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Allow or Prevent Themes to Change Desktop Icons in Windows 11

Windows includes the common¬†This PC¬†(aka: Computer),¬†User’s Files,¬†Network,¬†Recycle Bin, and¬†Control Panel¬†shortcuts that you can add or remove as icons on your desktop.

Changing your¬†theme¬†can also change your¬†desktop icons¬†to what’s included in the theme.

This tutorial will show you how to allow or prevent themes to change desktop icons for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Add or Remove “Learn more about this picture” Desktop icon in Windows 11

When you choose to have Windows Spotlight as your desktop background, it will add a Learn more about this picture icon on your desktop by default. The Learn more about this picture icon can be dragged to any location you want on your desktop.

You can hover over the Learn more about this picture desktop icon to see information about the current Windows Spotlight picture.

You can right click on the Learn more about this picture desktop icon to Open in Bing, Switch to next picture, rate I like this picture, or rate Not a fan of this picture.

If you choose a picture, solid color, or slideshow instead of Windows Spotlight as your desktop background, it will remove the Learn more about this picture icon on your desktop.

If you like, you can remove the Learn more about this picture desktop icon while still using Windows Spotlight as your desktop background.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the Learn more about this picture desktop icon when using Windows Spotlight as your desktop background for your account in Windows 11.

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Change Folder Icon in Windows 11

Starting with¬†Windows 11 build 22557, File Explorer will show a¬†thumbnail preview¬†of folder contents on the folder’s icon. Usually, the last item added to the folder will show as a thumbnail preview on the folder’s icon.

You can change the folder icon to show any custom icon you want instead of the folders’ default icon or thumbnail preview.

This tutorial will show you how to change the icon of a folder in Windows 11.

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Remove Shortcut Arrow Icon in Windows 11

A shortcut is a link to an item (such as a file, folder, or app) on your PC. You can create shortcuts and then place them in a convenient location, such as on the desktop, so you can easily access the item that the shortcut links to. Shortcut files (.lnk) can be distinguished from the source target by the arrow that appears overlayed on the shortcut’s icon.

This tutorial will show you how to remove the shortcut arrow overlay on all shortcut icons for all users in Windows 11.

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How to Change Icon Cache Size in #Windows11

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.

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, Windows 10, and Windows 11.

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Rebuild Icon Cache in Windows 11

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.

The icon cache can sometimes become corrupted causing the icons of files to display incorrectly or distorted. When this happens, the icon cache needs to be deleted to reset and automatically recreate it.

Rebuilding the icon cache will not help with the following icon issues:

  • The icon of a shortcut not displaying properly due to the target source of the shortcut was moved or deleted. You may need to recreate a new shortcut directly from the source (ex: program’s exe) file to replace it instead.
  • All icons for a specific file extension display the wrong icon. This may be due to setting the wrong association for what app to open the file type instead. If so, restoring the¬†default association of the file extension¬†will fix this issue.
  • Thumbnails of pictures, videos, and documents.

This tutorial will show you how to rebuild the icon cache to clear and reset it for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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How to Extract Icon from File in Windows

You can use the free IconViewer utility program to view and save the icons contained within files, such as executable files and dynamic link libraries (DLLs).

When IconViewer is installed, it will add an Icons tab to the properties page of any file that contain icons.

While you must be signed in as an administrator to install IconViewer, all users will be able to use the Icons tab in the properties page of files that contain icons.

This tutorial will show you how to extract icons from files to save as a ICO, BMP, or PNG file in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

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