnail previews, the icon displayed was wrong! It displayed the “Think green” icon with the photos in it… i just don’t want to reinstall Windows again…

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