In only a few clicks, you can change the icons for your folders and hard drives.
What You Should Know
- For Standard Folders: Right-click > Properties > Customize > Change Icon
- For Special Folders: Settings > Personalization > Themes > Desktop icon settings.
- To restore the original icon, click the Restore Default(s) button.
This article will show you how to change the folder icon in Windows 11. We’ll look at standard folders, special desktop icon folders (like Recycle Bin and This PC), and hard drives to see how we can do this. You can choose from a collection of icons provided by Windows, but you can also create your own custom folder icons.
Table of Contents
How Do I Change the Folder Icons in Windows 11?
We’ll look at three different types of icons: Standard ones, which use the usual yellow folder icon; special folders, such as This PC, Network, and Recycle Bin, which appears on the desktop (if enabled); and hard drive icons visible in the This PC folder.
Depending on the folder type, you can edit these folder icons in one of two ways:
How To Change Standard Folder Icons In Windows 11?
The icon for regular folders, as shown in the screenshot below, can be changed using the folder’s settings window.
- Select Properties from the menu when you right-click the folder.
- Select Change Icon from the bottom of the Customize tab at the top of the window.
- Scroll through the list to find the icon you want to use. When you’ve made your decision, click OK on a selection.
- On the Properties window, click OK once more to save the changes and return to the folder in File Explorer.
The new folder icon is instantly reflected. If it isn’t, force it to change by clicking the refresh button near the file path at the top of File Explorer.
How To Change Desktop Icons in Windows 11?
You’ll go to a dedicated section in Settings to change the desktop icon folders for the Recycle Bin and other special folders.
- Go to the Settings menu. The WIN+i keyboard shortcut is one simple approach.
- From the left-hand menu, choose Personalization, and then Themes from the right-hand menu.
- Select the Desktop Icon Settings option.
- Choose one of the desktop icons, then Change the Icon to switch to a new icon.
- To save, select OK on the open windows.
How To Change the Hard Drive Icons in Windows 11?
The hard drive icon is another folder-like icon that you may change in Windows 11. You should make the change in the Windows Registry because there isn’t an easy-to-access setting for this.
- Copy the path of the ICO icon file you wish to use. To copy a file to the clipboard, just right-click it and select Copy as path.
- From the taskbar, type Regedit to open Registry Editor.
- Find your way here using the registry keys on the left side of Registry Editor:
- From the left pane, right-click DriveIcons and select New > Key.
- Whatever drive letter corresponds to the drive for which you’re altering the icon, give the key that name. If the drive letter is C or D, for example, call it that.
- Make a new key named DefaultIcon by right-clicking the letter key you just made (New > Key).
- Double-click the (Default) registry value from the right pane when DefaultIcon is open.
Paste the path to the icon file you copied earlier into the Value data text box that’s now open.
- Paste the path to the icon file you copied earlier into the Value data text box that’s now open.
- To save, choose OK. The changes are instantly reflected.
Making Use of Custom Folder Icons
When it comes to changing a folder’s icon, there are a lot of options, but they’re all the same on every Windows 11 computer. You may design your own custom icons to give a unique touch to your setup, as well as to help you recognize your folders more quickly.
- Ensure that the icon is square. Downloading icons from sites dedicated to this purpose, such as Flaticon, is excellent, but you can also trim images yourself.
- It must be in ICO format. This sort of conversion can be performed using a free tool such as FileZigZag.
- Place the ICO file at a location that will not be moved or deleted in the future. If Windows cannot locate the icon file in its original location, the icon will return to its default state.
- Change the location where Windows looks for folder icons. Instead of selecting from the drop-down menu, use the Browse button in the preceding stages.
How To Open an Elevated Command Prompt in Windows 11/10
Many of the fixes and tweaks you’ll find on the internet require you to run Command Prompt as an administrator….