As you likely know by now, Windows 10 ships with new set of icons. The new folder icon is certainly not a looker when compared to the folder icons of Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1.
Folder icon in Windows 10
Just like its predecessors, Windows 10 also allows you change the default icon of individual folders but it doesn’t support multiple folders at once. That is, in short, you can’t change the default folder icon of all folders at once. Most of the third-party programs available to change or customize default folder icons also don’t support changing multiple folder icons at once.
If you have upgraded from Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 and feel that the default folders icons in Windows 7 looked much better, you’ll be happy to know that you can easily change the default folder icon in Windows 10 without the help of third-party software.
All you need to do is make some changes to Windows Registry. Complete the given below instructions get Windows 7 like folder icons in Windows 10.
Note that we recommend you turn off Show icons, never thumbnails option under Folder Options (scroll down the page for detailed instructions) after applying Windows 7-style folder icons in Windows 10.
As we are going to edit the Registry, we recommend you create a manual restore point just to be on the safer side.
Get Windows 7 style folder icon in Windows 10
Step 1: Download Windows 7-style folder icon (.ico format) from here, extract the zip file to get the folder icon file, and save it in a safe location. We recommend you store the Windows 7-style folder icon in the root of Windows 10 drive or on your Windows 10 desktop.
Step 2: Open Registry Editor. To do so, type Regedit.exe in the taskbar search box or Start search box, and then press Enter key. Alternatively, you can open Run command box, type Regedit.exe, and then press Enter to open the same.
Click Yes button when you see the UAC (User Account Control) dialog box.
Step 3: In the Registry Editor navigate to the following key:
Step 4: Create a new Key under Explorer by right-clicking on Explorer and then clicking New, and then clicking Key, and name it as Shell Icons. Note that if the Shell Icons key is already present, please skip this step.
Step 5: On the right-side of Shell Icons, create a new String Value and name it as “3” (without quotes).
Step 6: Double-click on the new 3 string value and paste the path to the Windows 7-style folder icon that you have saved in Step 1.
To copy the path, hold down the Shift key while right-clicking on the folder icon file and then click Copy as path. Finally, paste the path in the Value data box.
Step 7: Close Registry Editor. Restart your PC or simply restart Windows Explorer by opening Task Manager, right-clicking on Windows Explorer entry and then clicking Restart option. That’s it! New folder icons should now appear. And if you are not getting new folder icons, please clear the icon cache using Icon Cache Rebuilder software.
To restore Windows 10’s original folder icon, simply delete the newly created string value in Step 5.
As said before, you need to turn off thumbnails for best results. To use icons everywhere, please follow the given below instructions:
Step 1: Open File Explorer (My Computer).
Step 2: Click View and then click Options button to open Folder Options.
Step 3: Switch to the View tab. Scroll down to see Always show icons, never thumbnails.
Step 4: Check Always show icons, never thumbnails option and then click Apply button.
That’s it! Good luck!
I wonder why windows 8 and 10 took out the 3D icons and aero and replaced it with 2D icons and no aero.
Maybe you didn’t know this or just didn’t clarify: Win 7 icons do not work in computers which shipped with Windows 10 installed (at least not in mine: Windows 10 Home Version 1607 (OS Build 14393.576). I got a document icon instead of a folder icon, and in the registry, the doc icon changes to a folder when clicked open, and back to a file icon when closed. When I deleted the new key, my original folder icons where immediately restored.
Josh Lewis says
The last step hides thumbnails which is really unfortunate for us photographers. Is there any other way without having to hide thumbnails? I’ve read into this for the past few hours now.
Great and amazing icons win7!
I have the full version of Windows 10 installed. This tutorial works great replacing the main folders in the library but does nothing for the basic file folder for storing assorted files or the drives. I hope to see a advance tutorial on this when you get the time. Thankyou so much…this is a great start.
Thank you. I still don’t get why MS went out of its way to make Win8 and Win10 as ugly as possible.