Why Is There An X On My Desktop Icons | Simple Fixes


On your desktop screen, you save the important application so that you can open them quickly. You might have a question why are there x’s on my icons. In this article, you will understand the fixes for this problem. And not to worry, we have plenty of solutions to help you to fix why is there an x on my desktop icons.

You might face the issue of x on your desktop icons due to corrupt icon files. This is a common issue found among Windows users, whereas if you see green ticks on the desktop icons, they are properly synchronized with OneDrive. We will solve the x problem for you to make it green again.

There are several fixes to try to overcome this problem and get rid of the x mark on your desktop icons. You will see either a red x mark or a grey x on files. Either way, you can try the method to fix these x marks and sync them properly.

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Methods To Fix Why Is There An x On The Desktop Icons

Are you still wondering why there is an x on my desktop icons? There can be different reasons for different users as the exact reason has not been clear yet. Stop wondering why and start following these methods to fix the issue.x on desktop icons

Try these methods one-by-one if the previous methods don’t work for you. Let us discuss each strategy with its respective steps that you will follow.

Refresh Your Desktop Files

You must have noticed that the desktop  screen icons are refreshed whenever you refresh your PC after opening it. The icons disappear and reappear in mini-seconds with the blink of our eyes. This happens because your PC is trying to recreate the desktop screen and refresh the apps. If any applications need to be synced again or you want any background to perform on any app, the refresh process does it all. It is possible that you have not refreshed your PC, and it just needs that one click to remove the x on desktop icons.refresh

Follow the below steps to apply the refresh method and remove the red or gray x from icons.

  1. Right-click anywhere on your desktop screen other than the icons.
  2. Click on the Refresh option from the list of options to refresh the apps.

That’s it, just two easy steps, and it will refresh to the original state as it should be.

Delete/Remove Icon Cache

Your PC saves the icons in a separate folder called icon cache to retrieve icons whenever needed. You can delete this folder and check if the x is removed from the icons. Don’t worry; once you will delete it, the folder will rebuild by itself.

Go through these easy steps to delete or remove the icon cache folder from your PC.

  1. Right-click the Windows icon or press Windows + R to open the Run window.
  2. In the text field, type %LocalAppData% and press enter button.icon cache
  3. Navigate to find and delete the IconCache.DB file.
  4. Now you need to restart your PC, which will rebuild your folder.

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Choose Another App

The heading says to choose a different app; however, you need not switch to any other app. The choose another app is the name of the option that you will use to remove the x from the specific apps and folders.

To apply this method, you must perform the same steps for every app or folder where you see the x on the icons. Follow the below simple steps to remove the x from the desktop icons.

  1. First, you must right-click on the specific app with the x marked on it.
  2. Now find and select the Open With the option that will open up a list of apps.
  3. Now click on the Choose another app option at the bottom of the list.choose another app
  4. A new window with more similar apps will open up.
  5. You need not change the app on which you right-clicked and click the Ok button.

Disable Sync Or Quit Onedrive

If the question persists of why there is an x on my desktop icons, you should go for this method when the above-listed methods don’t work out well. Follow the steps given to remove the x from the desktop icons.

  1. Look for the OneDrive in the search box and right-click on its icon.disable one drive
  2. Now click Settings from the given list of options.
  3. Find and click the Pause syncing option to remove the x from the icons.

Restart File Explorer

Did you know that you can also restart the file explorer on your PC? File Explorer is the home for all kinds of apps and system settings. It is possible that refreshing it can remove the x from the desktop icons.

Please go through the below steps and apply them to solve the x mark issue.

  1. Search for Task Manager in the search box or press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open it.
  2. Navigate and right-click on Windows Explorer and click on the Restart option.restart file explorer
  3. You can either check directly for x mark now or restart your PC if that helps.

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Unblock Blocked File

Due to blocked files, the x can appear on the desktop icons. You can unblock the files and see if this solves the problem.

  1. First, right-click on the icon or file with x on it.
  2. Navigate to the bottom and select the Properties option from the list.unblock files
  3. Inside the General tab, checkbox the Unblock option, click on ok and apply to save the changes.


The issue could occur due to unwanted permissions given to the app or file. You can disable the Inheritance that will remove the x next to desktop icons.

  1. First, right-click on the icon or file with x on it.
  2. Navigate to the bottom and select the Properties option from the list.
  3. Inside the Security tab, click on the Advanced option in the window’s bottom-right corner.inheritance
  4. A new window will open. And you need to find and click on Disable Inheritance option.
  5. Another window will open up with two options; you must select the Remove all inherited permissions from this object option.

Files On-Demand

Disabling the Files On-Demand can remove the x from the desktop icons. Follow the steps to disable this option and check if it solves the x mark problem.

  1. Look for the OneDrive in the search box and right-click on its icon.
  2. Now click Settings from the given list of options.file on demands
  3. In the new window, switch to the Settings tab, checkbox the Save space, and download files as you use them option under Files On-demand.
  4. If the issue still persists, right-click on each app or file with x on it and now navigate and click on the Always keep on this device option.

Run CHKDSK Command

The CHKDSK command needs to be run in a command prompt as an administrator on your PC. It will check and rectify errors that might be causing this problem. Type Y, press enter, and restart your PC to check if the problem is solved. When you run this command, it may ask you for permission to check the volume when the computer will restart next time.

  1. Right-click the Windows icon or press Windows + R to open the Run window.
  2. In the text field, type cmd and press enter button.chkdsk command
  3. Command Prompt will open up where you need to run the chkdsk: /f /r /x /b (any drive with x issue) command.

Reinstall One Drive

Here you need to reinstall the One Drive if still, you cannot figure out why there is an x on my desktop icons.

. Follow the below steps and reinstall the One Drive.

  1. Search for OneDrive in the search box and right-click on its icon.reinstall onedrive
  2. Now click Settings from the given list of options.
  3. In the Account tab, click on the Unlink this PC option and confirm by clicking on Unlink Account. Restart your PC and sign in to your account One Drive.


Is it okay to delete Icon cache files?

Yes, it is fine to delete Icon cache files to fix the issue going on with your icons. Icon cache files help to retrieve icons faster as it takes time to retrieve directly from the app. When you will restart your PC, this folder will rebuild itself.

Why are the desktop shortcuts not working?

If the desktops shortcuts have broken paths, they might not work and create problems. There are program executables that launch these shortcuts, and if any of these programs have been deleted or uninstalled, it will affect the shortcuts.

What does the green tick mean on the desktop icon?

The green tick on your desktop icon is the indication that your apps are properly synced, and you need not worry about fixing anything. If you see x or cross on your desktop or folder icons, you must resolve the issue by following the methods mentioned in this article.


In this article, we answered your question about why there is an x on my desktop icons with ten fixes. These resolutions are sufficient to solve your problem of x on your desktop icon. You can also apply these methods to solve the x mark problem on your windows 10 icon files.

You need to keep a check on such issues and rectify them as you discover any unusual activity. The best and recommended thing to apply is to scan your PC with antivirus regularly to find and fix issues from malicious activities

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