I want set icon to my folder in My external hard drive but when I change it (by right click on it and -> properties -> customize -> change icon (i address the icon from my extenal hard drive)) it just change in my windows and when plug my extenarnal-hard to another windows it's don't show my icon! how should fix this?

P.S: is there a way to set icon for folder show in all os (linux, windows, OSX, ..)

note: I don't want set icon to 1 drive > I want set icon to all my folder in my > drive.

  • 4
    I think each OS has special way to change folder icon – Sajad Bahmani Aug 29 '09 at 12:54
  • I agree with SjB – Lawand Aug 29 '09 at 18:28
  • but what about one OS I can't set icon to my all folder in 1 drive and see it in all windows-xp, when I plug out my hard and plug in to other windows-xp it's don't show the icon :( – Am1rr3zA Aug 29 '09 at 18:54

Methinks Am1rr3zA is dead serious when he wants to set icons for ALL his FOLDERS in his drive.

  1. Refer to Harrymc's post on using the desktop.ini for setting the folder icon.
  2. Copy this desktop.ini and the .ico file to ALL folders. Every single folder must have this two files. (use a recursive copy batch file - you might want to google for that)
  3. To set a different icon for that folder, just overwrite the .ico in that particular folder with the desired one (must be same name as the referenced icon in that folder's desktop.ini).

Now this will work for Windows, and i suspect it'll need a certain degree of maintenance for this kind of OCD folder vanity (desktop.inis get overwritten by easily, unless you mark as Read-Only for all these desktop.inis and .ico files)

As to your "P.S: is there a way to set icon for folder show in all os (linux, windows, OSX, ..)" question - yes, there is a way, but it involves several multiple steps that is simply too long to be answered here.


You have to create a autorun.inf file in the root of the hard drive.


For example, if your drive is E:\ and your icon is at E:\icons\myicon.ico, you would create a file in notepad that looks like this:


And save it as E:\autorun.inf. (Remember to select All Files in the Save As dialog.)

The icon file has to be on the drive, so that it can be transferred between other computers along with the drive.

  • Comment Deleted. Please refrain from being rude towards other users. – BinaryMisfit Aug 29 '09 at 10:41
  • Would this work in Linux and OS X? – harrymc Aug 31 '09 at 19:09
  • No, only Windows. However, OSX does not let you change a drive icon, neither do most Linux file managers. – MiffTheFox Aug 31 '09 at 22:19
  • 1
    @MiffTheFox actually you can change a drive icon in OS X: open up the Drive's "Get Info" pane, then drag an icon onto the icon area of the Get Info pane. – ahockley Sep 4 '09 at 14:26
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    Question asked was to change folder icons - this only addresses the drive icon. – caliban Sep 5 '09 at 19:24

Use folderico. It makes changing icons easy and has a GUI. I don't think you can set a default folder image for the whole OS though.


You can set a theme however, and right click on folders and drives and set an image from the theme. The program is small and free, so just download it and give it a try.

Oh, one last thing, sometimes you have to re-boot a couple times before you see the icon change. Test it on some regular folders first.

  • 1
    can you explain more please, is it work in all os? can you please post the link – Am1rr3zA Aug 31 '09 at 18:12
  • Has it worked for you? – The Green Frog Sep 1 '09 at 14:21

This seems to work for me (using Vista):

  • Store your icon on the drive on which resides the folder whose icon you're trying to change. I'll assume below that the drive is named H, that the icon is stored on H:\test.ico, and that you're trying to change the icon of directory H:\mydir.
  • In Windows Expolorer, right-click on H:\mydirr and click on Properties.
  • Click on the Customize tab.
  • Click on the Change Icon button.
  • Click on Browse, choose H:\test.ico and click on Open.
  • Click OK to terminate the Properties dialog.
  • Edit the file H:\mydir\desktop.ini and change the line


  • if you change this way is it show in osx and linux? – Am1rr3zA Sep 1 '09 at 17:36
  • No, linux & os x do not support these manipulations. No point in your waiting for a solution, for anything else than windows. – harrymc Sep 1 '09 at 17:57

I have the idea you can change a drive's icon in OS X, but you'd have to change the icon ON a mac. There is no way i know of you can change it in One OS that works for all.

Here is a tip on how to change the icon on Mac OS X http://www.askdavetaylor.com/how_do_i_change_my_mac_os_x_hard_drive_icon.html


Make a new folder on the desktop:

Open notepad and copy and paste this:


Change Encoding to Unicode and Save as desktop.ini inside the folder you are changing

Put a icon in the folder and name it:


Then open Command Prompt and type:


Press Enter

You can also open command Prompt by holding Shift + Mouse Right-Click on your desktop empty space and select open command window here. And execute the following command:


Close Command Prompt

This only works if you move and paste the folder not if you copy and paste.

I needed to refresh my thumb drive for it to show.

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