Can’t find your Google Earth icon?

google-earth-icon.pngThis is a problem we’ve seen happening more and more often lately, so we thought we’d address it here. I’m not sure if the bug has become more widespread, or if Google Earth is simply reaching an increasingly wider audience.
In some configurations of Windows, the Google Earth icon will disappear from your system after you install a Google Earth software update. In many cases, the icon won’t come back even after you reinstall, presumably because the software already thinks that it’s there.
Fortunately, there are a few easy solutions.

A – Automatically restore the icon

Google has created a simple program called the Google Earth Icon Restorer that should take care of it for you with a few simple steps:
1 – Download the Google Earth Icon Restorer application.
2 – The application name “geicons.exe” will appear in your download bar. Select Save.
3 – Run the application by selecting Open, or double clicking “geicons.exe”
4 – Look at your desktop and find the newly created shortcut icon for Google Earth
5 – Delete the application by selecting “geicons.exe” in your download bar > [Open in Folder] > [Delete]

B – Manually restore the icon

If the automatically restore solution didn’t work for you, or you’d rather simply do it yourself, you can follow the instructions for your system below.
Windows XP and Vista:
– Go to “C:\Program Files\Google\Google Earth\client” and find googleearth.exe
– Right click on googleearth.exe and choose “create shortcut”
– Move a copy of that shortcut to your desktop and a copy to “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Google Earth” folder
Windows 7:
– Go to “C:\Program Files\Google\Google Earth\client” and find googleearth.exe
– Right click on googleearth.exe and choose “create shortcut”
– Move a copy of that shortcut to your desktop and a copy to “C:\ProgramData\Start Menu\Programs\Google Earth” folder
64 bit versions of Windows:
– Go to “C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Google Earth\client\” and find googleearth.exe
– Right click on googleearth.exe and choose “create shortcut”
– Move a copy of that shortcut to your desktop and a copy to “C:\ProgramData\Start Menu\Programs\Google Earth” folder

Other installation issues

If you’re having other problems getting Google Earth installed, this support article gives some great tips to help get things cleaned up.
If you still are having issues after all of that, please leave a comment below and we’ll try our best to help you out.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Happen to me several times! I thought I was the only one.
    Google should fix this!

  2. Maybe don’t use Google Updater but the full installer?
    So you have a clean installation and Google Updater doesn’t mess around with files (and the performance win if when it is not anymore in the autostart).

  3. This just happened to me. Even weirder, it disappeared from my start menu, and searching “earth” doesnt find it. It IS there when I go through C>program files.
    Im on vista.

  4. Donovan says:

    The opposite actually happened to me. I looked at my desktop one day and I had 2 Google Earth icons. I don’t know how this happened but I was like ?????

  5. Any address is retrieved from the Google Earth Map.
    It shows image also

  6. This was very very helpful, thank you!

  7. It solved it!! Thxs for your work!!! xP

  8. Frederik says:

    Didn’t work -.-

  9. Christian says:

    Google Earth worked fine for quite a while on my computer. However, it hasn’t worked for the past few weeks. I tried uninstalling and then reinstalling it and it still doesn’t work.

  10. Thanks JJJ–found it in my program files. Luckily, it retained my saved locations.

  11. Shane Hunt says:

    Help! I have a Mac. Have downloaded Google Earth but can’t find it anywhere in my computer. I have tried several times and once I managed to open it, but when I closed it it disappeared. Where is the icon in my MacBook, using Mountain Lion?

  12. W Walker says:

    Hopefully Google is aware that the icons for Google Earth are still disappearing when GE is updated. Just happened on the update to that updated on June 11,2015 on my system.

  13. likalaruku says:

    There is no “C:\ProgramData\Start Menu\Programs\Google Earth” folder. There’s only “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu” & “C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs” neither which have a Google Earth folder.

  14. Joseph Read says:

    I have a Google earth icon, but it’s not the nice blue globe that I originally had. And that nice blue globe is not available from the list of icon changes. Any way to get it back? The geicons.exe doesn’t do it, because it must assume the other “plain vanilla” icon suffices. Of course it does, and I am not without the Google Earth program . . .it’s just the academic puzzle of trying to get the familiar blue globe back.

    • Timothy Whitehead says:

      Google Earth Pro has a grey icon with PRO on top of it. Is that what you are seeing, or something else?

  15. Ecopiglit says:

    Great fix, thanks. I used the automatic icon restorer link you gave. My icon is back on the desktop and then I easily unpinned the generic one and pinned the new one to the taskbar and all is sweet again. Thanks for posting this.

  16. William Heinrich says:

    I have Windows 10, and the icon restorer didn’t work. It downloaded properly, but I tried it 3 times with no success. I was also unsuccessful trying to manually install it. Anyone having the same problem?

  17. None of your fixers, fixed the problem

  18. I’m using Windows 7. Several months ago, I had the same problem after installing a newer version of Google Earth. The Icon vanished from my desktop.

    Yesterday, I found your Google Earth Blog. I followed the instructions shown in… “Automatically restore the icon”, above. Like magic, the Google Earth icon is back on my desktop. I have a friend that has the same problem. I’ll let him know about the Google Earth Icon Restorer application. Thank you for your post. 🙂

  19. James Davidson says:

    When I execute geicon.exe it opens the Auto CAD 360 icon instead of Google Earth. My device is a Samsung Galaxy Note 5, on the AT&T system. Help, please.

    • Timothy Whitehead says:

      geicon is intended for Windows. On mobile devices try reinstalling Google Earth from the app store.

  20. Hasn’t happened to me yet. I’m using Windows 10.

  21. Pamela Wissenbach says:

    I’m using Win 10 and my task bar Icon turn to a generic sheet of paper icon. Saw somewhere on another blog that Microsoft is the reason for this. after seeing several multi step methods of replacing the icon, I opted to simply try unpinning to task bar then clicking Pin to Task bar again. that’s all it took.

  22. Dave Milner says:

    Right-click on the GE desktop icon.
    Choose Properties.
    Hit “Change Icon.”
    Click Browse (top right).
    Go here (or similar): C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Google Earth\plugin
    Find the file named google_earth.ico
    Double-click it.
    Hit OK.

  23. This happened on my taskbar, but the desktop shortcut was fine. I found no way to change the icon on my toolbar, so I did the obvious. Unpinned Google Earth, then pinned it to the taskbar again. Problem solved.

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