Office 2003 .xml files – blank/white/missing icons

We’ve been having a lot of issues recently with legacy Office 2003 files saved as .xml on our new laptops running Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 with Office 2013 (365).  The issue has been that the icons for these files have all been blank/white icons instead of Excel/Word icons etc.

The files themselves are a mixture of Word, Excel and InfoPath files and although they open correctly when double clicked, its confusing a lot of our staff who are frequently calling for support. The incorrect icons we see are these below


After a lot of investigation I have found that the Office365 version of the Office2013 installer has some registry keys missing.  Creating these keys and waiting 10-20 minutes brings the icons back to normal.  This was the case on our domain machines and on a newly built Windows non-domain machine with Office 2013 installed and up to date.

The registry keys to add are below. Save the text below* as a text file with .reg as the file extension and import into the registry.  *You may need to replace the quotation marks with normal ones in Notepad.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00




Correct Icons

All is now working after importing the keys and waiting a while for windows to update the icon cache.  Even after manually clearing the icon cache the icons didn’t resolve themselves, just leave the machine turned on for 20 minutes and it worked seemed to figure it out in due course.




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