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TortoiseGit icons not showing workaround

Written on November 19, 2014

Sometimes the TortoiseGit overlay icons are just not showing up in Windows Explorer. While this issue is officially still open, there are workarounds to make it happen.

The following steps worked for me on Windows 7 and Windows 8:

  • Open the Registry Editor (Windows Key + R and type regedit).
  • Navigate to the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  • Add a new String Value named Max Cached Icons with the value data 2000. Note that if it exists already, just update the value data to 2000.
  • Open the Registry Editor (Windows Key + R and type regedit).
  • Navigate to the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers
  • Rename all Tortoise Key names by escaping them in double quotes ("):
Key name (before) Key name (after)
1TortoiseNormal "1TortoiseNormal"
2TortoiseModified "2TortoiseModified"
3TortoiseConflict "3TortoiseConflict"
4TortoiseLocked "4TortoiseLocked"
5TortoiseReadOnly "5TortoiseReadOnly"
6TortoiseDeleted "6TortoiseDeleted"
7TortoiseAdded "7TortoiseAdded"
8TortoiseIgnored "8TortoiseIgnored"
9TortoiseUnversioned "9TortoiseUnversioned"
  • Open the Task Manager and end all explorer.exe processes.
  • Keep the Task Manager open, and navigate to File > Run new task.
  • Type explorer into the Run dialog box to restart Windows Explorer.

Alternatively, just restart Windows.

Martin Buberl

Developer of all things web in the world's most livable city.
If you'd like to get in touch, feel free to shout @martinbuberl.