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Changing folder icons
When you're running Windows 9x/NT/2k and IE4+, you can have different icons for individual folders. There's a great and free utility called IconWizard that handles it with ease. No homepage anymore, but license permits redistribution, so find it here (785 kB). It adds an entry in the rightclickmenu of every folder, by which the wizard will start. The major allround icon changers have the option too, but most don't add the entry in your rightclick menu. Or they do, but charge for it :)... Note that in XP, you've got the option to just rightclick the folder, choose "properties" and you'll have the option to change the icon.
How it works
What it actually does:
  • It creates a file called desktop.ini in the folder,
  • gives it the attribute 'hidden'
  • and inserts the lines:
  • and last, gives the folder the attribute 'system'.
It's not too difficult to do this yourself, but very time consuming, specially if your doing multiple folders. But understanding it means you can modify it later. For instance, you can have the icon on the folder even if you put the folder to disk, and give it to someone else. Or, the icon doesn't get lost if you move your icons.
This you can achieve by simply copying the icon into the folder and modify the path in notepad. Instead of "IconFile=x:\xx\xx\xx.ico" it should read "IconFile=.\xx.ico".
Give the icon the attribute 'hidden' if you don't want it to show up.

Note: this whole thing doesn't survive a 'zip' (the system-attribute of the folder gets lost...).
And last, adding a line like "InfoTip=Nice stuff in here" makes this text show up when you move your cursor onto the folder.
XP fix
As found at the - excellent - ntfaq:
"If the folder is one that you customized using the Customize This Folder Wizard in Windows Explorer or a standard Windows customized folder (e.g., the Fonts folder), you might not be able to remove the read-only attribute or you might receive an error when you try to write a file to the folder. In either scenario, Windows is preventing you from writing to the folder because the OS is using the read-only flag to determine whether the folder is a system folder."
Seems XP does it a little differently, but it can be told to use the system attribute (only for newly customized folders). For this, find this registry key:
On the right, rightclick and create a new dword value, name it "UseSystemForSystemFolders". Rightclick the value and set to 1. A reboot will make it effective.
There's Folder Icons by Corion. Also freeware.

Another one is Change Icon. Freeware, again.

NiceFolders by xFx Jumpstart is another one, with some unique options. Combined/layered icons (working, but not properly with XP/XP icons), an editor, handles the tooltips. Very nicely done.

A shareware alternative, but working in Windows 95 with˛ut IE4, is AiryFolders (once "Anyfolder"), by Artem Lin, also creator of some cool icons. Unique feature of this program is, you can assign seperate icons for the open and closed state of the folder!

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