In Windows 11 and Windows 10, you can change the icon cache size that can be of help if Explorer opens slowly. To show icons faster, Windows caches them into a file. This special file contains icons for many apps and file types, so File Explorer doesn't need to extract the icons for known file extensions and apps. This allows File Explorer to work faster.
However, the icon cache file size is just 500 KB by default. Due to this restriction, folders with many files may open slowly. Increasing the icon cache size may resolve the issue and fix slow loading icons in the File Explorer app.
Unfortunately, there is no special option for that in File Explorer to change the icon cache size. The procedure involves Registry editing. Let's see how it can be done.
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How to Change Icon Cache Size
To change the icon cache size in Windows 11 and 10, do the following.
- Open the Registry Editor app.
- Go to the following Registry key.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer. Paste this path to regedit's address bar to navigate to the key faster.
- Right-click the Explorer subkey in the left, and select New > String Value, and name it MaxCachedIcons. If you have already have this value on the right, omit this step.
- Now, double-click to modify the
MaxCachedIconsvalue and set its data to 4096. This will set the cache size to 4 MB.
- Restart the operating system.
You can further increase the icon cache size and set the
MaxCachedIcons value to 8192 = 8 MB. See what works best for you.
To save your time, you can download the ready-to-use Registry files. The undo tweak is included. Follow the instructions below.
Modify the Icon Cache Size Using Registry files
- Download the following ZIP archive: Download ZIP archive.
- Extract its contents to any folder. You can place the files directly to the Desktop.
- Unblock the files.
- Double click on the
Set Icon Cache Size To 4MB.regor
Set Icon Cache Size To 8MB.regfile to merge it.
- To undo the change, use the provided file
Default Icon Cache Size.reg.
You are done!
Finally, Winaero Tweaker also allows you to change the icon cache size. For that, download the app, and navigate to "File Explorer > Icon Cache Size" option.
Adjust the value to what you want.
Note: Everything above also works in Windows 7 and Windows 8.
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