Windows 10 File Explorer Icon

Change Icon Cache Size in Windows 10

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 in Windows 10 and File Explorer to change the icon cache size. The procedure involves Registry editing. Let's see how it can be done.

You must be signed in with an administrative account to continue.

To change the icon cache size in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

  3. On the right, modify or create a new string (REG_SZ) value Max Cached Icons.
  4. Set its value to 4096 to set the cache size to 4 MB. 
  5. Restart Windows 10.

You can further increase the icon cache size and set the Max Cached Icons 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.

Change the Icon Cache Size Using Registry files

  1. Download the following ZIP archive: Download ZIP archive.
  2. Extract its contents to any folder. You can place the files directly to the Desktop.
  3. Unblock the files.
  4. Double click on the Set Icon Cache Size To 4MB.reg or Set Icon Cache Size To 8MB.reg file to merge it.
  5. To undo the change, use the provided file Default Icon Cache Size.reg.

You are done!

Note: This tweak also works in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

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5 thoughts on “Change Icon Cache Size in Windows 10

  1. Wesley Hatler

    I don’t think it actually has anything to do with size as my thumbnail cache is generally around 300-500MBs. I think instead of its the number of icons that are stored in the cache, so by upping it to 4096 from 512 you are actually allowing 4,096 items to be cached. Unless it’s not in KBs and is instead in MBs and if that is the case then you are actually upping it to 4GBs cache

    Reply
  2. Zelanium

    I came here to make the same post. In addition, the name of the value suggests it affects the number and doesn’t enforce a static size limit. I also would like to point out, just to be safe, that the thumbnail cache and the icon cache are related in theory, but kept in seperate files.

    Reply

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