Do you know why gray X on desktop icons in Windows 10 shows up? Can you find any way to repair the issue? Here the post from MiniTool Partition Wizard provides some solutions that can help you deal with the gray X.

You may often see the green tick on the desktop icons which means the marked applications, files or folders have been synced with OneDrive. On the contrary, if you see the gray X on desktop icons, it may indicate that something wrong happens during the syncing process.

The following are some factors that can cause the gray X:

  • Conflicting cloud applications
  • The corrupt icon cache
  • Insufficient cloud storage
  • Shortcut app errors

How to remove gray X on desktop icons in Windows 10? Continue with the tutorial below, please.

Solution 1: Refresh Your PC

This way is the simplest that can help you solve gray X on desktop icons.

Step 1: Right-click the empty place on your desktop screen.

Step 2: Select Refresh to refresh your PC.

Tip: You can also press F5 to refresh the PC.

If the issue is not removed after the operation, you can go on with other solutions.

Solution 2: Open the Problematic File with Another App

If the gray X appears on a certain file icon, you are supposed to open the file with another application.

Tip: If the gray X appears on an application’s icon, you can skip to the next solution.

To do this, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Right-click the target file and move your cursor to Open with. Then select a suitable app, except the default one. If there is not any available app, you should click Choose another app.

Step 2: Finally, click OK to open the file.

After it is done, the gray X might be resolved successfully.

Solution 3: Clear Icon Cache

In some cases, if the icon cache is corrupted, you may see the gray X on desktop icons as well. To fix the issue caused on this occasion, you are supposed to clear the icon cache.

Step 1: Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog.

Tip: Click here to get more ways to open Run.

Step 2: Type %LocalAppData% in the box and press Enter.

Type %LocalAppData%

Step 3: Find the IconCache.DB file in this content and right-click to delete it.

Once you finish doing this, restart your computer to see if the gray X has been removed.

Solution 4: Create a New Key

When you find gray X on desktop icons, making some changes by Registry Editor may help you fix the issue.

Note: In case any unexpected issues happen during the process, you’d better backup your registry first.

Step 1: Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog.

Step 2: Type regedit in the box and then press Enter to open Registry Editor.

Open Registry Editor

Step 3: Go to the following path: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

Step 4: Right-click the Explorer folder. Select New and then click Key to create a new key. Name the key as Shell Icons.

Create a new key

Step 5: Click the new key and then right-click the empty place in the right pane.

Step 6: Select New and click String Value. Then double-click it.

Step 7: In the Edit String box, set its name as 29 and its value data as %windir%\System32\shell32.dll,-16769.

Once you accomplish the operation, restart your PC and the gray X on desktop icons might have been removed.  

Solution 5: Turn off Syncing or Quit OneDrive

If the above ways cannot help you solve the “gray X on desktop icons” issue, you can try to turn off syncing or quit OneDrive.

Step 1: Find the OneDrive icon in the taskbar and then right-click it.

Step 2: Click the Help & Settings icon in the top-right corner and then choose Pause syncing.

Step 3: Go back to your desktop to check if the gray X disappear. If not, open OneDrive again and select Quit OneDrive.

Tip: Your files will not sync after you disable OneDrive. So, if you want to back up data on your PC, MiniTool ShadowMaker is a good choice.

After that, you may see a clean desktop without the gray X. 

If the issue still persists, the last solution you can try is to reinstall OneDrive.

After reading this tutorial, you may know how to remove gray X on desktop icons in Windows 10now. And if you have anything confused with the issue, please leave a message in our comment part.

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