../Icons/Registry settingsHome
Icon registry settings
For all those who prefer to change things manually, just for some more insight, or your favorite prog forgot an icon, we'll try to list the registry keys for common icons in Windows. Not all icons are related to a registry entry though (like most control panel icons). Also, most of this applies to Win 9x as well as Win 2k/XP. If otherwise, please tell us.

And, some of these are stored at different places, you may find several, but it's hard to say which entry will make the change on your system. Guess it depends on your Windows version, possibly IE version, if you're running multiple profiles or not etc. Fact is we see a lot of tips pointing to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT when on our systems we need to edit a HKEY_CURRENT_USER key. When in doubt we'll display all possibilities.
"Shell Icons" key
There's one key where several system icons are stored. This is
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\explorer\Shell Icons
Here's a list (permanently under construction):
  0 (Explorer) Unknown File Type
  1 (Explorer) Default Document
  2 (Explorer) Default Application
  3 (Explorer) Closed Folder
  4 (Explorer) Open Folder
  5 (Drive) 5.25 inch floppy
  6 (Drive) 3.5 inch floppy
  7 (Drive) Removable Drive
  8 (Drive) Hard Drive
  9 (Drive) Network Drive
10 (Drive) Network Drive disconnected
11 (Drive) Cd-ROM Drive
12 (Drive) RAM Drive
13 Entire network (globe)
14 ??
15 (Explorer) Networked Computer
16 (Explorer) Printer(s)
17 (Desktop) Network Neighborhood
18 (Explorer) Workgroup
19 (Startmenu) Programs
20 (Startmenu) Recent documents
21 (Startmenu) Settings
22 (Startmenu) Find
23 (Startmenu) Help
24 (Startmenu) Run
25 (Startmenu) Suspend
26 (Startmenu) Docking
27 (Startmenu) Shutdown
28 (Overlay) Sharing
29 (Overlay) Shortcut
30 (Overlay) ??
31 (Desktop) Recycle bin empty
32 (Desktop) Recycle bin full
33 (Explorer) Dial-up Networking
34 (Explorer) Desktop
35 (Startmenu) Settings/Control Panel
36 (Startmenu) Programs/Program folder
37 (Startmenu) Settings/Printers
38 ??
39 (Startmenu) Settings/Taskbar
40 (Explorer) Audio CD
42 (Explorer) Saved search (.fnd)
43 (Explorer & Startmenu) Favorites
44 (Startmenu) Log Off
Note #1: to remove the shortcut arrow (nr. 29), it's said that emptying the string will do the trick. Not always, though. Setting the path to a blank .ico will work also (this is what TweakUI does).
Or, do a search for "IsShortcut" (found in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, with lnkfile and piffile). Deleting those strings will work too.

Note #2: in particular the desktop items are stored at other places too. You'll need to edit them there, mostly.

Note #3: the Active Desktop item in the startmenu, under settings, uses the same icon as the Desktop (#34).
My Computer
Path to icon is at:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8- 08002B30309D}\DefaultIcon

Doesn't work (?), try here:


In 2k/XP, rather rely on this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CLSID\ {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\DefaultIcon  
My Computer/Content
The CLSID values for the contents of My Computer are at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\ also, as well as at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\.
In both places is a "DefaultIcon" key with the path. Here's the CLSID values:
  • Printers: {2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}
  • Control panel: {21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}
  • Dial-up networking: {992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD010CCC48}
  • Scheduled tasks: {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}
  • Web folders: {BDEADF00-C265-11d0-BCED-00A0C90AB50F}
Control panel items
Within Me/2k, some items are moved/copied (from My computer and elsewhere) to the control panel, and can be changed through the registry. Check for an underlying "DefaultIcon" key at the appropiate clsid at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\:
  • Scanners and camera's: {E211B736-43FD-11D1-9EFB-0000F8757FCD}
  • Folder options: {6DFD7C5C-2451-11d3-A299-00C04F8EF6AF}
  • Dial-Up Networking: {992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD010CCC48}
  • Scheduled tasks: {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}
  • Taskbar and startmenu: {0DF44EAA-FF21-4412-828E-260A8728E7F1}
Recycle bin
Path to icons is at:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08- 00AA002F954E}\DefaultIcon

There's a "empty" and a "full" string there with the path, plus a "standard" string which will change every time the bin's condition changes. Also at:

My documents
Path to icon is at:


Doesn't work (?), try here:

Network Neighbourhood
Path to icon is at:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7- 08002B30309D}\DefaultIcon

Doesn't work (?), try here:

Path to icon:

Special folders
Some special folders like "History", "Subscriptions" etc. have their own CLSID values. They're found at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID and at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\CLASSES\CLSID. At both places there's a "DefaultIcon" key underneath that can be changed. A list:
  • Favorites {1A9BA3A0-143A-11CF-8350-444553540000}
  • Microsoft FTP folder {63da6ec0-2e98-11cf-8d82-444553540000}
  • Temporary Internet files {7BD29E00-76C1-11CF-9DD0-00A0C9034933}
  • ActiveX Cache folder {88C6C381-2E85-11D0-94DE-444553540000}
    (= Downloaded program files)
  • Subscriptions folder {F5175861-2688-11d0-9C5E-00AA00A45957}
    (= Offline web pages)
  • History {FF393560-C2A7-11CF-BFF4-444553540000}
At HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\FindExtensions there's a "Shellfind" and a "Static" key. Shellfind's the general search option, haven't found the way to change that yet... but underneath "Static" there's any other search function on your computer. Expand these till you find the "DefaultIcon" key and change the path in the string on the right.

Within 2k/XP (Me ?) the ShellFind/ShellSearch key (name differs) is moved to the "Static" key and changing the icons for general search (plus, search for computers and printers on the network) becomes possible.
Directly under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT are the settings on filetypes stored. Better ignore the first half of the list (with the extensions). About halfway the list starts with "A" again and you'll find items like "dllfile", "sysfile" and "cdafile". Expand this folder and find a "DefaultIcon" folder underneath. When selected you can enter the path to your own icon.

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