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Windows 7: Open Folder Icon - Change



Open Folder Icon - Change

How to Change Open Folder Icon in Windows 7 and Windows 8
Published by Brink
07 Sep 2009
Published by

How to Change Open Folder Icon in Windows 7 and Windows 8


information   Information
This will show you how to change the active icon used to indicate which folder is expanded or opened in the Windows Explorer Navigation Pane, Start Menu All Programs, and registry folder tree to any custom icon that you want instead in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

warning   Warning

  • You can only do this while logged in to a administrator account.
  • This will affect all user account's active open folder icons on the computer.

EXAMPLE: Active Open Folder
NOTE: This is the Windows Explorer navigation with the default open folder icon (left screenshot) and a custom open folder icon (right screenshot).
Open Folder Icon - Change-default.jpg

Open Folder Icon - Change-after.jpg




OPTION ONE
To Change Default Open Folder Icon
1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type regedit, and press click/tap on OK.

2. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

3. In regedit, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
Open Folder Icon - Change-reg1.jpg
4. In the left pane, right click on the Explorer key, and click on New and Key. (See screenshot above)

5. Type Shell Icons, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: If Shell Icons is already here, then you can skip steps 4 and 5.
Open Folder Icon - Change-reg2.jpg
6. In the right pane of Shell Icons, right click on an empty space, and click on New and String Value. Type 4, and press Enter. (see screen shot below)
Name:  Reg3.jpg
Views: 5091
Size:  92.3 KB
7. Double click/tap on 4 to modify it. (see screenshot above)

8. Type in the full path of the icon that you want to use as the new open folder icon. (See screenshot below)
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.



Tip   Tip
These are some good icon paths to use:
  • Name:  290.png
Views: 29128
Size:  743 Bytes C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll,-290
  • Name:  246.png
Views: 29211
Size:  770 Bytes C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll,-246
Name:  Modify.jpg
Views: 4384
Size:  37.6 KB
9. The registry will now look similar to this with your icon path under the Data column in the right pane instead. (see screenshot below)
Open Folder Icon - Change-reg4.jpg
10. Close Regedit.

11. Log off and Log on, or restart the computer to apply the new open folder icon.






OPTION TWO
To Restore Default Open Folder Icon

NOTE: This option assumes that you did OPTION ONE above to change the default folder icon.
1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type regedit, and press click/tap on OK.

2. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

3. In regedit, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)
Code:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons
4. In the right pane of Shell Icons, right click on 4, and click/tap on Delete. (See screenshot below)
Click image for larger version

Name:	Reg4.jpg
Views:	2336
Size:	134.3 KB
ID:	26865
5. Click/tap on Yes. (See screenshot below)
Name:  Confirm.jpg
Views: 4255
Size:  44.3 KB
6. Close Regedit.

7. Log off and Log on, or restart the computer to restore the default yellow open folder icon.
That's it,
Shawn




.

09 Mar 2010   #1
mavericks

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Hi brink,

Can you tell me about description of number 4 (new string value)?
Did you mean this only for open folder icon ?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

09 Mar 2010   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Mavericks,

Yes, the 4 value is the indicator for "Open Folder" icons only.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2010   #3
1992Sara

Windows 7
 
 

Doesn't .ico files work to change all the icons at once when putting it in the windows folder? Or does it have to be a .dll?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2010   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Sara,

Yes, you sure can type in the full path to a ICO file of your own in quotes if you like.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2010   #5
yadayada

win 7
 
 
Windows Folder Icons

Brink - Is there anyway to get the folder icon with the four preview files from Windows XP? This was a great way to preview files in a directory. I see a number of people looking for the same thing but no answers.

Thanks. Slag
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2010   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Slag, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Could you post a screenshot of it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2011   #7
IMAyNeed

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

For 64 bit Systems, do I need to go to Wow6432Node?
And for custom icons, I have to put the address in quotes, right?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2011   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Andre,

Answers inline.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by IMAyNeed View Post
For 64 bit Systems, do I need to go to Wow6432Node?
No. You would only need to do what is in the tutorial.

Quote:
And for custom icons, I have to put the address in quotes, right?
Only if there are spaces in the full path names.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #9
LainQe

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hello, I have a problem with this. So i've used your tutorial for making closed folder, and i want to have both folders the same(opened and closed), but when i put string value 3 and 4 only one of them works(the first one i've put in). That happens if i have disabled "show icons, never pictures" at folder options. So i'm asking if there is a way to have both closed and opened folder the same and if there is the way to still have enabled showing pictures and not just icons.
I'm sorry of wrote anything wrong i'm still learning english. Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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