Change Icon Cache Size in Windows 11 and 10

In Windows 11 and Windows 10, you can change the icon cache size that can be of help if Explorer opens slowly. 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 for that in 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.

How to Change Icon Cache Size

To change the icon cache size in Windows 11 and 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. Paste this path to regedit's address bar to navigate to the key faster.
  3. Right-click the Explorer subkey in the left, and select New > String Value, and name it MaxCachedIcons. If you have already have this value on the right, omit this step.Create New String Value
  4. Now, double-click to modify the MaxCachedIcons value and set its data to 4096. This will set the cache size to 4 MB.Change Icon Cache Size
  5. Restart the operating system.

You can further increase the icon cache size and set the MaxCachedIcons 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.

Modify 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.Registry Files
  5. To undo the change, use the provided file Default Icon Cache Size.reg.

You are done!

Finally, Winaero Tweaker also allows you to change the icon cache size. For that, download the app, and navigate to "File Explorer > Icon Cache Size" option.

Winaero Tweaker Option

Adjust the value to what you want.

Note: Everything above also works in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Related articles:

Support us

Winaero greatly relies on your support. You can help the site keep bringing you interesting and useful content and software by using these options:

If you like this article, please share it using the buttons below. It won't take a lot from you, but it will help us grow. Thanks for your support!


Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

10 thoughts on “Change Icon Cache Size in Windows 11 and 10”

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. This is incorrect.

    The key must be named MaxCachedIcons, not Max Cached Icons.


  4. Hello Sergey,
    Are we sure about “Max Cached Icons” with spaces in the registry.
    MS says “MaxCachedIcons”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Using Telegram? Subscribe to the blog channel!
Hello. Add your message here.