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Windows 7: Changing .exe File Type Icons In File Explorer But Nowhere Else

10 Sep 2014   #1

Windows 7 Professional
Changing .exe File Type Icons In File Explorer But Nowhere Else

Hello Everyone,

I have kind of an odd question, I have been looking into changing file type icons when I came across an interesting conflict.
I would like to be able to change the file type icon for all .exe files to the same file type icon within a file explorer. If you were to try to do this, all icons that are associated with each .exe program becomes the same icon no matter where they are located.

The thing is that usually when I am in a file explorer the .exe files are installers and when I have .exe files in places like on my desktop, in the start menu, and in the taskbar, they are for launching already installed programs.

Can anyone think of a possibly way that could solve this conflict easily with some kind of setting or software.

I thought maybe something with shortcuts but that turned out to not work for me.
I also believe that .ico icon files have multiple sizes within them but I don't think there would be a realistic way to edit each of them for all the programs installed.

Has anyone else ever tried something like this? or have any solutions that I am not aware of?
Thank You

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2014   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP

File Explorer is on Windows 8/8.1, renamed from Windows Explorer on Windows 7 back to Windows95/Windows NT4.

Usually an .exe file for running a program will have its own icon, right-click a Shortcut, Properties, Change Icon to see what the .exe file has in it. Some programs may have a separate icon in their Folder in C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86). If no icons are found Windows will put up a panel with a number of choices but they are more generic, mostly for Windows things.

Installable .exe files will have more of a generic icon and are of only a few types.

Attached Images
Changing .exe File Type Icons In File Explorer But Nowhere Else-untitled11.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2014   #3

Windows 7 Professional

Thank you for your post,

Just to clarify to you and any others who may have read my post, when I made reference to "file explorer", I said when I am in "a file explorer" in which I meant it more in a generic sense as opposed to Windows specific. For example I am currently messing around with 3rd party file explorers, but either way basically I have had the same results with this .exe question in all file explorers I have tried.

But anyways, that is my problem, I want to be able to change all of the "generic" icons to the .exe files that are installers, but I haven't found any way to be able to just change them. The customization programs that allow you to change the .exe file type icons don't have any way of knowing what .exe files are installers and what are launchers.

I was hoping for some kind of trick, that you can set all the .exe file type icons to a specified icon but there would be a way to make the .exe programs that appear in the start menu, taskbar, and on desktop to keep their unique icons.

If anyone has anything else to share please let me know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Sep 2014   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP

As I mentioned before most installable program files usually have their own icon. But that may change after they are actually installed. Here's part of my Downloads Folder, the installable files are identified as Application:

Some publishers of program may assign their own icon to the file but others do not.

Unfortunately, associating an .exe file to a specific icon will usually change all instances of .exe to that icon whether it's the download or the executable file for running a program, Windows won't know the difference except as to whether to run the .exe file as installable or run the program itself.

One thing to consider, there's a reason for having the arrow on the bottom left of an icon, easily distinguishes it as a shortcut to the actual .exe file. Some folks like to remove that arrow but I'd think it would cause problems when trying to move or delete a shortcut but instead getting the program/download itself.

And I also use other File Managers at times, usually have functions in them that Windows Explorer and File Explorer don't.

Attached Thumbnails
Changing .exe File Type Icons In File Explorer But Nowhere Else-exe-icons.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Changing .exe File Type Icons In File Explorer But Nowhere Else

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