I am working on a first time C# project in Visual Studio 2005 and I am wondering if there is anything special that needs doing to change the application icon apart from changing the correct resource in the project properties.

I manage to view the new icon displayed in Explorer, but the icon in the application, the tray, and the task bar stays as the old icon.

I am wondering if this has anything to do with Windows Vista perhaps caching the applications icon and from then on not really refreshing it. The same happens in Explorer if you have thumbnails turned on.

If it does indeed cache the icon, what can I do to update/delete the cache, and also what is it based on (GUID perhaps? Not file name though as I changed that and still the same).



3 Answers 3


Previous versions of Windows cache icons, so I can only assume Vista does as well.

Traditionally, there's no option labeled "refresh icon cache", but changing the screen resolution or icon size will force Windows to refresh the icons.


I know Windows does not cache icons in memory: they're somehow stored in files, or not cached at all.

One morning after a party a woke up,and saw my friend writing something in assembler. "What're you doing?" - i asked. He was writing a kernel module (a driver) that hooks on Windows' file open API, and forbids it. The system hang :)

"You should add a 1sec timeout! Forbidding is boring". Said and done! We press "Start", and icons were appearing one by one with a 1sec delay.

This proves icons are cached in files :)


Answered here: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1460447/visual-studio-change-app-icon-how


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