How to change the icon image of the folder in Windows 10

By | October 30, 2017

The icons of the folders displayed on Windows are roughly a shape like  or . The user is familiar with it, but it is very simple. It also has the same shape, so it is difficult to distinguish immediately what folder it is. You can solve this by changing the icon shape of the folder.

Of course, there are also software that makes it easy to change the icon of the folder, but here, let’s change the icon of the folder using the built-in function of the Windows OS.

Icon on Windows 10

Normally, icons are stored in the .ICO file. Many Windows icons are displayed in the form of “application”, “folder”, “file”, “shortcut”, and there are many unique icons appropriate for each.

However, since it is impossible to save the entire “.ICO” files one by one like image files, they are saved and used together in .DLL file format instead.

To change the icon of a specific folder, file, or shortcut, you can change it by specifying a specific icon in the .DLL file. Each icon has a unique number that can be specified, and it is used to specify the icon number from Shell related registry information.

Storage location of a icon on Windows 10

As mentioned above, Windows 10 icons are stored in “.DLL” file. These .DLL files are stored in the following folders of Windows 10. There are two “.DLL” files in this.


This “.DLL” file contains icons used in many places in Windows 10. There are icons of various kinds of folders, hardware devices, actions and so on.

[Windows10]Folder Icon


This “.DLL” file also has many icons used in various parts of Windows 10.

[Windows10]Folder Icon

changing the folder icon

There are two ways to change the shape of the icon. Let’s change it to an existing icon which is prepared in Windows.

▼ For example, you can change the image of the folder icon (folder name “a”) shown below on the desktop. 1Right-click the mouse and select 2Properties.

[Windows10]Folder Icon

▼ Next, on the Property window, click 1Customize tab, and click 2Change Icon…button of “folder icon” at the bottom.

[Windows10]Folder Icon

▼ The following icons appear in the Change Icon window. The default .dll path is %systemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll. If you want to specify an icon in other .DLL files, click 1Browse… button below

[Windows10]Folder Icon

▼ Enter 1the path of .dll File in the input box, and click 2Open button.

[Windows10]Folder Icon

Selecting an icon

▼ Here, shell32.dll, this is set by basic default. Select 1the icon image, and click 2OK button.

[Windows10]Folder Icon

▼ Returning to the “Properties” window, you can see that 1icon image has changed. Click 2OK button.

[Windows10]Folder Icon

▼ As a result, it has changed to the icon as below.

Now, you can understand immediately that the contents of the folder maybe be the music-related.

[Windows10]Folder Icon