Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Can't get special folder icons to stick

  1. #11


    Posts : 151
    Win8 Pro


    Maybe it has something to do with the Microsoft Sync engine - lets make sure all the permissions are correct.

    1. Windows Key + E
    2. Rt.click your One Drive folder and select properties
    3. On the Security tab, make sure that your Microsoft account is included in the list of authorized Group or User Names. If it's not there, add it.
    4. Next, go to Advanced Security Settings dialog by clicking the Advanced button. Double-check the permissions for your Microsoft account. Make sure the account has Full Control and that the permissions apply to This Folder, Subfolders, and Files. If not, double-click on your Microsoft account and fix it.
    5. Finally, before clicking OK to exit the Advanced Security Settings dialog, make sure to check the box next to Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object. Hit OK and exit.

    Go back and delete the iconcache.db again (see above)

    Also go to this folder location and delete the hidden iconcache.db's:

    C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\

    There should be some iconcache_32.db files as well as iconcache_idx.db (there might be several - delete anything referencing iconcache)

    Set up your icons again. Now restart. Restart the computer or explorer a couple times to make sure the icons are ok. Now, put the computer to sleep, and see if the icons survive.
    Last edited by lastof; 26 Aug 2014 at 21:02.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Swing and a miss. I had some trouble deleting most of those files due to access. I was able to get most of them deleted by killing explorer and going through the command line, but I couldn't get them all.

    But, alas, it didn't work either way. There has to be something else going on. Could this have something to do with how windows deals with changing the location of the special folders?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Posts : 151
    Win8 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by taward View Post
    But, alas, it didn't work either way. There has to be something else going on. Could this have something to do with how windows deals with changing the location of the special folders?
    That would be my best guess as well. Is OneDrive a cloud storage thing? I've never personally used it before, but from the name I was assuming that it is basically a hard drive that is synchronized with cloud storage? Or is it an actual removeable drive?

    And just to get things straight, I think we left it with everything seemingly ok, except that the icons were not persistent through a sleep cycle...is that correct?

    If this is the case, then I think things have been narrowed down sufficiently enough that we can take a look at the actual process calls to/from the registry/memory/etc with a process logger when you awake the computer from sleep. The program is freeware, comes from Microsoft, and like before, you don't need to install anything, just download and run it...we will have to get it set up properly to filter some of the extraneous information out, and I will come back to give you instructions on how to do that - which I will do after I get back from dinner later on...

    For now, you can download it though. The basic idea will be that you will start the program and immediately initiate a sleep cycle, then wake the computer, and immediately stop the capture (or monitoring) - the reason we only want to monitor this little snippet of activity is because (as you will see), the number of events captured turns into the hundreds of thousands in just a few seconds (when it's monitoring everything). After stopping the monitor, we will then use "find" to search for any and all calls to "icon", and we should be able to see what is going on internally.

    If you are still willing to dig a little deeper, I'm certainly willing to see what we can come up with, and I will give you some more exact instructions later tonight, but you can try fooling around with it for now - ALSO, One last thing, have you attempted to re-create the problem in safe mode? Try booting into safe mode and recreating the problem that way...

    Process Monitor
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Lastof...I'm back! Forgive me for my absence, things have been busy. But, my problem persists.

    A quick primer to answer your question: OneDrive is the built in cloud storage in Windows 8.1. I say built in b/c it is deeply embedded into the OS. But not so deeply that any of the OneDrive folders have "special" status (e.g. My Documents, My Music, etc.) by default. This also means that they have file and properties that sync over several devices, of which I have three (my Surface pro 3, my X220T, and my iMac at work). I have assigned the folders in my OneDrive to be special folders and tried to get the icons associated with those folders to stick.

    Everything appears to work well until it wakes up from sleep. When that happens, all of the icons disappear.

    I will try the monitor and try the safe mode.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Posts : 1
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64-bit


    Hey Taward,

    I actually have the exact same problem! My OneDrive folder keeps showing blank, but whenever I go to properties and restore the icon, it only shows the blue cloud for a couple of minutes. As soon as I go back it's blank again. Have you found a solution to this yet?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    @dvcphung no dice. I've left it alone for a while and learned to live with it.

    I tried to go in and just change the icons to default. A strange thing happened. Since I have changed the registry, the OneDrive folders are the default special folders (My Documents...) the correct icon would show up on the properties window. After I hit OK, the correct icon would even show up on the folder, but then disappear. So, it looks like there is something somewhere overwriting my icon selection.

    Any thoughts?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I'm trying to resurrect this thread. I've dived back in to see if I can solve this and keep coming up empty. Has anyone, anywhere, figured this out or am I just destined for ugly folders?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I've been able to get my icons to work correctly, but not without going to a lot of trouble!
    Firstly I had to show all hidden and system files so I could see what I was doing.
    I found I have to manually assign all the correct icons to each folder through the folder properties interface. To make this work I had to browse into the OneDrive folder then right-click each special linked folder i.e. documents, pictures, music, videos and desktop and on the customisation tab assign the icons. Doing it from my user folder didn't work. Each time I changed an icon I had to change the icon file from the default system32.dll to imageres.dll - though only the filename needs changing as the rest of the path is the same. For one or two of the special folders 'change icon' was not available on the customisation tab for some reason. For those folders I did the work on another folder then copied the desktop.ini file from that folder to the one I was trying to change thus applying the settings manually. Also, I found two desktop.ini files showing in my desktop folder - no idea how that was happening, so I deleted both before using the interface to create a new one by selecting an icon etc.
    Finally when all that work was done I opened command prompt as administrator and shutdown explorer.exe and taskman.exe. I then browsed to C:\Users\username\AppData\Local and deleted iconcache.db. I then further browsed to C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer and deleted all files iconcache* and thumbcache*
    After a restart all my icons were present and correct.

    I did try restarting and going in and out of sleep mode (I too have a Surface Pro 3) and the icons stuck for me. So far so good.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Looks like I spoke too soon!


    As soon as I finished posted the thread my icons all disappeard.


    I've tried deleting the icon cache and rebooting again and that has no effect.


    I had a look at all the desktop.ini files in each special one drive folder and compared them to backups I took. The desktop.ini files have not changed, the modified timestamp is the same, as are the file permissions.


    I found though that looking at a folder's properties did not show the settings as prescribed by the desktop ini files. However, I opened and closed the folder item type drop down and pressed apply and bingo suddenly all the desktop.ini settings appeared in the interface and the correct icon appeared in explorer, just for that folder.


    For some reason Windows is ignoring desktop.ini files within the onedrive folder or subfolders therin until it tries to write to that file at which time it refreshes its knowledge of the settings contained within it and they come to life.


    Does anyone have any idea why Windows is behaving like this?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I have further confirmed that this act of forgetting all the desktop.ini files within the OneDrive folder happens each time the OneDrive Engine begins a sync and checks for changes.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Can't get special folder icons to stick
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