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I do like Notepad++, but I hate its icon. I'm very happy with Windows icons for txt/ini/... files, and would like to keep them. How can I associate Notepad++ with all supported filetypes without changing icons? With Notepad2, the problem did not occur.

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3 Answers 3

You can adjust the icon by editing the registry:

How to Change the Icon for a File Type in Windows 7 and Vista

Ramesh Srinivasan

Windows XP and earlier Operating Systems include the most useful File Types tab in the Folder Options applet. This tab was removed in Windows Vista and Windows 7 and replaced by Default Programs, which lacks many features that the File Types tab has. This forced users to look for third-party utilities to manage file type associations and customize the icons. This article provides information on how to manually change the icon for file types in Windows 7 and Vista. Tired of editing the registry? You can automate the following task using Default Programs Editor. See our recent article Using Default Programs Editor to Change File Type Icons in Windows 7 and Windows Vista Customizing the Icon for a File Type

(For illustrative purposes, let’s assume that you have a custom file type .abc (for purposes of illustration) for which you want to change the icon.

  1. Click Start, type Regedit.exe and press ENTER
  2. Navigate to the following branch: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ FileExts \ .abc \ UserChoice
  3. In the right-pane, note down the value data for Progid (e.g. abcfile). This is the user chosen (via Default Programs) Programmatic Identifier for the file extension.
  4. If the UserChoice branch does not exist, navigate to the following branch: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ .abc
  5. In the right-pane, note down the (default) value data (e.g. abcfile). This is the Prog ID for the file extension.
  6. Navigate to the following key (where abcfile is the Prog ID noted in Step 2 or Step 4 above): HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ abcfile \ DefaultIcon Note: If the DefaultIcon key does not exist by default, you need to create it manually.
  7. In the right-pane, double-click (default) and mention the path to your custom icon (.ico file or reference to an icon resource from a EXE/DLL file).

Hint: You may use the icon picker dialog box to choose an icon from a EXE/DLL file. To launch the icon picker dialog:

  • right-click on a folder in your system
  • click Properties.
  • Click the Customize tab
  • Click Change Icon… button.
  • Use the icon picker to choose the icon and make a note of the index. The index starts from "0" and you need to proceed vertically when counting (top to bottom.)

One you note the icon index, simply cancel the icon picker dialog and close folder properties dialog.

For example, to set the 260th icon in Shell32.dll (contains a text pad icon), type the following path:

8.Exit the Registry Editor.

Restart Windows for the icon change to take effect. In case it doesn't, you can force a icon refresh manually, or try rebuilding the icon cache using Disk Cleanup.


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Thanks, but the problem is that I'll have to do this for every single file associated with notepad++... +1 anyway =) – CFP Dec 16 '10 at 21:48

Do the following:

  • Change notepad++.exe to notepad.exe
  • Copy it to windows/system32/ (only notepad++.exe)
  • Copy SciLexer.dll to /windows/SysWOW64/ (if your OS is 64bit)
  • Make a new blank file allowAppDataPlugins.xml in /windows/SysWOW64/
  • Copy the other files to C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\Notepad++\

That's all, the icon has not changed

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Not great when you want to update Notepad++ though – Django Reinhardt Sep 20 at 12:23

Here's a quick answer that works perfectly. It's based on @bubu's answer, but massively simplified to make it easier:

  1. Open RegEdit
  2. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\notepad++.exe\DefaultIcon (If DefaultIcon doesn't exist, create it under New > key)
  3. Create a new string value and set it to C:\Windows\System32\Shell32.dll,70

It should look something like this when you're done:

enter image description here

This will set all files associated with NotePad++ to the default .txt icon in Windows 10. (The text document icon is the 70th icon in that file.) Sign out and back in to see the change.

enter image description here

For other operating systems simply open Shell32.dll after selecting "Change Icon" and count to the icon you want like so:

1 5 9  13
2 6 10 14
3 7 11 etc
4 8 12
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