Let's say I want to open XML files in Notepad, I can change the default program through Control Panel > Programs > Default Programs > Associate a file type or protocol with a program.

However, that will also change its default icon to that of a text file. If I repeat the process for other file types then I lose the ability to easily distinguish different files in a folder based on their icon.

So after I change the default program, I would like to 'roll back' the icon change.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\xmlfile\DefaultIcon stays the same as before the default program changed: %SystemRoot%\System32\msxml3.dll,0

I tried adding HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\xmlfile\DefaultIcon, as well as HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.xml\DefaultIcon but neither seem to work.

What registry key(s) should I change to get back the old icon (%SystemRoot%\System32\msxml3.dll,0) but keep Notepad as the default program?

I downloaded FileTypesMan and it shows %SystemRoot%\System32\msxml3.dll,0 as the default icon for XML files, even though that is not the icon I see in Explorer, and even in FileTypesMan itself!


Default Programs Editor can do what you need:

Default Programs Editor makes it easy to fix file association settings in Windows, including context menu items, icons, and descriptions.


  • Your Welcome :) – SSAURABHH Nov 30 '13 at 12:08
  • Just as a note, this program doesn't actually allow you to change the default program for a filetype without changing the icon. What it does do is allow you to reset your filetype's icon after it's been been changed. – Stevoisiak Apr 18 '17 at 22:54
  • Typically the default icons can be found in C:\WINDOWS\system32\imageres.dll – Stevoisiak Apr 18 '17 at 22:54
  • @MichielvanOosterhout, can you specify the steps that you performed in the program? Thanks – golimar May 18 '17 at 10:54

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