Windows 7 Tip - Change a Folder's Icon & Have the Instructables Robot As Your Icon for Your Instructables Folder!

About: My name is Deni. I enjoy DIY projects and figuring out how to tackle projects around my home, and finding creative solutions to things.

So, you've been hanging out reading tons of 'ibles and have been saving PDF's and screenshots for projects you'd like to try one of these days, and now you need a folder on your desktop or in your documents folder so store them, right?

Sure, you could just leave it looking like all of the other desktop folders you have, but that would be so hum-drum and boring for someone who is into DIY projects!  So, make your own Instructables Robot icon for your folder!

Step 1: Create an Icon From a PNG or JPEG Using a Free Online Service

I personally am a fan of: 

for converting image files to .ICO (icon) files.  It is a FREE website and very easy to use.  Just navigate to their website and follow the simple instructions.  You browse to the location of the image file you want to convert to an icon, upload it and click on GO, and you icon show up in the upper right hand corner.  You just click on it to download your newly created icon back to your computer, and you're ready to go!

You can of course, use any program or web service you choose to complete this step.

Note - you will need to know where you have saved your new icon in the nest steps, so make sure you remember where you saved it!

Step 2: Create a New Folder on Your Desktop or in Your Documents Folder

To create a New Folder on your desktop:
  • Right-click any where there is not currently an icon on your desktop
  • Click on NEW
  • Click on FOLDER
  • Enter the NAME for your folder

Step 3: Customize Your Folder With Your Newly Created Icon

Step 1 - Right Click on your new folder and choose Properties

Step 2 - Click on the Customize Tab

Step 3 - Click on Change Icon

Step 4 - Click on Browse

Step 5 -  Navigate to the location where you saved the icon you downloaded and select your icon by double clicking on it, or single clicking to select it, and then clicking Open

Step 6 -  Now you'll see a preview of your icon in the box.  Click OK.  (That dialog box will close after you click Ok.)

Step 7 -  You'll see another preview of your icon next to the Change Icon option box.  Click on Apple in the lower right hand corner of the box. 

Step 8 -  All done!  Your new folder will now show your custom icon!



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13 Discussions


2 years ago

I am having a certain issue here. What I want to do is customize the entire folder icon for every user or for every windows platformed machine. By that I mean if I share this folder with other PC or any other person he doesn't lose the customized icon of the folder.

Can I do that?


Reply 3 years ago

Sorry, no idea what you're asking about - "click on "Apple?" If you can explain what you're asking, I'll do my best to try to answer for you.


3 years ago

The real problem with this is that if you move that folder you will have to re-customize every folder. I have a database of movies that when I move them from one drive to another I lose all of the icons that I created and it is very time consuming to re-do them all. So, is there an easier fix for this or and I doomed to repeat it every time I move them!!!

3 replies

Reply 3 years ago

You only lose the icons you create if you move the folder where the icons are stored, rather than changing the location of the customized folder itself.

In my experience, if you store your icons in the same place all the time, you don't lose the customization. Particularly if you use something like Dropbox which will sync that folder among your computers, so it's always in the same location.


Reply 3 years ago

Each folder contains 2 files that represent the folder; folder.jpg and icon.ico - the reason for the folder.jpg is if the icon.ico gets corrupt from multiple moves I can always make another. But I use icon.ico for the folder. I know that Desktop.ini has something to do with where its located but rather than mess with it I wind up reassigning the icon.ico back to the folder and this is just way way too time consuming. There has got to be a way that won't cause a loss of the icon from the move. In all honesty, this should have been addressed in windows from the beginning and since those programmers chose to ignore it I now have just a massive folder of public domain horror shows that I have to go back and repair them.


Reply 3 years ago

NWOG, I think I understand now why you're having trouble. You're storing the icon inside the same folder you're customizing. That is the reason that you lose the icon whenever you move the folder - you're changing the location that windows is looking for the icon when you move the folder to different locations on your computer.

You need to make yourself a designated ICONS folder that will always live in the same place on your computer, so even when you move the folder, the place where the icon lives is still the same.

Put your ICONS folder inside your My Documents folder (or anywhere really, as long as you know where to find it) and then copy all of your custom icons inside the ICONS folder.

Once you do that, you'll have to re-customize the folders again, to show Windows where you're storing the icons. But the good news is that after you do that, as long as you don't change the location of the ICONS folder you made, you shouldn't have to do it again, no matter how many times you move the folders around on your computer.

You can also use a service like Dropbox that will allow you to sync and back up folders on your computers. If you need help setting that up, feel free to PM me, and I can give you some suggestions.

I hope that helps!


Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

I'm sorry you're having trouble. I'm not sure what the difficulty is unless you're using am unlicensed version of Windows. I know that MS disables many features for "unofficial" versions, an customizing may be one of them. This works on each version of Windows from Vista to 8 that I'm aware of. I haven't tried on XP or earlier.


3 years ago on Introduction

For sure it works, but as for me the most easiest way would be using FoderMarkerPro. It's pretty nice, u guys should try it.


Sorry, I don't have a mac to try it on. I bet you could find it online though. I do know it can be done, I just don't know how personally. Thanks for taking the time to comment!