Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing

It's a matter of time. Good were the days when almost no application knew how to put overlays on your file icons in Explorer. These days it seems this is the coolest thing ever and virtually all file system type of utilities want to add their own.

Sooner or later you will install some utility and not notice anything different. But after the next reboot, poof, your TortoiseSVN overlays are gone. And, depending on how much time elapsed between the utility installation and that reboot, you may not have the slightest clue of what happened. Reinstalling TSVN won't fix it

TFS Power tools, Dropbox, Mozy, stop breaking my TSVN overlays

I should not blame these applications for a Windows shell limitation. To be fair, TSVN is the greater offender of them all.

It seems that the shell only supports 15 different icon overlays and TSVN creates 9 of those. After 15 the shell starts ignoring the extra ones. The trick is that Windows chooses the first 15 alphabetically from their entries in the system registry.

I love simple fixes

The fix is rather obvious; just make sure the overlays you want to be active are registered alphabetically before the ones you can live without.

Open the registry editor and go to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers and look at all the child keys in there. It will be obvious that, if you want to preserve the TSVN overlays like me, you need to keep the ones starting with Tortoise* before the other ones.

If you look at the image below you'll see that I changed my entries by prefixing the undesirable ones with z_, following someone else's suggestion.

After that change you just need to kill and restart explorer.exe using Task Manager (or logoff or reboot the machine depending on your tolerance to pain.)

I believe this is a common problem so I hope this tip helps somebody.


Posted 01-05-2010 3:13 AM by sergiopereira

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Comments

Harry McIntyre wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-05-2010 6:31 AM

It might be worth renaming the tortoise ones to have a . at the start so they are always first. Haven't checked it works though :)

Harry McIntyre wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-05-2010 7:28 AM

It works with a .

sergiopereira wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-05-2010 9:11 AM

@Harry, that's a good idea.

Nick Koszykowski wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-05-2010 10:39 AM

I just checked mine--all the Tortoise entries begin with a number: 1TortoiseNormal,2TortoiseModified, etc.  It seems that someone at Tortoise had a similar idea and took care of it in their program (I'm currently using TortoiseSVN version 1.6.6).

sergiopereira wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-05-2010 11:39 AM

@Nick, Ooooh, that's pretty sneaky of them. Wait until Dropbox starts prefixing with dots or underscores :)

My version was 1.6.5.

Kyle Baley wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-05-2010 2:22 PM

I've been fighting this for some time. Found this same workaround but the issue is that the Tortoise overlays don't appear in my registry no matter how many times I uninstall and reinstall. Hasn't been a big enough issue to warrant further investigation though.

sergiopereira wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-05-2010 2:29 PM

@Kyle, what OS are you on? Win7 x64? I think I ran my installer as admin, if that makes any difference.

For me it would be kind of hard to get used to Tortoise without the overlays.

Mike Murray wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-05-2010 4:06 PM

Yeah, apparently TSVN 1.6.6 has the numbers in front of the Tortoise IconOverlay registry keys.

sergiopereira wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-05-2010 6:53 PM

Well, in case anyone is wondering where did your TFP/Mozy/Dropbox icons overlays went after installing TSVN - now you know :)

Rob Reynolds wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-05-2010 10:26 PM

I ran into a similar problem...TortoiseSVN context menus missing in Windows x64:

ferventcoder.com/.../tortoisesvn-missing-context-menu-after-vista-upgrade-from-home-to.aspx

Thanks for the tip.

Tim Tyrrell wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-06-2010 10:39 AM

Used the periods fix, thanks!

Karl wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-24-2010 4:39 PM

Thanks for the post, Sergio. I have a Windows 7 Ultimate x64 laptop that I just purchased, and only this afternoon did I install Dropbox on it. This fix worked great for me. Thanks!

John wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 05-03-2010 11:36 AM

Thanks for pointing out that registry path...lost my icons after a TSVN upgrade, then came across this post, at which time I saw that I had NO entries whatsoever for TSVN.  A simple reinstall / repair then fixed the problem

Dr Love wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 05-04-2010 11:13 PM

Windows 7 , 64 bit copac cq60-215dx laptop.

After 1.6.8 install, the overlays were gone.

I did a repair installation (fresh download from Tortoise svn of the latest version (TortoiseSVN-1.6.8.19260-x64-svn-1.6.11.msi) and it did the trick.

SoCo_cpp wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 06-01-2010 4:15 PM

I had no keys  listed here (except for AdvancedStorageShell). So I went to reinstall, to fix this per a previous comment by John.

I found that my last TSVN update was x64. This is a x86 machine and my previous 5 update/installs were as so. I don't know if that was my mistake or or the updater slipped me to the wrong link one time, but that was about when the icon overlays disappeared.

TGP1994 wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 06-19-2010 4:08 PM

I think for the beginning part of the registry path, you mean HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE? I have no such HKLM, however the only folder with SYSTEM in capitols is the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

TGP1994 wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 06-19-2010 4:09 PM

Ah, never mind, I realize you were just abbreviating :) Sorry for the previous post.

Peter Lubbers wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 08-01-2010 12:33 PM

Great post. I ran into this problem as well, but I only had TSVN icons in my hellIconOverlayIdentiers, so that was not the problem.

Looking at other comments in this post made me wonder if I had accidentally installed the 64-bit version, so I went back to the download page and noticed this *important note:*

Important Note

If you're updating from an earlier version (pre 1.6.10), you have to run the installation twice. Just use the "Repair Install" the second time.

It is easy to overlook that note ;-)

The details on why you need to do this are here:

tortoisesvn.net/majorupgrade

Tortoise SVN version:

TortoiseSVN-1.6.10.19898-win32-svn-1.6.12.msi

sergiopereira wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 08-01-2010 3:20 PM

@Peter. What an interesting coincidence. Just last light I had to upgrade TSVN 64-bit and it only worked after a repair, which I didn't know was required.

Thanks for the tip.

Tonka wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 10-14-2011 5:00 AM

Have just upgraded to TSVN 1.7 and all of my icons disappeared. Tried everything suggested here and elsewhere (registry was fine, etc) but would not show. Then noticed the right-click menu entry to upgrade the working copy. Did this and all of the overlays started working again. Why can't this version use the old working copy version as well? Oh well, hopefully this will help anyone else in this fix.

Eivind wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 12-07-2011 4:22 AM

@Tonka Thanks! Had the same problems after upgrading to 1.7 from 1.6. Registers looked fine, but no overlays. Tried uninstalling/reinstalling.  Didn't want to change my working copy, but checking out a new copy makes the icons appear at least in this folder.

Nina wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 01-25-2012 7:28 PM

I also tried EVERY single thing, did a repair install 3 times (and all the reboots), looked at the registry - seemed fine, seems like icon overlays for Tortoise 1.7.4 just don't work.

I only got folders to show an SVN icon, but not the files.

Also I get crashes from FlashDevelop which uses TortoiseSVN when I try to use it from within that application.

gbarry wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 02-24-2012 7:43 PM

Oh great. I was specifically avoiding "upgrade working copy".  Now I realize it's a local-metadata-for-tsvn latest version thing.  Yeah it even says so.  Guess there are some directions we're supposed to read :/  Yes that fixed it.

Allison wrote re: Oh, no. My TortoiseSVN overlays are missing
on 10-03-2012 1:49 PM

This worked wonderfully. I had to search where my reqistry was on my computer though. I did a restart after renaming the files and the icons came back!!

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