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How to set a custom folder icon on Windows 10

Windows 10 uses the standard yellow folder icon for all folders that you create. Your libraries have slightly different icons but for all other folders, the same icon is used. If you want, you can change folder icon colors with an app called FolderPainter. If changing the folder icon color doesn’t do the trick, you can set a custom folder icon on Windows 10 so long as you find the icon for it yourself.

Custom folder icon

The first thing you need to do is find a folder icon. You can normally download icons for free online however, if you have a nice PNG image that works as an icon, you can convert it to an ICO file too. If you’re converting a file from PNG to ICO, we recommend using a free online web service called ICO Convert. Just upload the PNG image, and convert it to an ICO file for Windows 10.

Once you have the ICO file, you can change the folder icon for any folder that you want. Navigate to the folder that you want to change the icon for and right-click it. From the context menu, select Properties. On the Properties window, go to the Customize tab and click the Change icon button at the bottom. In the window that opens, click the Browse button and select the ICO file that you want to use. Click Ok, and Apply.

Return to your desktop, right-click on an empty area and select Refresh from the context menu. Repeat for any File Explorer windows that you have open. The folder will now appear with its new, custom icon.

Changing it back is pretty easy. Access the Change Icon window the same way you did before and select the default folder icon from the ones shown in the list, or just click the Restore Defaults button.

This change will be applied on a per-folder basis. This means that all other folders on your system will still use the default icon that’s set on Windows 10. There are apps that can change the default folder icon for multiple folders at once and there are also apps that can change what the default icon for all folders is however, given this is Windows 10, you should avoid tampering with the icon defaults. Windows 10 has a poor history of handling UI customizations. In fact, if you use an app to customize your Windows 10 desktop, it’s a good idea to disable or uninstall it before you install a major Windows 10 feature update.


  1. Thanks for showing me how to do that. And as soon as I read your instrucxtions, I realised I should have already known. But still grateful.
    However, it still shows one of those Windows open yerllow folders, rather than purely being the custom ico.
    I’m guessing Windows won;t let you turn it completely into your own folder then?

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