First and foremost, this process applies to all Windows Operating System (WOS), be it Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, etc.
On starting the computer one of the things to be noticed after the welcome screen is to be greeted by the shortcut icons. They are there for quick access or shorter route to find more information about files the icons represent. These are the things found on the surface of the computer screen. They range from the desktop to the internet explorer icons. Their usefulness can not be over-emphasized when looking for quick alternative ways to carry out some activities. Rather than taking lengthy processes of locating particular applications on the computer the shortcut icons come easily handy to reach to achieve them – as they are right at the front of the desktop for quick accessibility.
When these icons turned into something else, most especially, changing into single favicon it becomes obvious something is wrong somewhere. Not only that, when they are clicked on they respond differently behaving in an unusual-like manners, doing the wrong things they are not meant to do. Most times all the icons turned into Notepad, PDF, or something else. Whatever particular icon they all changed into it is clear they need some attention to function properly.
Image of Changed icons in Windows 8
If the desktop is experiencing all the desktop shortcut icons changed into the same single icon problem there is step-by-step quick solution in restoring them back to their original properties.
(a) It is caused by malicious software attack :
Step 1: Visit this LINK on how to safely remove malicious software from your system.
(b) It is caused by newly installed program or programs:
Step 1:Try to identify the program or programs you installed before this problem occurred.
Image of Start in Windows 8
Step 2: Next, click ‘Start’ (in Windows XP, Vista, 7,etc) and select ‘ Control Panel’.
Image of Settings in Windows 8
In Windows 8 click ‘Settings’ and select ‘Control Panel’.
Image of Control Panel
Step 3:At ‘Control Panel’ locate ‘Add/Remove’ or Programs(uninstall a program) and click on it.
Image of Programs and Features (Add/Remove)
Step 4: Look for the particular program or programs you installed before the problem and uninstall it or them.
Image of uninstalling program at Programs and feature(Add/Remove)
Step 5: Run Ccleaner to clean the registry. If you don’t have it on your system, visit Filehippo , download it to your system and install it.
(c) It is caused by change made to properties:
Step 1: From the desktop click ‘Start’ and select Programs.
Step 2: Click on ‘Accessories’ and select ‘System Tools’.
Step 3: Click ‘System Restore’ to open restore screen.
Step 4: Do the system restore to the time before the problem started.
i. Visit this LINK on how to do system restore in Windows 8.
ii. Visit this LINK on how to do system restore in Windows XP, Vista , 7, etc.