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Windows 7: File Extension Icon - Change Default Icon



File Extension Icon - Change Default Icon

How to Change the Default Icon of a File Extension in Windows 7
Published by Brink
22 Jan 2010
Published by

How to Change the Default Icon of a File Extension in Windows 7



information   Information
This will show you how to change the default icon of any file extension to have a custom icon of your choice instead for it in Windows 7.
Tip   Tip
By default, known file extension types are set to be hidden in Windows 7. You will need to unhide file extensions to see and know what the file extension is to make it easier to change the icon for the file extension.
Note   Note
  • You will need to use a 256x256 pixel icon for them to display properly at all of the available icon view sizes in Windows 7.
  • Some programs may automatically reset the default file extension icon back to the default one it uses even after you have changed it. This tutorial will not work for these programs.
  • If you change the default program for what opens the file extension, it will also change the icon of the file extension to be whatever it is for the program you selected uses.
warning   Warning
  • You will need to be logged on to a administrator account to do this.
  • Making changes in the registry can cause problems if you make a mistake. You should create a system restore point before proceeding in case you need to do a system restore with the restore point to undo a mistake made in the registry.
EXAMPLE: Default and New Icon for "MP3" File Extensions
Name:  Default_MP3_file_Icon.jpg
Views: 188760
Size:  12.6 KBName:  New_MP3_file_Icon.jpg
Views: 186690
Size:  12.3 KB



OPTION ONE
To Change the Icon of a File Extension Using "FileTypesMan"
1. Click on the Download button below to go the bottom of that site to download, extract, and run the same 32-bit or 64-bit (x64) FileTypesMan as your 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7 version.
download
2. Double click on the file extension (ex: .mp3) that you want to change the icon of. (see screenshot below)
File Extension Icon - Change Default Icon-program-1.jpg
3. Click on the browse... button. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Program-2.jpg
Views: 58078
Size:  97.0 KB
4. Browse to and select the icon you want to use, and click on OK. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Program-3.jpg
Views: 54276
Size:  48.8 KB
5. Click on OK. (see screenshot below step 3)

6. When finished, close FileTypesMan.



OPTION TWO
To Manually Change the Icon of a File Extension

NOTE: For an example in this option, I will be changing the default icon used for the MP3 file extension. You would just substitute the file extension that you want to change the default icon for instead.
1. Open the Start Menu, then type regedit in the search box and press enter.

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

3. If Using the Default Program in Windows 7 to Open the File Extension With
NOTE: You would use this option if you are using the default program that Windows 7 uses to open the file extension with, and not opens with a 3rd party program that you installed.
A) In regedit, go to: (see screenshot below)
NOTE: Substitute .mp3 below with the file extension you want to change the icon for instead.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mp3

Name:  Step1.jpg
Views: 60968
Size:  85.6 KB
B) In the right pane of the file extension, make note of the Data value to the right of (Default). (see screenshot above)
NOTE: For example it is WMP11.AssocFile.MP3 for the .mp3 file extension.

C) Go to step 5.
4. If Using a 3rd Party Program as the Default Program to Open the File Extension With
NOTE: You would do this option if you have changed the default program used by Windows 7 to open the file extension with to be opened by a installed 3rd party (not included in Windows 7) program instead.
A) In regedit, go to: (see screenshot below)
NOTE: Substitute .mp3 below with the file extension you want to change the icon for instead.
Code:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.mp3\Userchoice
Name:  Step2.jpg
Views: 58100
Size:  92.6 KB
B) In the right pane, look at the Data value to the right of Progid. (see screenshot above)
NOTE: For example it is WMP11.AssocFile.MP3 for the .mp3 file extension type by default. Your value will vary depending on the default program you have set or installed to open this file extension with.
5. In regedit, scroll past the file extensions and go to: (see screenshot below)
NOTE: Substitute WMP11.AssocFile.MP3 with the Data value from step 3B or 4B for the file extension Data value that you want to change the icon for instead.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WMP11.AssocFile.MP3

File Extension Icon - Change Default Icon-step3.jpg
6. Click on the arrow next to for example WMP11.AssocFile.MP3 to expand the key (folder). (see screenshot above)
NOTE: Substitute WMP11.AssocFile.MP3 with the Data value from step 3B or 4B for the file extension Data value that you want to change the icon for instead.

Tip   Tip
To Backup the Default File Extension Icon
NOTE: To restore the default file extension icon from this created backup below, right click on the .reg backup file and click on Merge. Next, approve the merge and log off and log on to apply the change to restore the default icon.
A) In the left pane of regedit, right click on DefaultIcon and click on Export. (See screenshot below step 5)

B) Select a location to where you want to save the backup reg file to.

