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15 Feb 2011  

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Folder Icon - Change Default Icon

How to Change Windows 7 Default Folder Icons using Resource Hacker

information   Information
Windows 7 Folders are Live Folders , and they are not a single icon, but a combination of 5 different icons . In imageres.dll's icon group, the numbers of these 5 icons are respectively 3, 4, 5, 6, and 162 . So it is to change all the five icons to change the folder icon's look.

Note   Note
Tools Required :
1. Resource Hacker
2. System File Replacer

warning   Warning
To be safe and secured, it is better to Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup before starting any customization activities. Moreover, I recommend to have manual backup (copy and paste in a secured place) of the files before modifying, so that it may be changed easily to default as and when it is needed.

To Change the Default Folder Icon to a Custom Icon
1. Open your resource hacker, Click on file > open ; it will open an window naming "open file continuing resource ...." make it sure that the location of look in box is System 32 . Type the filename "imageres.dll" , click the open button .
Folder Icon - Change Default Icon-1.jpg
2. Click on the plus sign in front of "Icon Group" .
Folder Icon - Change Default Icon-2.jpg
3. Now change 3, 4, 5, and 6 respectively with the Custom Icons . (The process is the same as described in Icons - Change Using Resource Hacker ; from step 9 to step 13; repeat steps for each number) {Change both 3 and 4 with the same open folder icon, 5 with the back side icon , and 6 with the front side icon}
Folder Icon - Change Default Icon-3.jpg
4. Scroll down to 162, and change it (using the same process, with the icon having some stuff in it) .
Folder Icon - Change Default Icon-4.jpg
Note   Note
During Steps 3 and 4 , if you get a dialog saying "out of system resources", dont worry . Click OK and proceed . As all the resolutions (13 resolution layers are usually required there for system icons; for all the alternative locations) are not found, such a dialog pops up . It wont resist our customization.

5. Now File > Save As . In the "Save File As" window, set the save location to Desktop, give the filename "imageres.dll" and save .

So your custom imageres.dll file is ready . Now it is to apply .

6. Take Ownership of the original imageres.dll file, have a manual backup of it , and place the modded one to C:\Windows\System32 , choose Copy and Replace, if prompted . Otherwise, you may use System File Replacer to do the replacement .

information   Information
For a 32 bit system, manual work for changing system resources is completed here, but if you are using a 64 bit system , you are to do the same for the imageres.dll situated in SysWoW64, too (as suggested by Bongo)

So your custom folder icon set is done . Now make it workable .

7. To make the icons take effect , rebuild the icon cache, and delete the thumbnail cache.

8. Restart your Computer . After restarting, you may have another Disk Cleanup, to make the changes perfectly. If the thumbnail Cache is not deleted and Icon Cache is not Rebuilt, no change will take effect at all.

To Restore the Default Folder Icon
1. To restore the defaults, you will need your manual backup of the original imageres.dll file, that you have made earlier. Next, follow steps 6, 7 and 8 with it to get back the defaults.

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