Icon overlay doesn't show for Office files on the Desktop in Windows 10

Applies to: Windows 10, version 1903, all editionsWindows 10, version 1809, all editionsWindows 10


Assume that you run an application that registers an icon overlay handler in Windows 10. The application displays a small shield icon overlay to an encrypted Office file.

Scenario 1:

  • You save a Microsoft Office file (such as a Word or Excel file) on the Desktop in Windows 10.
  • You encrypt the Office file.

In this scenario, the shield icon overlay does not appear for the Office file.

Scenario 2:

  • You save the Office file in a folder instead of on the Desktop.
  • You save files other than the Office file on the Desktop.

In this scenario, the shield icon overlay appears for the file.


When the file is rendered, Windows 10 calls the icon overlay handler. However, Windows 10 does not call the icon overlay handler for an Office file that's on the Desktop.


To work around this issue, do one of the following:

  • Choose Refresh from the Desktop shortcut menu.
  • Press the F5 key while on the Desktop.