I am attempting to set custom icons for a variety of file types. Those that I work with most so they stand out when looking through a list of files.

In this instance I have created special icons for AVI files, DTS, FLAC, MP3, Wav etc.

If I want to change the AVI file to display my custom icon I normally use an application called "FileTypesMan" and this has worked well in the past.

Windows, now seems to 'bundle' extensions together so that if I make a change to the AVI file type it affects a laundry list of other extensions.

I would like a way that I can remove these specific extensions even if I have to create my own file categories in the registry to accomplish this.

Does anyone know where these 'groupings' are located? What, or where is telling windows that all these extensions are 'together'

1 Answer 1


File types are managed in increasingly complex ways in the Registry. For example, on this PC, in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT .avi has it's own key, and the key OpenWithProgids shows it's associated with Windows Media Player, yet the icon is that of MPC-HC, which I've set as the default app for video/avi mime type.

To separate out one extension to have a different icon, associate that extension with a particular application using Windows Explorer.

  • Right-click on a file with the desired extension (here, .avi).
  • Select Open with >.
  • Select Choose another app.
  • Select "Always use this app to open .avi files*.
  • Find and select the app with the desired icon. and click OK.

In the image below, note that only the .avi file icon changed, after I switched the default app from MPC-HC to VLC.

Changing AVI icon

Though it might be feasible to set your own icon in the Registry, due to the levels of indirection and grouping there that you've mentioned, and due to risks of editing the Registry, I'd avoid trying to do that.

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