Fixing Desktop Icons Flashing on Windows 10

Last Updated on January 4, 2019



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Windows 10 users have reported the Microsoft community as “desktop icons flashing / flickering”. As the user has pointed out, the desktop and taskbar icons automatically flash or blink every 4-5 minutes. It’s annoying, frustrating for Windows users. You cannot click on the desktop icons when they are flashing.

This was very noticeable with one of the older iterations of Windows 10, because an update caused an error with flashing icons for users. Future fixes seem to have fixed it, but it seems that some users are still bothered by this bug.

User reports indicate that there is nothing they can do on their PC once the desktop icons start flashing under Windows 10. In this sense, here are some solutions that we propose below to continue the solution.

When starting the PC, it takes an unusually long time after the login screen until the “Image” part of the desktop icons is loaded; sometimes the text of the file names appears first and quickly, then there is a delay before the icon images are “painted” on the monitor screen. I also noticed that when I open the file manager, the same file names flash in the leftmost directory structure window.

Probably below the dots, there may be a problem with flashing or blinking desktop icons.

  • Two monitors: If multiple monitors are connected for the same processor or PC tower, the desktop icons will blink or blink due to compatibility or poor screen resolution.
  • Defective graphics card: Automatic update of Windows or defective graphics driver installed manually. Incompatible graphics drivers can also cause the problem.
  • PC connected to the remote office: For example, you have two computers, one at home and one at the office, you can use all remote desktop tools such as WebEx, Teamviewer, Logmein, and they are not disconnected from the network. Be sure to disconnect as soon as your work is finished.
  • Defective user account and Explorer.exe: Incorrect system files, user account, Explorer.exe can also cause desktop icons to blink/flick.
  • Anti-Virus: Antivirus plays a very important role on every computer. If the antivirus is incorrectly configured or if a defective antivirus can cause the problem.

Quick Fix



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The procedure is to exit the Explorer.exe process, delete IconCache.db and restart Explorer.exe.

1. Open Windows Explorer. Go to profile %User%\AppData\Local
2. Make sure the Show hidden files option is enabled. Change the properties of IconCache.db so that they are not hidden. (so that it is visible in step 7 below). Close Windows Explorer.
3. Open the Task Manager (used in step 6).
4. open the command line
5. from CD to local user % profile. The DIR should display IconCache.db in the folder.
6. In the Task Manager window, sort by application and click on Explorer.exe. Click on Finish the process. Make sure that no Explorer processes are running. The start button and taskbar disappear.
7. delete the file IconCache.db : LED IconCache.db in the command prompt window.
Restart the Explorer at the command prompt by typing Explorer. The Start button and taskbar should reappear.

Check the GPU driver

Another possible reason why desktop icons blink is the non-functional software support of your graphics adapter. Generic drivers, which are managed via Windows Update, are not optimally adapted in most cases. What you need to do is get an appropriate driver from the OEM GPU. These are easy to find, even if you have an older GPU.

Check the F5 key

Have you checked if your F5 key is locked in the down position? Press F5 to update the desktop and reload the icons (a fraction of a second flashes). Pressing F5 in a web browser reloads the page (also “refresh”). If you keep F5 on the list of programs to uninstall, the list will be updated (Flash/Flicker). Press this button repeatedly to see if you can release it.

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/35339920-flashing-desktop-icon-for-all-notifications


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