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If you have thumbnails turned on, then only empty folders will have the new icon displayed in Windows Explorer when the folder view is set to anything other than Small icons, Details, or List. Otherwise the folders will have a thumbnail preview icon when the folder is not empty instead. When the folder view is set to Small icons, Details, or List, then all folders will display the new icon since they are small icons.
Be sure save the icon file in a location that all user account's can access (ex: c:\Users\Public\My Pictures) so the icon will be able to be viewed in their account as well.
You must use a 256x256 pixel icon.ico file for it to display properly in all icon sizes in Windows Explorer.
A) In the Modify window, type in the full path of the icon that you want to use within quotes and click on OK. (see screenshot below step 9E) NOTE:If you change the icon's location (path), then you must also change the location here in step 8 as well for the folder to still display that icon in Windows Explorer.
"full path of the icon file with file extension"
FOR EXAMPLE: "G:\Windows 7 PNG Files\My_Folder.ico"
B) Go to step 10.
9. To Use another Icon Included in Windows 7
A) Download and install the free program IconViewer for your 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7. NOTE:This program will add a Icons tab to files (ex: imageres.dll) that contain a icon library in them so you can see the icons available in it.
B) In Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll and right click on imageres.dll, click on Properties, and click on the Icons tab. NOTE:You can use any of the Windows 7 files that include icons in them that you want though. This is just the most common one.
C) Scroll through the icons and make note of the icon number of the one you want to use to replace the default folder icon with, then close the properties window. (see screenshot below) NOTE: For example, icon number 190 for the green folder icon.
D) In the right pane of DefaultIcon, right click on (Default) and click on Modify. (see screenshot below step 8)
E) In the Modify window, type in the location below and click on OK. (see screenshot below)
(full path of the Windows 7 file with file extension),-####
FOR EXAMPLE: C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll,-190
10. The registry will now look similar to this with your icon path under the Data column in the right pane instead. (See screenshot below)
11. If you have 64-bit Windows 7 Installed
To also change the default folder icon in the "Open" and "Save as" type dialog windows as well in 64-bit Windows 7, you will also need to do this step.
If you have a 32-bit Windows 7 installed, then skip this step and continue on to step 12 instead.
B) Repeat steps 4 to 10 above using the same settings you used with the location from step 3.
12. Close Regedit.
13. Log off and Log on, or restart the computer to apply the new folder icon. NOTE:Since you changed the default Folder icon, you might would like to change the Open Folder icon as well in the navigation pane to have them all changed.
To Restore the Default Folder Icon
NOTE:This option assumes that you did OPTION ONE above to change the default folder icon.
1. Open the Start Menu, then type regedit in the search line and press Enter.