FIX: Black Squares Behind Folder Icons in Windows 10

If you’ve suddenly started seeing black squares behind some of the icons for your folders on your Windows 10 computer, don’t worry as there is nothing wrong with your eyesight. In fact, this is an issue that many Windows 10 users have been affected by in the past and continue to fall prey to. The black squares that appear behind some of the folder icons on an affected user’s computer don’t really do anything other than crumple the overall look of the icons and be extremely annoying as the functionality of any and all affected folder icons remains intact.

In most cases, this issue is caused by a corruption of an affected computer’s Thumbnails cache, although it can also be caused by a variety of other things. Thankfully, though, this problem can be resolved, and the following are the two most effective resolutions in existence for it:

Solution 1: Clear and reset your computer’s Thumbnails cache

In most cases, this problem can be fixed by simply clearing and resetting your computer’s Thumbnails cache. In order to do so, you need to:

Hold down the Windows Logo key, and while doing so, press R to open a Run

Type cleanmgr into the Run dialog and press Enter to launch Disk Cleanup.

Open the dropdown menu under Drives and click on your root drive (the partition of your Hard Drive that Windows 10 is installed on) to select it.

Click on OK.

Wait until Disk Cleanup analyzes the drive and provides you with a list of all the files that are expendable.

Once provided with the list, select Thumbnails by checking the checkbox beside it. If you are in the mood to free up some extra disk space, go ahead and select all of the file types on the list.

Click on OK.

Wait for Disk Cleanup to delete the file type(s) you selected, and once it is done, restart your computer.

black squares

Check to see if the issue still persists once your computer boots up. If the issue still persists, try Solution 2.

Solution 2: Disable the read-only attribute for all affected folders

Right-click on a folder affected by this issue.

Click on Properties in the context menu.

In the Attributes section, you will see that the checkbox beside Read-only has a little square inside it. Click on the checkbox to remove the little square and uncheck it.

Click on Apply.

Click on OK.

Repeat steps 15 for all other folders affected by this problem.

Restart your computer and check to see whether or not the issue has been fixed once it boots up.

Pro Tip: If, after your computer boots up, you find out that the issue has still not been fixed, don’t worry as there is still one more thing that you can try. Repeat all of the steps listed and described above for all affected folders, but this time, click twice on the checkbox beside Read-only to remove the little square from the checkbox and introduce a tick into it. This slight variation of the solution described above has managed to fix this problem for quite a lot of Windows 10 users who were affected by it.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.