Desktop Icons disappearing and reappearing constantly on my Sony VAIO, windows 8.1

Since  switching on my PC a few days ago, the desktop icons are flicking on and off constantly, making it impossible to select any applications. Think it has happened since a windows update.

Hi David,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Community

I understand that that your desktop icons keep on disappearing and reappearing.


This issue could have occurred due to these reasons:

  1. Icon cache is either corrupt or the shortcut link is broken.
  2. Corrupted system file or due to a virus.

Follow these Methods and let us know if this fixes the issue:


Method 1: Rebuild icon cache


To Rebuild icon cache follow the below mentioned steps -

1. Open Folder Options to select (dot) Show hidden files and folders.

2. Open a Windows Explorer window.

3. Go to C:\Users\(User Name)\AppData\Local
4. Right click on IconCache.db and click on Delete.

5. Click on Yes to confirm the deletion.
NOTE: This deletes the file to the Recycle Bin. It is safe to empty the Recycle Bin when finished.

6. Close the window.

7. Empty the Recycle Bin.

8. Restart the computer.

9. When you go back, you will notice the Size of the IconCache.db file is smaller, and the Date Modified is now the current date.

NOTE: If for some reason IconCache.db is not there or the size has not changed much, then just restart the computer again. You may need to restart a couple of times in some cases.

10. The icon cache has been rebuilt.

Proceed to Method 2 if this doesn’t work


Method 2: Run System File Checker

Use the System File Checker tool to repair missing or corrupted system files.

Refer to the article below:


Method 3: Scan your computer for virus using Microsoft Safety Scanner

Microsoft Safety Scanner will help us to get rid of viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. The Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free downloadable security tool that provides on-demand scanning and helps remove viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It works with your existing antivirus software.

Please use this link to download Microsoft Virus Scanner:

Note: The Microsoft Safety Scanner expires 10 days after being downloaded. To rerun a scan with the latest anti-malware definitions, download and run the Microsoft Safety Scanner again.

Disclaimer: If you run the virus scan the program that is infected with virus will get deleted. So you have to reinstall the program. Also if the files and folders are affected with virus then they might even get deleted


Hope this information helps. Reply to the post with updated status of the issue to assist you further.

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Question Info

Last updated June 16, 2020 Views 2,835 Applies to: