This is really 2 questions:

  1. Dropbox is replacing my custom desktop.ini files randomly. (mostly in the top directory.) Some say this occurs when the containing folder is accessed from dropbox on another device, but it hasn't happened with SOME folders (accessed today) (and didn't happen to some of my top-level folders until about 2 weeks ago The last one changed today. No one has accessed it. (The icon files are in the same folder as the desktop.inis.)

I am seriously furious that dropbox is changing my settings. Is there a way to stop it? I put those icons there so I can find the folders. Dropbox is changing them ON MY PC, so my folder identification is removed. Would really appreciate a solution as I have thousands of folders!

I've tried attributes RHAS on the desktop.ini file, and R on the containing folder, they don't seem to stop it. (Maybe there is some registry fix, like for the green overlays on the folder icons?)

  1. I would like to be able to view my custom folder icons in explorer from my other PCs (W10) on dropbox. Dropbox says it doesn't sync desktop.ini (https://www.dropbox.com/en/help/syncing-uploads/files-not-syncing) but that doesn't seem to be true-it syncs its overwritten desktop.ini files onto my PC! (Unless dropbox on my PC is doing it??)
  • Hey thanks for all the help guys... I have tried denying "SYSTEM" permission to do anything except read and execute, on desktop.ini. (properties, security, advanced, disable inheritance keeping the settings, edit - make sure you check YOU are in the list, and have full control first!!!) If it doesn't work I will update this post.
    – Piecevcake
    Nov 18, 2017 at 1:01
  • Didn't work- so question still unanswered
    – Piecevcake
    Nov 28, 2019 at 20:11
  • Possible fix but unchecked thus the bounty: dropboxforum.com/t5/Dropbox-files-folders/… Dec 23, 2021 at 23:03

1 Answer 1


If you want custom folder icons in Dropbox, create subfolders within shared folders. Change the icons of the subfolders and DB will leave them alone. In the case of an existing shared folder, you will have to unshare it and delete it. Then create a new folder for the share, then embed a new version of your old folder in the shared folder.

(Shared folders have the icon with two people, a man and a woman. Create subfolders within those and you can customise them. Forget about desktop.ini or changing permissions.)

  • 1
    Thanks @Fruitlessnoodle will look at that. But I want the HEAD FOLDERS and SHARED FOLDERS to keep MY icons. Dropbox can put theirs where the sun don't shine - does anyone else have an answer? There is obviously some command Dropbox is sending to my registry or somewhere which needs to be disabled! Or maybe they are changing the desktop.inis on THEIR SITE then syncing them back??? Any info would help.
    – Piecevcake
    Nov 28, 2019 at 20:13

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