Help: replace default windows folder icon

Hi all. First, my problem:

Here is a picture of my explorer with those ugly default windows folder icons. I decided I wanted the pretty Crystal icons you see in the open dialogue box (yeah, I know they’re still yellow…), so I hacked my shell32.dll using ResHacker and Replacer.

Alas, explorer still uses those dog-ugly folder icons. (Even though, as you can see, everything else uses the hacked icons!) I’ve been googling this for almost a week now and the only thing I can think of doing is hacking the windows icon cache (I’m using XP Pro SP2). But I can’t find any information on the format of the darn file!

Can anyone here point me in the right direction, or suggest an alternative course of action (one that doesn’t involve giving up or individually changing every folder icon on my system)?


if i remember right every single folder icon is located in the windows directory

just open the correct .ICO file with paint and you can easily alter fairly much any aspect of it.

The vast majority of windows system icons are in shell32.dll, with (AFAIK) the remainder somewhere in the system32 directory in DLLs. There are no ICO files in the windows directory, but pre-NT versions stored the icon cache there.

That obnoxious folder icon, however…



ummm, just look in the explorer :
Tools > Folder options > Fieltypes tag… Select the folder and the file folder icon, press advanced, then change Icon.

you can change most of your other Icons from there too.

I have no idea about Vista

hope that helps

Maybe a handy utility such as this one:


Ah, you mean these dialogues:
You’ll notice that the ‘Folder’ icon is not editable… (and yeah, I just changed my theme from Royale to Zune)

:D. In this case I consider switching to Linux the same as “giving up”. (Actually, I run a dual boot system.)