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Windows 7: Devices and Printers - Change Device Icons with Custom Icons

Devices and Printers - Change Device Icons with Custom Icons

How to Change Icons in Devices and Printers with Custom Icons
Published by Ageeb
12 Apr 2012
Published by

How to Change Icons in "Devices and Printers" with Custom Icons

information   Information
This tutorial will cover how to change the icons in Devices and Printers with a custom icon of your choosing and be device specific, eliminating resource hacking and/or overwriting Windows 7 default icons.

Note   Note
You'll need to be familiar with making multi-resolution icons to complete this tutorial. Many tutorials already exist, and one can be found at SevenForums here. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the procedure before moving onto this tutorial.

Tip   Tip
The icons used in this method must contain the following sizes:

256x256 32bit + Alpha

48x48: 32bit + Alpha
48x48: 8bit 256
48x48: 4bit 16

32x32: 32bit + Alpha
32x32: 8bit 256
32x32: 4bit 16

24x24: 32bit + Alpha
24x24: 8bit 256
24x24: 4bit 16

16x16: 32bit + Alpha
16x16: 8bit 256
16x16: 4bit 16

More information about icon design can be found on MSDN.

Final Example: Custom Computer Icon

Step 1.
Create a multi-resolutioned icon, containing the appropriate sizes, using the tutorial mentioned in the Note pane above.
Step 2.
Download and install the Devices and Printers Metadata Authoring Wizard from MSDN.
Step 3.
Once installed, you'll have an added option called 'create metadata package' in your context menu for each device. Choose that option for the device icon you'd like to change.
Step 4.
Drag your created icon to the drop target area of the Icon Tab.
Choose Next.
information   Information
If your icon doesn't meet the required criteria, you'll be met with the following window. Adjust your icon as necessary.

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Step 5.
Fill out the fields in the Description Tab to your liking.
Choose Next.
Step 6.
Under the Categories Tab, select the category appropriate for your device. In this example, we're replacing the Desktop Computer icon.
Choose Next.
Step 7. - See Other Devices section, below, for devices other than the Computer.
Under the Associations Tab, choose the proper association(s). For this example, the Computer icon, choose the 7 ComputerMetadata strings at the top of the Hardware ID list.
Choose Next.
Other Devices
To determine the Hardware ID string for devices other than the Computer, use the following method to locate it.
A. From the Devices and Printers window, Right-Click your device and choose properties.
B. From the Properties window, seclect the Hardware Tab at the top, and choose the Properties Button at the bottom.
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C. In the Properties Window, select the Details Tab at the top, and from the Property Pulldown menu, select Hardware Ids.
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D. Using the Id from the previous step, you can verify the proper strings in the tool if multiple's are listed.
Step 8.
You can select your locale from Options Tab. If you prefer USB, hot-swappable, etc. devices to be shown while disconnected, tick the Show device in disconnected state. For our example we'll leave it unchecked.
Choose Next.
Step 9.
From the Finish Tab, make sure to tick the Copy package to your system's local metadata store if you would like this to take immediate effect upon a refresh of your Devices and Printers window.

Tip   Tip
A backup of the package will be copied to your Documents folder for later use, i.e. after clean install. Copy the package to the following directory to install it if you didn't choose to tick Copy package to your system's local metadata store.

That's it!

12 Apr 2012   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600

nice tutorial, will give this a try later.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 10 Pro

Very nice tutorial.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by boohbah View Post
nice tutorial, will give this a try later.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
Very nice tutorial.
Thanks alot guys!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 May 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Nice tutorial, sir!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thank you, and welcome to SevenForums kulbida!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #6

Windows 7 x64

Nice easy to follow tutorial. Only have one issue/question... the new/custom icon shows up in Devices and Printers just fine, but in My Computer, it's still the old/stock icon. Any way to change this?

Thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 Pro X64

Is there a way to go back to the default icons if you decide to go back?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #8

w7 ultimate 64 bits

I can not finish the process ... get a window saying:
"unhandled exception in the application ... Object reference not set to an instance of an object"
I have no idea ... looks like a bug of framework 2.0?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
HELP! problem with new Metadata Package

Hi, sorry for being a newbie here.
re. problem after creating a new Metadata Package

I followed the tutorial word for word but after finishing the package now the mouse icon has changed - the same as the new package.

Did I select too many File Associations?
I was confused - your advice didn't specify whether they all need to be selected, or just some. In the end I just selected ALL...and there were dozens and dozens of them, maybe a hundred or more...was that my error?

Will it affect the rest of my computer?
Do I need to undo this metadata package?
If so, how?
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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