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Windows 7 - How to Change the Default Folder Icon

While changing the icons of individual folders in Windows 7 is fairly straightforward using standard methods, changing the default icon for all folders, including new ones, is a little more complicated. If you're getting bored with the standard yellow Windows 7 folder icon, then you can change it using the registry editor. Before you begin, you'll need to be logged into an administrator account. The following changes will, however, affect all user accounts on your computer. You'll also need to have a custom folder icon available. This icon should be 256 x 256 pixels in size if you want it to display properly with all of the available folder views in Windows Explorer.
Click the start button orb and type "regedit" into the start menu search box. Press Enter to open the registry editor and navigate to the following directory:
Right-click on the "Explorer" folder (key) and click "New" followed by "Key." Enter the name for the new key as "Shell Icons." Press Enter. If you've already made some customizations before, or installed a theme which has changed your default icons, you may find that the "Shell Icons" key is already present.
Select the new key and, in the empty area to the right, right-click, select "New" and create a new string value. Type the name for the string value as "3." Right-click on this new string value and click "Modify."
Ensure that your custom icon is located in a folder which is accessible by all user accounts on the computer, such as in the public folders or in the root directory of the system drive. Enter the full folder and file path of the icon, including the file extension. For example: "C:\My folder icon.ico." Click "OK" to continue. Close the registry editor.
You'll need to restart the computer or log out of your user account and log back in again for the changes to take effect.
If you are using Windows 7 64-bit, you'll also need to repeat the above steps in the following directory:
If you want to restore the default folder icon, you simply need to return to the registry editor and delete the "3" string value that you created. Again, the changes will take effect when you log out and log in again.


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