Vanishing icons on Mac OS X

Every once in a while the icons on my desktop suddenly almost disappear, leaving just the text underneath and a very tiny border where the icon should be.

Lost icon problem

The first time this happened I was quite perplexed and just couldn’t understand what I had done or how I could get the icons back. I tried rebooting but it was of no good. Then I realised that the only icons that were affected were shortcuts from Safari. Apparently, the icon cache gets messed up and needs to be fixed. The solution is simple:

  • From the Safari menu, select “Reset Safari”
  • Mark the option to remove all website icons and click “Reset”
  • Finally, Finder needs to be reset. Either log out and back in or press option-command-escape and relaunch Finder.

Lost icon solution