Change Icon Cache Size in Windows  

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    Change Icon Cache Size in Windows

    Change Icon Cache Size in Windows

    How to Change Icon Cache Size in Windows
    Published by Category: Performance & Maintenance
    07 Jun 2023
    Designer Media Ltd

    How to Change Icon Cache Size in Windows


    The icons that display for files in Windows are saved in an icon cache so they can be displayed quickly instead of having to manually scan and slowly load them each time.

    Sometimes you may notice File Explorer loads icons slowly when you open a folder with lots of files. Increasing the size of the icon cache may help.

    By default, the icon cache is 500 KB. Increasing the icon cache size to 4 MB gives the best results, but you can change the size to what works best for you.

    Reference: Icons are changed unexpectedly in Windows

    This tutorial will show you how to change the maximum size of the icon cache to fix slow loading icons in File Explorer for all users in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to change the icon cache size.



    Contents

    • Option One: Change Icon Cache Size using a REG file
    • Option Two: Manually Change Icon Cache Size in Registry Editor






    OPTION ONE

    Change Icon Cache Size using a REG file


    The downloadable .reg files below will modify the string value in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

    MaxCachedIcons string value

    (delete) = Default
    4096 = 4 MB


    1 Do step 2 (4 MB) or step 3 (default) below for what you would like to do.


    2 To Change Icon Cache Size to 4 MB

    A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

    Set_icon_cache_size_to_4MB.reg

    Download


    3 To Restore Default Icon Cache Size (500 KB)

    A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

    Default_icon_cache_size.reg

    Download


    4 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

    5 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

    6 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

    7 Restart the computer to apply.

    8 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.






    OPTION TWO

    Manually Change Icon Cache Size in Registry Editor


    1 Press the Win + R keys to open Run, type regedit into Run, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.

    2 Navigate to the key below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

    Change Icon Cache Size in Windows-maxcachedicons-1.png

    3 In the right pane of the Explorer key, double click/tap on the MaxCachedIcons string value to modify it. (see screenshot above)

    If you do not have a MaxCachedIcons string value, right click on an empty area in the right pane of the Explorer key, click/tap on New, click/tap on String Value, type MaxCachedIcons for the name, and press Enter.


    4 Type the icon cache size you want in KB (1 MB = 1024 KB), and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

    Change Icon Cache Size in Windows-maxcachedicons-2.png

    5 Close Registry Editor.

    6 Restart the computer to apply.


    That's it,
    Shawn Brink






  1. Posts : 17,838
    Windows 10
       #1

    Good one, Shawn!
    Worked a treat for me!
    I view by Large Icons with a large number of files on many drives.
    The icons still have to render but they render quickly; no more Explorer progress bar lagging on slow as molasses in January!
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 69,615
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #2

      My Computers


  3. Posts : 155
    Windows 10 Pro
       #3

    @Brink

    It 'd be even better if I set the value to 8192 KB instead 4096? What's the max size that we can keep or modify for best result?
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 69,615
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #4

    SM03 said:
    @Brink

    It 'd be even better if I set the value to 8192 KB instead 4096? What's the max size that we can keep or modify for best result?

    4096 for a 4MB cache size usually gives the best results. You can go higher, but you may be hitting diminishing returns. It won't hurt anything to test and see how it works for you though. You can always change it again.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 155
    Windows 10 Pro
       #5

    Brink said:
    4096 for a 4MB cache size usually gives the best results. You can go higher, but you may be hitting diminishing returns. It won't hurt anything to test and see how it works for you though. You can always change it again.
    diminishing returns
    can you explain this to me
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 69,615
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #6

    SM03 said:
    diminishing returns
    can you explain this to me

    It's basically the point you reach when there are no more benefits. It doesn't hurt anything, you just don't see anymore benefits from going too high.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 155
    Windows 10 Pro
       #7

    Brink said:
    It's basically the point you reach when there are no more benefits. It doesn't hurt anything, you just don't see anymore benefits from going too high.
    I see, it's a economics term you used. Thanks anyway.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 191
    10, server 2016, server2012
       #8

    Brink said:
    It's basically the point you reach when there are no more benefits. It doesn't hurt anything, you just don't see anymore benefits from going too high.
    @Brink, apologies for reviving this old thread.

    I recently came across having to restart explorer.exe constantly when working with hundreds of image file with a lot of thumbnail, within few hours use the context menu go all blank/black. I wish to increase the limitation thinking that hitting limit maybe causing context menu to corrupt, larger size = more hours before a restart is required.

    so on this thread it shows to increase Icon cache size.. but then I came across this Clear and Reset Thumbnail Cache in Windows 10

    how is this thread different to the link above? also in the link above is already at 3MB, mine is sitting at 10MB. does increasing cache icon size affect this thumbnail thing?
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 69,615
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #9

    m18xr2 said:
    @Brink, apologies for reviving this old thread.

    I recently came across having to restart explorer.exe constantly when working with hundreds of image file with a lot of thumbnail, within few hours use the context menu go all blank/black. I wish to increase the limitation thinking that hitting limit maybe causing context menu to corrupt, larger size = more hours before a restart is required.

    so on this thread it shows to increase Icon cache size.. but then I came across this Clear and Reset Thumbnail Cache in Windows 10

    how is this thread different to the link above? also in the link above is already at 3MB, mine is sitting at 10MB. does increasing cache icon size affect this thumbnail thing?
    Hello,

    The icon cache and thumbnail cache are two separate caches, so one will not affect the other.
      My Computers


 

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