I want to create an icon for my folder named "TOOLS", as you can observe there is no suitable/satisfying icon available in Windows XP, so I want to create an icon and include it in icon list.

Is it possible with any such supporting softwares.??

  • 6
    Modifying key system files very rarely ends well.
    – Dentrasi
    Jun 15, 2010 at 17:44
  • @dentrasi, true .. but I am ready to take risk and have confidence to recover. Jun 16, 2010 at 5:42

5 Answers 5


You don't need to modify shell32.dll just for that, storing a separate .ico file should suffice. Just modify the desktop.ini in your TOOLS folder. (see e.g. here)


You can edit your shell32.dll file. However, I don't recommend this.

The icons in shell32.dll can be changed using a Resource Editor (Resource Hacker, Exescope, etc.). As I said, I don't recommend editing it as it is a very sensitive system file. Here is a tutorial about how to do it with Resource Hacker. Take your own risk.

You can also use Microangelo Librarian (shareware) to change existing icons in shell32.dll. First make a copy of shell32.dll, and import it into Microangelo Librarian. Then edit any existing shell32 icons into whatever you want, save, exit, and replace the real shell32.dll with your modified copy.

  • 1
    +1 for "I don't recommend this" and still explaining how to do it anyway :) Jun 16, 2010 at 6:59

First you need "Resource Hacker" to edit you Shell32.dll file icons. In order to save the changes you need to save the file as the same name but in a different directory. Then you need to run "Se7en File replacer.exe" Get you edited file from the directory you saved it into and then select Windows\System32 and it will copy it into that directory.

  • 1
    This answer isn't very clear. Why don't you provide some links to these tools you suggest. Also, I would assume there are some instructions elsewhere on the net explaining how to do this - again a link would help. Nov 16, 2012 at 7:11

You cannot modify shell32.dll. If you try to, Windows will automatically revert the system files you tamper with to their original state.

  • This was stated over a decade ago
    – Ramhound
    Mar 20, 2021 at 5:07
  • It is still the truth. Mar 20, 2021 at 22:06
  • Welcome to Super User! Before answering an old question having an accepted answer (look for green ✓) as well as other answers ensure your answer adds something new or is otherwise helpful in relation to them. Here is a guide on How to Answer. There is also tour for the site tour, and help center for the help center. Mar 24, 2021 at 16:43

You can use iconlover to edit icons inside DLL.


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