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How to change the icon for a file type on Windows 10

Files on Windows 10 are identifiable by their name and extension, and by the icon that represents them. The icon is a visual identification tool. If you have the folder view for a folder set to small icons, the icons will help you tell, visually, which file is a text file, which is an audio file, which is a movie, etc. These icons are either generic or they’re set to whatever the default app for that file type is. If Notepad is the default text editor on your Windows desktop, then the app’s icon is going to be used as the icon for all TXT files. To change the icon for a file type without changing which app opens it by default, you need a free app called File Types Manager for Windows.

Change icon for file type

Download File Types Manager for Windows. You will also need an icon to replace the current one. You can use any other system icon of your choice. It’s easy to extract them, or you can create an icon from a PNG image that you have.

Run File Types Manager for Windows and go through the list of file types. Select the file type that you want to change an icon for and right-click it. From the context menu, select the “Edit Selected File Type”.

A new window will open. Click the browse button next to the ‘Default Icon’ field and another window will open. File Types Manager for Windows does not have an option to reset the icon for a file type back to its default one so you should take note of which icon is the current one in case you want to go back to it. In the Change Icon window, click the ‘Browse’ button and select the icon that you want to use. Click OK on both windows and the icon will be updated.

The icon for the file type will change across the OS e.g., I changed the icon for MP3 files so all MP3 files on my system will now show me the new icon I’ve set.

If you change the default app that is used to open the file type, its icon will be updated to reflect the new app’s icon. If you change it back to the app that was the default before that though, the icon that you set for the file type will be used. You can try uninstalling and reinstalling the app and its icon will restored for the file type.

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