C) Type in a name and click on the Save button.
NOTE: Be sure to type in a name that is easily recognized by you for that file extension. For example, MP3 default icon.


7. In the right pane of DefaultIcon, right click on (Default) and click on Modify. (see screenshot below step 5)
NOTE: If you do not have DefaultIcon in the left pane of for example WMP11.AssocFile.MP3, then right click on WMP11.AssocFile.MP3, click on New and Key, type in DefaultIcon, and press Enter.

8. Select either Method One or Method Two below for what type of icon you want to replace the default file extension icon with.



Method One
To Use Another Icon Included in Windows 7
A. Download and install the same free 32-bit or 64-bit version of IconViewer as your 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7 version.
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 file extension icon with, then close the properties window. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: For example, icon number 1023.
Name:  Icons.jpg
Views: 54710
Size:  94.8 KB
D) In the Modify window, type in (full path of the Windows 7 file with file extension),-#### and click on OK. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: For example, I would type in the location exactly as below for what I used in B and C above.
C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll,-1023

Name:  Modify.jpg
Views: 53870
Size:  38.6 KB
E) Go to step 9.



Method Two
To Use a Saved Custom Icon of Your Own
A) Create or download and save a icon (.ico file) of your choice to a location you wish to keep the icon stored at.
NOTE: See the Note box at the top of this tutorial for about what kind of icon to use. Be sure to save the icon at a location (ex: C:\Users\Public) that can be accessed by all users. The icon must stay at this location for as long as it is being used for the file extension.

B) In the Modify window, type in "full path of the icon file with file extension" and click on OK. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: For example, If I I had a icon store on my Desktop name New Icon Location.ico, I would type in the location exactly as below. Just substitute with your icons full path and name with file extension in quotes instead.
"C:\Users\UserName\Desktop\New Icon Location.ico"

Name:  Modify_ICO_file.jpg
Views: 53755
Size:  39.7 KB
9. Close regedit.

10. Log off and log on, or restart the computer, to fully apply the icon change.

11. If this option did not work for you, then use OPTION ONE instead.
That's it,
Shawn




Related Tutorials

05 Feb 2010   #1
RJ12

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

You know Brink your knowledge impresses me lol!


Great Tutorial!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2010   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Thank you for the kind words. RJ.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2010   #3
beachbuoy

Win 7 64-bit
 
 
Change Default File Type Icon


In my opinion, the default .zip folder and default folder icon look too much alike. I am trying to change the default icon for .zip files, but have been unable to do this. The last file in System32 folder is zipfldr.dll which contains two icons, the default yellow zip folder icon, and a green one. The green one is numbered #101. That is the icon I would like to see in the file manager for .zip files.

I tried enterting ",-101" at the end of the default path, but it didn't work. Perhaps you could help me out on this.

Beach

Win 7, 64-bit
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


08 Mar 2010   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Beachbuoy, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Sorry. but they both show as yellow folders for me in the zipfldr.dll file. It may be that you have one selected for why it looks different.
Name:  zipfldr.jpg
Views: 53083
Size:  37.1 KB
You might try this one in the imageres.dll file "-175" if you like it though.
Name:  imageres.dll.jpg
Views: 53049
Size:  52.4 KB
Hope this helps,
Shawn


My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2010   #5
beachbuoy

Win 7 64-bit
 
 

Well, I managed to copy the zipfldr.dll icon and paste it into Gimp, where I rotated the graphic so the file tab was straight up and the zipper is horizontal, then changed the perspective so the folder looks like it is leaning back instead of forward. Just having the folder horizontal rather than vertical makes the icon much more distinguishable than before. Took way too long to figure this out, but I'm happy with it.

Your instructions in this thread were very instrumental in helping me make the change I wanted. Thanks!


Thanks, Shawn. If I decide to change the .zip icon again, that would be a good choice. I might do it anyway. It's a good icon for compressed files. It would quickly and clearly distinguish .zip files from the default folder icon. Thanks again.

What a great resource this forum is for Windows 7 users.

BB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2010   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're most welcome BB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #7
pajolool

windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 
question

eih brink.

when I right click on imageres.dll and go to properties and dont see any icons tab.

like in your image. i already took ownership of the dll file.

i really want to change the default winrar icon. can you help me please

and sorry for my english
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Pajolool,

Did you download and install the free program IconViewer for your 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7 in step A of OPTION ONE?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2010   #9
pajolool

windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

oh that's it.

thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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