The menace of TweakUI

Posted on 2000-01-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I've made a mistake of installing TweakUI-98 on Win NT 4.0
Most options seemed to work ok, but when I told it to remove little arrows from the shortcuts, the trouble began. Now everytime I boot computer, all the icons are messed up. I can temporarily fix it by going to TweakUI and re-applying "no arrows" option, but after reboot icons are once again a mess.

I tried uninstalling TweakUI - no luck,
got message "TweakUI uninstall encountered an error".

I also tried installing the older version (TweakUI-95) - didn't help.

Question by:daugava
  • 4
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  • +3

Expert Comment

ID: 2365990
reduce your icon size in display propeties - apperence, item set to icon and reduce by 1 pixel, click ok.

this can be set back once icons are ok

Expert Comment

ID: 2365999
display properties in control panel or right click on desktop - properties

Author Comment

ID: 2367119
Sorry, that didn't help.
Perhaps I should be more specific when  
I say "icons are messed up".
Basically, all the icons one the desktop
seem overlayed with a single icon,
so they all look the same. After reboot,
problems persists, though they could
be overlayed by a different icon then.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Tim Holman
ID: 2367415
Delete c:\winnt\shelliconcache
Install TweakUI for Win NT, and put everything back !
The installation of TweakUI itself won't harm the system, it's only when you start doing things with it.
All TweakUI does is modify the registry.
If you can find out what registry keys you've altered, you should be able to put them back to normal.
Do you have any registry backups, or recovery disks ?
If you log off and back on again, are the icons still shafted, or is it just after a reboot ?
This would indicate something was up with the HKLM key as opposed to anything else.

Accepted Solution

DrBeaker earned 4000 total points
ID: 2367640
This is a known and long-standing problem.  Fortunatly there is a fix.

1. Uninstall TweakUI.

2. Right click the Desktop and choose Properties.

3. On the Appearance tab, select icon in the Item box.

4. Increase the icon Size by 1 and press Apply.

5. Decrease the icon Size by 1 and press Apply.

6. Press OK.

7. At a CMD prompt, type: DEL /q %systemroot%\ShellIconCache

8. Logoff and Logon

Note that "tweakui for NT" is buggy too.  I suggest staying well clear of the product in future. If you REALLY want to change the little overlay, here's how to do it:

use Regedt32 to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons

If the Shell Icon key does not exist, you can Add Key. Double-click or Add Value name 29, a type REG_SZ value, and set it to the full path to the file that contains the icon you wish to use, followed by a , (comma), followed by the icon number in the file (the first icon number is 0).


%SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll,30 would use a larger arrow.

%SystemRoot%\system32\tweakui.cpl,1 would use gears.

Hope this helps.


Author Comment

ID: 2367978
Tim Hollman:
1) C:\>DEL /q %systemroot%\ShellIconCache
Could Not Find C:\WINNT\ShellIconCache

2) I installed "TweakUI for 95/NT" (had "Tweakui for Win98" before) -
is this what you had in mind ?

3) Yes, logging off and back on messes up the icons too.

1) Unfortunately uninstalling TweakUI is one thing I can't do:
error message: "An error occured while trying to remove TweakUI.
Uninstallation has been cancelled".

2) I tried the "change icon size" trick - didn't help...

Expert Comment

ID: 2368246
You can uninstall Tweakui simply be deleting the files.  The reg keys wont matter.

Did you apply the changes between increasing and decreasing the icon size?

Did you delete the icon cache?

you could try the fix to set the marker yourself

Other than this I think u are looking at a rebild.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Tim Holman
ID: 2370575
shelliconcache is a hidden file, so attrib -h it first.

Expert Comment

ID: 2372174
Use regclean to cleanup the registry. Hope this will solve your problem:



Author Comment

ID: 2373041
The nightmare is over!
Thank you, DrBraker!
I added 100 bonus points to the score :)

Anyway, in your advice for changing overlay thru registry - what setting would I use to remove the arrow ?

Andrew ( daugava@moped.org )

Author Comment

ID: 2373047
Oops, I wanted to go from 1000 points to 1100, but somehow it seemed to drop to 100... bug in experts-exchange ?

Expert Comment

ID: 2373931
I'm not sure what setting is needed to remove the arrow. You could try a null value.

If I find an answer I'll post it here.

If you want to award the "bonus points" leave a question "for DrBeaker".  That seems to be the norm.

Expert Comment

ID: 2375163
Remove the arrows:

If you do not want new shortcut icons to contain this arrow, use Registry Editorto search for and remove the IsShortcut value from:


Expert Comment

ID: 24567320
Going back to the original question (system tray Qick Launch icons become messed up), on Windows XP Home SP3 none of the current advice on the Web will help because Windows restores its icon cache from a backup on every restart. If you delele both your local cache (C:\Documents and Settings\<UserAccountName>\Local Settings\Application Data\IconCache.db) and the backup cache (C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\Local Settings\Application Data\IconCache.db) and restart, the problem should be fixed. Note that these files have the Hidden attribute set, so you will have to change Folder Options in Explorer (Tools) or Control Panel before you can see them.

Microsoft: TweakUI should be corrected to delete the icon caches (their paths are dependent on the Windows version) after an icon repair operation.

David Spector

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