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Windows 7: Explorer Bar action icons

13 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Explorer Bar action icons

Is there a way to change the icon in the explorer bar when a file is selected and there's an action available, for instance "Add to VLC Playlist" or "Play" when media files are selected?

I know my question is phrased in a confusing way, so I've attached a screenshot for clarification.

I've changed the icons for both programs, so when they're on my taskbar they have custom icons, but I can't figure out how to change them in the explorer bar.

I've tried googling for the problem, but was having trouble pinning down exactly how to search it, mostly I got results about how to change the icon for explorer itself. I'm pretty sure the term "explorer bar" is incorrect... But that is besides the point.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Attached Thumbnails
Explorer Bar action icons-explorerbar.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2011   #2

Windows 8.1 ; Windows 7 x86 (Dec2008-Jan2013)

The correct term is Explorer toolbar (at least for Vista/7).

This menu item comes from Right click menu Open, Play, etc.
I have checked in the registry, this menu linked to exe files, but there is no extra icons specified.

So, I think it would be safe to assume that this icon is taken directly from the exe file.
It seems the only way to change it might be patching/modifying exe file itself.

There is a tutorial Windows Explorer Toolbar Buttons - Customize
but buttons you mentioned are not among options available.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2011   #3


Actually, I believe the correct name for this particular Windows Explorer toolbar is the Command Bar. Take a look at this tutorial to see if it gives you any guidance:

How to Customize Windows Explorer Toolbar Buttons in Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Apr 2014   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

Doesn't the "play with" simply inherit from the executable associated with it?

I've just achieved what you've already got (illustrated), by associating mp3's with MediaMonkey..

It sounds like you want an action-confirmed, multi-state icon, so when you click, the icon itself changes to another state...

Anything's possible, but this sounds like something that'd be very hard to achieve. I read up on how the help button is "coded", and that was enough to discourage me from attempting to add custom icons!

If you're happy to code a solution, here's an interface
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Explorer Bar action icons

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