TortoiseGit not showing icon overlays

I have been using TortoiseGit for almost a full year now. It has been working very well for me until yesterday, when I encountered a problem. I was deleting a folder when Windows Explorer sort of crashed on me (it hung on “discovering items”) for over an hour, then I restarted the system.

Since that time (and I am not sure if the incident described has anything to do with it), TortoiseGit has stopped showing icon overlays in explorer. The behaviour is, however, not like any of the others who posted questions here, because:

In the open file dialogue of all programs, the icons still exist (!).

Here is a list of things I tried:

  1. I changed TortoiseGit settings to show different icons.
  2. Reinstall TortoiseGit (uninstall, restart, install, restart).
  3. I deleted all icon overlays starting with “Tortoise” in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    , then uninstalled TortoiseGit, restarted the computer and reinstalled TortoiseGit.


I tried to create a new user on my computer, and the new user has icon overlays working just fine. I am now even more confused.

Nothing helped so far. Any ideas?

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  • 10 Solutions collect form web for “TortoiseGit not showing icon overlays”

    I had the same problem and I got it to work by following instructions from a forum. What I did was this (copied):

    I find solution 🙂
    Wrapping with "" all tortoise keys under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers

    on 1TortoiseNormal and etc…
    I understood the problem, seeing as Dropbox and it worked regedit there was the sign ("") to Dropbox but not tortoise.
    So I added the signs, close explorer.exe and hop it was good 🙂

    So what I did was rename the key 1TortioiseNormal to "1TortioiseNormal" etc. I have no idea why wrapping it inside a double quote makes it work again.

    The original forum is gone, but a good summary is supplied in the comments.

    Windows will only allow up to 11 icon overlay identifiers, arranged in alphanumeric order – if there are more than 11, these icons will not be displayed.

    You can run the following command in a DOS prompt:

    regedit /e c:\icons.txt HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers

    Then open the file C:\icons.txt. Skip the first two lines, and if 1TortoiseNormal and the other *Tortoise* values are not in the top 11 values, their icon overlays will not be shown. The solution provided by @Chi Chan is just a simple way to make 1TortoiseNormal rank higher when ordered among all the overlays, you can also rename the values by adding space(s) before 1TortoiseNormal, i.e.,

    " 1TortoiseNormal"

    to make them rank higher.

    update: for Windows 8, the limit of icon overlays is 15.

    Windows 10 Solution Steps;

    1. Open regedit

    Path :


    1. Remove/delete all SkyDrive/OneDrive keys. You may need to take ownership of the keys one by one and give your user full control if you receive an error while trying to delete the keys.

    2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc and restart “Windows Explorer” (Optionally restart computer)

    3. All git/svn overlay icons are now visible !

    Before going nuts, just try rebooting! It worked for me 😉

    Just add Space to first Name of Tortoise options to this regedit addersses:


    for example:


    Should change to:

    " 1TortoiseNormal"

    after a system reboot icons shows currectly.

    I had this same problem today after uninstalling TortoiseSVN. I rebooted and still no luck so I just went into Control Panel, Uninstall a Program and on the TortoiseGit item I picked ‘Repair’ and everything is back to normal. I suspect that all of the Tortoise line of apps have some shared registry keys or something.

    I also had my TortoiseGIT shell icons quit displaying suddenly, I don’t remember exactly what led up to it but I found this and tried the registry stuff changing 1TortioiseNormal to “1TortioiseNormal” and so on. That is probably a good thing to do no matter what but icon overlays were still not working.

    I am too busy for the blanket answer of “restart the computer” what that says to me is “some service process needs to be restarted but you’d never be able to find it so just restart.” Nah.

    I also use TortoiseSVN and those icon overlays were still working for me. I looked in my processes tab of task manager and saw I had something called TSVNCache.exe running. No sign of anything similar for git, so on a whim I went over to the applications tab and hit “New Task”, entered TGITCache.exe and sure enough that process fired up. From there go back to processes, kill explorer.exe, then go back to applications -> New Task again and fire up explorer.exe.

    This has worked for me twice now when my TortoiseGIT icon overlays have quit, so, maybe it will work for someone else.

    I had installed TortoiseSVN (1.9.5) and msysgit (2.11.0) first on my Windows 10 64-bit machine. TortoiseSVN icons displayed fine.

    When I installed TortoiseGit ( after these two the icons wouldn’t display.

    I checked HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers and all looked fine. The tortoise icons were in the top 10.

    What I used to fix was raised in TortoiseGit issue #692 on GitLab:

    I’m running Windows 7 Professional and I:

    • Installed the latest version of msysgit (
    • Installed the latest 64bit version of TortoiseGit (
    • Created a repository, added files, committed
      and no icons.

    I only had to do step 1 from Comment 9 by

    • Open regedit.exe
      • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
      • Add a new string value “Max Cached Icons” with value “2000”

    closed/restarted explorer and icons display!

    What worked for me was to uninstall Google Drive from my computer. Not sure why yet.

    The problem with the leading spaces is that every time you reboot, Dropbox adds another space to its registries, and will be always one step ahead of you.

    So I’ve scheduled a python script found on this post (by Christoph Zwerschke) to execute every time the computer boots. You also have to restart the Explorer after that.

    The .bat will look like:

    taskkill /f /im explorer.exe 
    start explorer.exe  

    And the python script:

    import os
    import winreg as reg
    # names of all overlay icons that shall be boosted:
    boost = """
    boost = set(boost.split())
    with reg.OpenKey(reg.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE,
            r'\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers') as base:
        names = set()
        renames = []
        i = 0
        while True:
                name = reg.EnumKey(base, i)
            except OSError:
            core = name.strip()
            if core in names:
                print('Delete', repr(core))
                reg.DeleteKey(base, name)
                if core in boost:
                    core = ' ' + core
                if core != name:
                    renames.append((name, core))
            i += 1
        if renames:
            for old_name, new_name in renames:
                print('Rename', repr(old_name), 'to', repr(new_name))
                value = reg.QueryValue(base, old_name)
                reg.CreateKey(base, new_name)
                reg.SetValue(base, new_name, reg.REG_SZ, value)
                reg.DeleteKey(base, old_name)
            print('Nothing to rename')
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