When a folder has files in it, you can tell from just its icon on Windows 10. An empty folder icon is just that; the yellow folder icon that has been used since Windows 98. By default, Windows 10 will use the very first image in a folder as the folder image and when it doesn’t have an image that it can use, it will show the generic file icon to indicate there are files inside the folder. Here’s how you can manually set a folder image on Windows 10.
Set folder image
You can use just about any image you want for the folder image however it should be a format that Windows 10 can display. To check if the image format is one that Windows 10 can display, simply navigate to the image in File Explorer and check if the thumbnail gives you a generic file icon or a smaller version of the image. If it’s a smaller version of the image, then Windows 10 can display it.
You need to move the image to the folder. If the folder has several nested folders under it, you can move the image to one of the nested folders or you can move the image to the root of the folder.
Right-click the folder and select Properties from the context menu. On the Properties window, go to the Customize tab and click the Choose File button under the Folder Pictures option. Select a file from inside the folder, and click Apply.
The folder icon will now show the image. If the folder is on your desktop, you can set the folder icon image from there however you will need to repeat the entire process from File Explorer as well or File Explorer will stick to the default behavior for the folder icon.
This is a fairly simple way to make a folder easier to identify. By default, if a folder has multiple images in it, the icon will stack them up which may or may not be beneficial in helping to identify a folder. If you find that the stacked images aren’t very useful, you can set a default folder icon image.
Of course, as far as folder identification is concerned, there are other ways to make the folder easier to identify from just its icon. You can change the icon to something, anything else, or you can use a colored folder icon instead. You can also use emoji in the folder name if that helps you identify it at just a glance.