Can't set folder icons (folder customization), but it reads perfectly the ones modified on xp

    General discussion

  • On XP I used to customize my folder icons, specially the games and apps folders (using application specific icons, not the default ones), so I wouldn't have to read the folder name, but now I can't set new customizations, I apply them, but nothing happens (same on Vista), I would like to get this error fixed.
    • Edited by Dietr1cH Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:20 AM minor edit
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:19 AM

All replies

  • Dietrich -

    So let me see if we're both trying to do the same thing...

    1.) Open Explorer.
    2.) Navigate to the folder you want to customize.
    3.) Right-click on the folder and select Properties
    4.) Click on the Customize tab
    5.) Click  the Change Icon button at the bottom
    6.) Click the Browse button to navigate to the file that contains the icon you want.
    7.) Select the icon and Click Open.
    8.) Click the OK buttons to Apply the changes.

    Hmm.. It seems to work for me.
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 3:22 AM
  • hmm not for me
    Monday, September 07, 2009 8:44 PM
  • I just tried one.  It works for me.

    Is a desktop.ini file being generated in the folder?

    Note, the file should be a hidden, system file.  You will need to set folder options appropriately to see it in Explorer.  In a command prompt, you can enter "dir /a" to see all files, including hidden and system.

    In Windows 7, desktop.ini should look something like this:

    IconResource=C:\Users\Public\Downloads\CAINE Live CD\icon.ico,0

    In XP, it would look more like this:

    Monday, September 07, 2009 9:47 PM
  • i have it and problem still exist
    Monday, September 07, 2009 10:20 PM
  • Brian & Sezar -

    Alternatively, you can also open Windows Explorer, Right - press the ALT key, click on Tools | Folder Options and the View tab. On the list look for the item "Hidden Files and Folders" and click on Show hidden files, folders and drives. Click OK and restart Windows Explorer. You should see all files and folders at this point.
    Monday, September 07, 2009 10:46 PM
  • i have it and problem still exist

    You say the folders copied from XP show icons correctly?

    You could possibly work around the problem by editing the desktop.ini file.  First, you will have to remove the system and hidden attributes.  The only good way I know of is in a command prompt.  Enter:  attrib -s -h desktop.ini.  Open the desktop.ini file in Notepad or Wordpad.  If it resembles my first example above, add the two XP compatible lines:

    IconResource=C:\Users\Public\Downloads\CAINE Live CD\icon.ico,0
    IconFile=C:\Users\Public\Downloads\CAINE Live CD\icon.ico

    You registry must have an incorrect entry somewhere.  I think I may have found the right location, [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{ef43ecfe-2ab9-4632-bf21-58909dd177f0}].  The following, is a .reg file from my machine(s).

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    @="Folder Customization Tab"

    The @ (Default) hex(2) entry for InProcServer32 is simpley a REG_EXPAND_SZ for "%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll".
    Monday, September 07, 2009 11:54 PM
  • i have windows 7
    Tuesday, September 08, 2009 12:15 AM
  • I forgot to add:  I looked in XP, Vista and Windows 7, and in all it is set to "%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll".
    Tuesday, September 08, 2009 12:19 AM
  • so ?
    Tuesday, September 08, 2009 12:22 AM
  • Folders with customized icons in xp will show customized in vista/7 but not the othwer way around. XP retains the custom icon for a longer period of time than does windows 7 and will keep the icon originally assigned wheras with vista or 7 a custom folder icon is sometimes replaced randomly with another one. Manually editing the desktop.ini file will only work after it has bean initially assigned with explorer.

    Tuesday, September 08, 2009 12:39 AM
  • Copy the text from my post, starting with the line "Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00", to the end of that post.

    Paste the text into Notepad or Wordpad and save as myfile.reg, or any other filename ending with ".reg".

    Double click the file, and select "Yes" in the warning box, to add these entries to the Registry.

    Or else, open regedit by clicking the Start orb and typing regedit in the search box.  Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{ef43ecfe-2ab9-4632-bf21-58909dd177f0}\InProcServer32, and see if the (Default) value says REG_EXPAND_SZ "%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll".  If not, change it.
    Tuesday, September 08, 2009 12:43 AM
  • i did it but doesn't change. I've just opened the win xp and everything's fine with it i can see the thumbnails. thanks anyway.
    Tuesday, September 08, 2009 1:03 AM
  • According to this page “ ”, you cannot set icons on folders.

    However, it is possible that only applies to 'classic' view, and not when you turn on 'custom folder views'.  I don't know -- don't use custom folder views, but I can confirm that trying to set an icon using the method described in a followup below: (


    ) does not work in standard display mode.

    The same article, mentioned above, says that you can create a folder of shortcuts (or a tree of shortcuts) mirroring the REAL folders, and that you can assign individual icons for each shortcut (that would point to the real folder).

