Changing Default Icons for Windows 10


Jul 18, 2021
Lately I've been pretty obsessed with customization for my desktop, so I set out to change different shell icons for Windows 10. The one I'll focus on in this tutorial is the Folder icon.

I looked for hours on a tutorial to do this and I ended up using several different resources to piece together the end product.'

Please be careful as you'll be making changes to the Windows registry so this could potentially harm your computer. Make a backup of your system for safety.

To begin, make sure you're the administrator account on the device.

Step 1. Press Win+R or open up the Run option through the search bar on the task bar, type in regedit and hit enter

Step 2. Navigate through the registry in this order:


Step 3. With the word Explorer highlighted right click and bring up the options menu

Step 4. Go to New>Key and name it Shell Icons

Step 5. Scroll through the Explorer folders until you see your new Shell Icons folder then open it by clicking on it

Step 6. On the RIGHT SIDE underneath where it says (Default) right click again, and put New>String Value and name it 3

Step 7.
Repeat step 6 but instead name it 4

Step 8.
If you already have a new folder image then skip to step 9. If you do not have an image use and select Free and search for the icon you'd like to use

Step 9. Open an Explorer window and locate the C:\ Drive. Create a new folder inside of it named Shell and place the icon inside with the name Folder.ico

Step 10.
Go back to the Shell Icons folder inside the registry, double click on the 3 on the right side where you created it and in the VALUE textbox put

Step 11. Repeat step 10 but with the 4 on the right side

Step 12. Restart your computer and you're done!


To make all folders look this way (not including ZIP) change your folder settings to not show thumbnails inside of the Explorer Settings window