Change Windows 7 Drive Icons

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Ones thing I’ve always hated even way back during the days of Windows 95 was the look of the Windows Drive Icons. It always drove me crazy. They just look so freaken lame. In this post I will explain how to change your Windows drive icons not just for Windows 7 and >Windows Vista but for other versions of Windows as well.

What we will need.

  • Some images that we will use for our drive icons
  • An Image Editor (optional)
  • Windows installed on your computer
  • A knowledge of the Windows Registry

First we will need images for each drive that we will be wanting icons for. If you already have these images, maybe you downloaded them from Google then you wont need to make them with an Image editor. Once we have these images we will place them in a directory on our computer. I placed my images in a directory called icons and put the directory in the Root of my Root Drive which in my case my Root Drive is the C Drive.

There are several methods to changing the Drive Icons for Windows. The first method requires modifying the Registry. So I highly recommend that you back it up before continuing.

Okay lets backup the registry.

Todo this we will fire up our command prompt by going to Start and typing CMD. Once we have done this we will see the command prompt icon in our Start menu. Right click on it and choose Run As Administrator. Now the Command prompt should be opened.

Type the following into the Command Prompt


cd %systemroot%
copy regedit.exe regedit-backup.exe

Great now we have a backup. Now inside of the Command Prompt we will type regedit then we will press enter. This will open up the Registry Editor were we will add some entries that will change our drive icons.

Now lets navigate to the following registry Hive.


HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes

If you see a registry key called Applications located in the Classes key their will be no need to create it. If you don’t you will need to make it. To create the Applications key we will right click on the Classes Key and choose New > Key. Now we will name the key Applications.

Next we will select the Applications key and right click and choose New > Key. Now we will name this key Drives. Also please note that if the Key name Drives is already create inside of the Applications key their is no need to create it.

Next we will right click on the Drives key that we just made and choose New > Key. Here we will name the Key after the Drive Letter to which we want to change the icon for. So if we want to change the icon for the C Drive we will make the Key name C.

I will be using the C Drive in this example. This means that the Key we just made is labeled C. Lets right click on that key and choose New > Key. Now we name this key DefaultIcon.

Now we will click on the DefaultIcon key and in the right pain of the Registry Editor we will see something that says Default. Lets right click on that and choose Modify. Now we will type the location of our Drive Icons that we want to have in place of our regular drive icons.

As I said earlier. I placed my drive icons in a directory named icons. And the directory is in the root of the C drive. So what typed was C:\icons\CDrive.ico

 

If my root drive was D then I would have changed the drive letters. If the directory name was something other then icons I would have used the name for that directory. If my icon image was named something else I would have used that name instead. If my extension was png instead of ico I would have used png.

The next method of changing the Drive Icon is to create an autorun.inf file. This method will override the above method. Which is good. Since we our default drive icons set the way we always want them. And on rare occasions for certain drives that we plug into our computer we can have seperate icon for those.

Creating an autorun.inf file is extremely easy to do. We simply fire up our text editor and type the following.

[autorun]
icon=myicon.ico

After we have added the above to our text editor we will save it as autorun.inf and store it in the root directory of the drive we want to change the icon for. So if we want to change the icon to our USB drive we will store it in the root of our USB drive along with the image file.
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