A folder in Windows is very useful to keep your files in order by storing multiple files according to category, file types or any way you like. Most if not all computer users would be able to identify a folder in Windows because the yellow colored icon used for folder has been pretty much stayed the same over the years. A major problem with folders are they look exactly the same until Vista came that allow thumbnails to be shown at the folder. Enabling showing of thumbnails instead of icons at Folder Options poses a privacy risk where all your thumbnails are secretly cached and can be retrieved using the proper forensic tools.
We will show you how to change the standard folder icon in Windows to another icon for easier identification and improving your productivity.
One of the best and easiest way to change the folder icons in Windows is by using a software called Folder Marker. There are 3 versions of Folder Marker which is the Free, Home and Pro. Basically the free version is one of their older versions released in 2006 that only works under Windows XP but not on Vista, 7 or 8. Although the Home and Pro are trial software that cost money to purchase a license, both can still be used after the trial period without registration. You will only need to tolerate with the delay and nag screen when you need to use it to mark or change folder icons.
What we really liked about Folder Marker Pro is the ability to easily mark a folder icon using the right click context menu. By default the menu comes with a selection of colors, priority and file types but they can be customized to include the icons that you normally want to use from Action > Customize “Mark Folder” menu.
Another good thing about Folder Marker Pro is you can mass change icons for multiple folders. You will need to click on the Folder at the menubar and select Multiple Folders. You can then either drag and drop folders or use the Add button to manually add the folders that you want to change the icons.
At the Folder Marker Pro program, take note of the option “Make customized folder distributable” at step 3. Checking that option will enable the folder icon to stay in effect even if it is copied to other computer. This is done automatically by placing a hidden desktop.ini file that links to the FolderMarker.ico file in the folder.
If for some reason you do not want to use Folder Marker Pro anymore, you can revert all the folder icons to default by clicking the Action from menubar and select “Rollback All Changes“.
If you only need to change a few folder icons in Windows, you probably don’t need a third party software to do it because Windows has limited support for this feature. All you need to do is right click on the folder that you want to change the icon and select Properties. Click on the Customize tab and then followed by clicking the Change Icon button. There will be a massive amount of icons to select from the SHELL32.dll file. You can browse and use a custom icon if you want.
Do note that we did use the word “limited” because you can only change one folder icon at a time. You can select multiple folders and change the icon from the Customize tab but still only one folder will take effect.