Garbled or Scrambled Icons in System Preferences

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Synopsis

Some users have noted that the icons for various preference panes in System Preferences have become garbled, scrambled, or otherwise unviewable. This appears to occur most frequently with Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger", and also seems to occur more on Intel Macs than on PPC Macs, for unknown reasons. It has been reported with versions of Mac OS X as recent as 10.4.11.

Image:Corrupted_icon.png

Solution

The root cause of this issue is corruption of the following cache file:

~/Library/Caches/com.apple.preferencepanes.cache

Here, "~" represents your home directory (so this file is located in your home directory). In order to resolve this issue, you must:

  1. Close System Preferences
  2. Delete the above file either by navigating to this location and dragging the file to the trash, or by using Spotlight to find the file (searching for com.apple.preferencepanes.cache) and deleting it
  3. Reopen System Preferences