About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that my Windows application shortcut icons were showing the default, “no type associated” icons for all of the Office-related documents. I could double-click one of these (such as a .pptx or .xls file) and it would open in the correct application, so the shortcut itself was working.. but the icons were the generic Windows icon:
I found a very detailed page describing various ways to try to fix the issue, and I tried all of them. None of these worked.
What did work, however, was completely quirky and inexplicable. I had to replace a directory under
Here’s how I stumbled upon this. I tried to change the default icon for Excel files by doing the following:
- I opened an Explorer window (
- I clicked on Tools -> Folder Options -> File Types
- I scrolled down to XLS in the list and clicked on “Advanced”. I saw the following dialog:
- I clicked on “Change Icon”, and the following error message came up:
So the icon shortcuts were missing, because this weird directory was missing (probably some disk-cleaning tool I ran purged that directory to regain some space).
I found that directory on one of my other Windows laptops, copied it over, and now the Office document shortcut icons are working again.
Whew, that was a rabbit hunt.