    I wish there was an easier way...but this is what I've found on MS's sites, trying to do the same thing you want(ed) to do ...*sigh*


    • Edited by Astara_ Sunday, October 11, 2009 2:23 AM
    Sunday, October 11, 2009 2:08 AM
  • Apparently there is a new syntax for desktop.ini.  I have an example of a compatible one for "(My )Favorites":

    Sunday, October 11, 2009 2:23 AM
  • My Windows 7 customized folder icons:

    Sunday, October 11, 2009 2:37 AM
  • I use explorer to cutomize the folder icons. I place the custom icon within the folder itself or use an executible inside to make it movable by reducing the path to the name of the icon or program in the folder. Wherever you move the folder it will retain the custom icon - permanent. For example, one of my folders you see up there contains all of my software license and password information. I use the XP format for the .ini file becouse it is compatible with both XP and 7. Wherever I place this folder the cutom icon will appear. Here is the format:

    IconFile=icon\icon.ico                                  >>>                            good

    If I use this type of long path format the icon will disapear if i move the folder:

    IconFile=C:\Windows\system32\SHELL32.dll,13              >>>             bad

    Sunday, October 11, 2009 3:42 AM
  • I too am having trouble setting the Icon of a folder. I have a simple setup program I wrote with Inno Setup. Its main purpose it to place a folder, not a shortcut, on the Public or All Users desktop which has some shortcuts, folders, and some install programs in it and with a custom Icon assigned to it. In Windows XP the program works perfectly. In Windows 7 x86 and x64 I get the folder where I want it but the Icon shown on the desktop is the default folder icon.


    I have used several version sof the Inno Setup script I wrote trying different techniques to control the folder location and Icon etc. Each rev of the setup program added or modified the method for doing the folder/file copy and icon assignments. Since the folder in question is actualy in the Public or All Users profile\desktop folder and is not a shortcut to a folder I am not useing the features of Inno Setup that lets you create a shortcut and assign it an icon.


    What I do in Inno is to use the INI section to write the required line in to the folders desktop.ini file that should link the folder to a custom icon. On XP this techique works. In Win 7 it almost works. Below I have the current Inno .ISS file that I am using to create the setup.exe I am wanting to use on the target system.


    If I could insert a picture, not a link, it would show how the custom icon is shown under the folders properties, on the address bar when I open it, and that when I open the actual "Public Desktop" folder I also see the folder with the custom Icon. It would also show you the desktop.ini file which I can a least cut and paste the text of in this post, see below and it would show that the folder icon shown on the users desktop is the default folder icon and not the custom one that shows up when I llook at its properites as stated above.

    Here is the .ISS file...


    ; Script generated by the Inno Setup Script Wizard.

    ; NOTE: The value of AppId uniquely identifies this application.
    ; Do not use the same AppId value in installers for other applications.
    ; (To generate a new GUID, click Tools | Generate GUID inside the IDE.)

    AppName=Anti Spy Ware Folder with Spybot, Spyware Blaster and more
    AppVerName=Spybot and Spyware Blaster
    OutputDir=C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\Downloads\AntiSpyWareSetup

    Name: "{commondesktop}\Setup Test"; Attribs: system; Permissions: authusers-full

    Source: "C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\Downloads\AntiSpyWareSetup\Icons\*"; DestDir: "c:\Icons"; Flags: recursesubdirs; Permissions: authusers-full admins-full
    Source: "C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\Downloads\AntiSpyWareSetup\Anti Spy Ware\*"; DestDir: "{commondesktop}\Setup Test"; Flags: recursesubdirs; Permissions: authusers-full
    Source: "C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\Downloads\AntiSpyWareSetup\desktopini\desktop.ini"; DestDir: "{commondesktop}\Setup Test"; Attribs: hidden system; Permissions: authusers-full

    Filename: "{commondesktop}\Setup Test\desktop.ini"; Section: ".shellClassInfo"; Key: "IconFile"; String: "c:\Icons\nospyt.Ico"
    Filename: "{commondesktop}\Setup Test\desktop.ini"; Section: ".shellClassInfo"; Key: "IconIndex"; String: "0"
    Filename: "{commondesktop}\Setup Test\desktop.ini"; Section: ".shellClassInfo"; Key: "IconResource"; String: "c:\Icons\nospyt.Ico,0"


    Here is the desktop.ini file contents...





    I have tryied using %systemroot% and variouse combos of the 3 icon lines, some of which are more XP that Win 7 based, but none of that mattered.

    Does anyone know why I can see the Custom Icon EVERYWHERE but on the users desktop itself.

    I should also mention that I played with the folder and desktop.ini attributes and permisions and nothing helps. If I manualy change the icon via properities/change Icon, it works, but everything I read all over the place tells me I should not have to do that. In fact they all say the answer lies in the desktop.ini file which I have wriiten per their many recomendations. Currently the folder is set to "system" and everyone has full permisions on it. The desktop.ini is set to be hidden and a system file also with full permisions.

    I am also running the setup program while logged in under the local admin account with UNC off, so authority on the system should not be a problem, and the system I am testing with is running with a fresh virgin install of Win 7.

    Thanks again for any help or insight that can be offered.

    Ralph Malph



    Friday, March 04, 2011 9:30 PM
  • I've read about this same problem in a lot of places.  From what I'm understanding, you're tring to change the icon for a folder in My Documents.  I don't know why it worked for me, but if you are viewing a folder in say, My Documents (C:\Users\JohnDoe\Documents), Right-click it and select Open Folder Location.  This will bring you around to what appears to be the same location.  Now Right-click that folder and select Properties and you should see the Customize TAB on the far right.  And here you can click that old familiar Change Icon button.  Hope this helps.

    FYI- I'm using WIN7 Ultimate SP1.

    David Marquez

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:40 PM