As you maybe have heard already. There is a shell exploit that is executed when Windows shows just the icon from a link file. MS works on it but currently you can only remove the icon handler key from the registry to be “safe”. See this link. It also tells us the impact of the action. However, on Windows 7, I think this prevents me from working efficiently with the Windows Explorer. Technet reads:

Impact of workaround.Disabling icons from being displayed for shortcuts prevents the issue from being exploited on affected systems. When this workaround is implemented, shortcut files and Internet Explorer shortcuts will no longer have an icon displayed.

Let me show you, why I can’t work anymore efficiently.

Windows 7 Taskbar with plain Icons

Windows 7 Taskbar with plain Icons

As you can see, some of the applications are already started and they don’t have their icon but some of them have. I don’t see the reason though. Do you?

BTW: This goes on in the start menu, on the desktop, and the favorite list in Windows Explorer.

Happy working…. :twisted:


A possible fix was supplied by external programmers. Maybe this will be the only option for the last few people who are using Windows 2000 still.