How To Change The Default Folder Icon In Windows? {In 2024}

Change The Default Folder Icon – Changing the default folder icon in Windows can help personalize and customize your computer.

With just a few simple steps, you can make your folders stand out with unique icons that represent your style.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the process of changing folder icons in all modern versions of Windows.

One of the ways you can customize the look and feel of your Windows operating system is by changing the default icons used for folders.

How To Change The Default Folder Icon In Windows

The default folder icons in Windows are pretty generic and boring. Changing them up can help you visually distinguish different folders at a glance.

For example, you may want to change the My Documents folder to have an icon related to writing and documents.

Change The Default Folder Icon In Windows

Or you could change the Downloads folder to have an icon more associated with downloading files from the internet. The options are vast with the ability to change folder icons in Windows.

In this guide, I’ll be showing you multiple ways to change the default folder icons on Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7.

The methods vary somewhat between operating system versions, but the general process is similar. We’ll also look at how to change specific system folder icons as well as reset everything back to the defaults if needed.

Why Change the Default Folder Icons?

Why Change the Default Folder Icons

Here are some of the benefits of changing the default folder icons in Windows:

  •  Make folders easier to visually identify at a glance
  •  Personalize the look and feel of your file system
  •  Associate icons with folder purposes and contents
  •  Customize your Windows experience and make it unique
  • Change the aesthetic to match your personality and style

Whether your goal is to become more organized or just make your computer visually pop, changing folder icons can help achieve it. With the right icon set, you can make your Windows environment stand out.

How to Change Folder Icons in Windows 10

How to Change Folder Icons in Windows 10

Windows 10 contains a built-in method to change folder icons without the need for third-party software. Here is how to change folder icons in Windows 10:

1. Navigate to the folder you want to change the icon for and right-click on it. Select “Properties” from the right-click menu.

2. In the Properties window, click the “Customize” tab.

3. Click the “Change icon” button.

4. Browse through the available icons and select the one you want to use.

5. Click “OK” to set the new icon.

6. Repeat this process for other folders you want to customize icons for.

The default Windows 10 icon selection contains a few style options to choose from. But you can expand your options greatly by downloading free custom icon packs online.

To install downloaded icon packs:

1. Download an icon pack as a . ICO file
2. Right-click the. ICO file and select “Extract All”
3. Navigate into the extracted files and you’ll see several. ICO files you can use
4. Follow the earlier instructions to change an icon by selecting this new one. ICO file

With custom icons, you can set specialized icons that fit specific folders like Music, Games, Pictures, and more. Get creative and make your folders stand out.

How to Change Folder Icons in Windows 8.1

How to Change Folder Icons in Windows 10

The process for changing folder icons in Windows 8.1 is very similar to Windows 10. The only difference is accessing the properties window.

1. Right-click the folder and select “Open With Explorer” from the context menu.

2. In Explorer, right-click the folder again and select “Properties”.

3. Proceed with steps 2-6 from the Windows 10 instructions above.

The rest of the process remains the same. You can browse the default icon options or download custom icon packs. This gives you complete control to customize folder icons on Windows 8.1.

How to Change Folder Icons in Windows 7

How to Change Folder Icons in Windows 7

Windows 7 doesn’t contain the same built-in icon customization options as newer versions. But you can still change folder icons in Windows 7 using the “Desktop Icons Shell Extension” tool.

Here’s how to change folder icons on Windows 7:

1. Download Desktop Icons Shell Extension (free tool).

2. Install and open the Desktop Icons tool.

3. Browse for the folder you want to change.

4. Select an icon from the options to replace the folder icon.

5. You can also download icon packs online to gain access to more icons.

6. Select the new icon and click “OK” to set it.

While slightly more involved, this process still allows you to fully customize folder icons on Windows 7. The Desktop Icons tool gives you the same control over folder icons as the built-in options in newer Windows versions.

How to Change Default Folder Icons System-Wide

How to Change Default Folder Icons System-Wide

The previous methods change the icon on individual folders. But you can also change the default system icons that all new folders will use. Here is how to change the global default folder icons in Windows:

1. Navigate to Control Panel > Personalization > Change Icon

2. Choose the folder icon set you want to apply as the new default.

3. Click “OK” to confirm the changes.

4. Any new folders created will use icons from the selected icon set.

This enables you to change the default folder icons simultaneously across your entire system. All folders inherit the new icons universally. Just bear in mind this resets existing folders back to the new defaults too.

How to Restore Default Folder Icons

If you ever want to revert back to the original Windows folder icons, simply follow these steps:

  •  For individual folders, repeat the earlier process by choosing the default Windows icon.
  •  For system-wide defaults, go back to Control Panel > Personalization > Change Icon and choose “Windows” icons again.

This will reset folders back to the original icons if you ever decide to undo your changes.

Customizing Specific Folder Icons

Along with general folders, you can also customize the icons used for default Windows system folders like Documents, Pictures, Music, etc.

Here is how to change icons specifically on these special folders:

1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the C:\Users\[User Name]\Links folder.

2. Right-click on any of the system folder shortcuts and choose “Properties”.

3. Change the icon using the same method as other folders.

4. Repeat this for other system folder shortcuts in Links.

This allows you to customize the icons on major system folders as well. Change these to truly customize the Windows environment to match your style.

Extra Tips for Folder Icon Customization

Here are some additional pointers for getting the most out of folder icon customization in Windows:

  •  You can set folder icons differently on external devices like USB drives, SD cards, etc. This helps distinguish similar folders on different devices.
  • Folder icon personalization completely carries over if you switch to a new Windows PC. Just transfer your saved icon packs to continue using your customized folder icons.
  •  You can use online icon creator tools to make your own custom folder icons for complete personalization.
  • Change folder icons frequently to match different holidays, seasons, or events. Get creative with timely and topical icons.
  •  Use distinct icon styles and themes to color code or identify folder hierarchies and relationships.

The options are endless when customizing default folder icons in Windows. Take your standard Windows folders from boring to beautiful with these icon tips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What file type do I need for custom icons?

Ans: You need icon files. ICO format. This is the standard icon file type used by Windows.

Q. Where do I get new icons for folders?

Ans:  You can find many free custom icon packs online to download. is one popular site with thousands of free icons.

Q. Can I revert back to the default Windows icons?

Ans:  Yes, you can revert back to the original default icons in Windows by selecting the “Windows” icon set in the customization options.

Q. Does changing icons affect folder contents?

Ans:  No, changing the icon image will not affect the actual contents or behavior of the folder in any way. It is just a visual customization.

Q. Do custom icons transfer between computers?

Ans:  Yes, if you copy your icon files onto a new Windows PC, you can continue using the same customized icons for consistency.


Customizing your folder icons helps add personality and style to your Windows experience. By following the steps in this guide, you can learn how to:

  •  Change default folder icons in Windows 10, 8.1, and 7
  • Use downloaded icon packs for unlimited custom icons
  • Set new default icons system-wide
  • Reset back to the original Windows defaults
  •  Make specific system folders stand out with custom icons

With endless icon packs and creativity, you can customize your Windows folders to match your style. So break free from the mundane default folder icons with these tips.

A small touch like personalized folder icons can go a long way in making Windows feel like your own.

The Founder and admin of, Who Likes To Write On Any Topic Related To Computer Query, Such As PC Hardware Problems, PC BIOS Problem and I have also best Knowledge in Android, SEO, and Much More.

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