Add Icons To Folders Permanently – Best Ways to Change or Create Icons for Windows

When coming to customize windows, most of us doesn’t bother with changing appearance in windows other than changing the desktop wallpaper. However if you want to go more further, there are built in capabilities available to change things such as folder icons. which I’m going to talk about in this post.

Basically you can change any folder or shortcut icon by simply go to the “properties” -> “Customize” -> “Change icon”. It’s quite simple process but there are few drawbacks in certain situations and because of  that you can’t use this method effectively all the times.

My situation is, if you want keep some organized folders in custom icons, for example if you love to have custom made icon for your favorite movie collection or photo albums or whatever, You can create or download custom icon files. Then you can keep them somewhere secure in your PC and you can change one by one folder icons as you wish. But once you move those folders in another location or put in to sub folder, or even change it’s or parent folder’s name, you will lost all of customizations you have made in instant. So let’s talk about keep folder icons changes even after move it’s location.

Step 01

Show hidden protected operating system files in system setting.

For that you have to go for “Folder option”. In windows 10, It can be accessed by “File Explorer” ->”View” in ribbon -> “Options” -> “View” -> In advanced setting ” tick the “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” and Unchecked the “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)”

If you receive error message select “yes” and continue.

Then “Apply” and “OK”.

Step 02

Go to the target folder and put modified icon file in the root. Open “desktop.ini” file in note pad. If desktop.ini file doesn’t exist, create new file by note pad or temporally change folder icon and refresh the page so newly created desktop.ini file will be appeared.

desktop.ini file will be looks like this


Step 03

Replace the icon resource path with /Your_Icon_Name.ICO

It should be looks like this after changed.



With this way it will locate the icon file that in side our target folder.

Step 04

Right click the folder -> “properties” -> “Customize” -> “Change icon”-> “Restore Default” -> “OK” -> “Cancel”

More importantly Don’t save this setting in Customize tab, Only just cancel it. Other wise your edited code will be rewritten and you have to go for step 03 again.

You can see your customized Icon appeared now. just simply change folder location and you can see it didn’t change.

Here is result of customized one of my favorite movie collection.

If you need, Now you can get that icons pack from here for the collection of “Marvel Cinematic Universe”   –>

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