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As you can see in screenshot - on desktop pdf files icons show edge icon. In explorer it shows some icon with pdf. How to change descktop icons for pdf file so they would be same as in explorer?

I have changed program for pdf files to open with to different program and icons changed. But computer owner did not like that they changed, so I am trying to set back. Found that making open with edge it sets back in explorer, but not in desktop. I am not sure before where they in desktop same as in explorer, but computer owner says they were.

  • 1
    Have tried right-clicking on one of the file on the desktop, then Properties -> Change, then select the same app as seen in file explorer? Refresh the desktop. – Reddy Lutonadio May 1 at 8:18
  • @ReddyLutonadio - same app is set on them. Refreshed, they said it just blinks with correct icons and changes to the one in screenshot. – Darius.V May 1 at 8:21
  • Thumbnails are not shown in Details view, change view layout to medium-sized icons or larger. – TontyTon May 1 at 11:00

You'll want the Desktop to view larger icons like those PDFs on the desktop as straight icons, not thumbnails


  1. Open up explorer
  2. Open the Desktop in explorer
  3. Open the View Tab in the Ribbon
  4. Open the folder Options menu on the right
  5. Open the View tab in the folder options menu
  6. Under "Files and Folders", check "Always show icons, never thumbnails"

Note that this will show all files on the desktop as icons, not thumbnails, including pictures & folders. Personally, this would drive me crazy. But hey, if that's what the owner wants, don't let me stop you.

  • Worked, thanks, but she says now folder icons used to show some files on icon , but after checking this chexbox folder became just yellow. Can it be that folders showed indicating there is something inside and still show pdf icon on pdf files? – Darius.V May 1 at 14:26
  • This happens because the checkbox forces everything on the desktop to display as static icons, including the folders (see my edited caviat above). There may be a way to have only certain files or filetypes display as icons instead of thumbnails, however I don't know of it. – Aaroncfj May 2 at 0:51

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