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Windows 7: Folder Icon - Change Default Icon

Folder Icon - Change Default Icon

How to Change Windows 7 Default Folder Icons using Resource Hacker
Published by Arc
15 Feb 2011
Published by
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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.





OPTION ONE
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" .
Name:  2.JPG
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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}
Name:  3.JPG
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Size:  93.8 KB
4. Scroll down to 162, and change it (using the same process, with the icon having some stuff in it) .
Name:  4.JPG
Views: 8158
Size:  63.7 KB
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.



OPTION TWO
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.
15 Feb 2011   #1
Bongo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

Nice tutorial Arc

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2011   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Very nice, but if you do not want to work with the registry, you may use this simple method - lokks more involved than it really is.

1. Make a .ico from any picture

For that you use this little program on the web - no installation required (speaking of cloud computing, LOL). The following 4 pictures explain the steps:











2. Apply you new .ico to any folder

The following pictures explain this:

Folder Icon Change - Vista Forums

a) Right click on the folder in question and "Open folder location"




b) Right click on subject folder > Properties > Customize tab





c) Go to "Change Icon" and browse to the folder where you stored your .ico







d) Pick your .ico > Apply and you are done

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2011   #3
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

Thanks Jerry It is that one that Shawn told me to post .

Great contribution Wolfgang . This process will give excellent results with thumbnail preview turned off .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Feb 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Arc, I had nothing else to do this afternoon - LOL. I hope you do not mind me making such a massive addendum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2011   #5
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Arc, I had nothing else to do this afternoon - LOL. I hope you do not mind me making such a massive addendum.
Even the question does not arise at all . It feels nice that you found some lacuna of my works and filled it up . In my opinion, it would be great if it was accompanied with some screenshots, and a statement about the thumbnail cache
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2011   #6
tomaskucinskas

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi,

what I want to do is to disable "Live folders" and keep thumbnails for pictures and videos. So in step 3 and 4:

Quote:
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}

4. Scroll down to 162, and change it (using the same process, with the icon having some stuff in it) .
3, 4, 5, 6 and 162 I have changed with the same folder icon and its almost worked But just almost take a look at screen whats happend:

Folder Icon - Change Default Icon-live-folder.png

If I understand right each folder has generated unique thumbnail (folder.jpg) and in my case after modified "imageres.dll" its under the folder icon. Maybe its possible to create transparent folder.gif and apply it to ALL folder? Any ideas?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #7
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

Welcome aboard, Tomas

Mate you cannot disable live folders and keep thumbnail preview at a time , coz one automatically confirm the other . As you have changed all the icon imageres files, but your thumbnail preview is enabled, those are messed up. Here you need the different icons as shown in the snip below :

Folder Icon - Change Default Icon-capture.jpg

For your query , better you follow the tutorial Thumbnail Previews - Enable or Disable . Moreover, if thumbnail preview is disabled, the best and the easiest way to change folder icons is the tutorial Folder Icon - Change Windows 7 Default Folder Icon .

Hope it helps


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2011   #8
nickdc

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

And if i replace back and front icons with a blank one?
because i have only the full icon
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2011   #9
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nickdc View Post
And if i replace back and front icons with a blank one?
because i have only the full icon
Lol .... you know what will happen as you posted the screenshot above

Getting icons is not tough a lot .... if you need I/we may supply it to you . But is you want to make all folders look essentially same, I have told it earlier that the easiest way is to follow the tutorial Folder Icon - Change Windows 7 Default Folder Icon, and with thumbnails preview disabled .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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