How do I change the filetype icon for .url?

I have used Default Programs Editor to change it, but it does not work. This initially made me think that the program doesn't work on Windows 8, but it does actually work for other filetypes like .txt.

It gives an option to export a .reg file instead of directly editing the registry, so I know what it is doing is this:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; Created with Default Programs Editor
; http://defaultprogramseditor.com/

; Edit File Type Icon
@="D:\\Icons\\Chrome URL.ico,0"

Why isn't it working for this filetype?

  • In Win7, I'm using this tool: defaultprogramseditor.com Does it work in WIn8? Have you tried this? – magicandre1981 Jan 13 '13 at 6:55
  • @magicandre1981: Yes, that's one of the ones I have tried and it doesn't seem to work (the other was NirSoft FileTypesMan.exe, which refuses to run). – paradroid Jan 13 '13 at 6:59
  • 1
    @magicandre1981: I just tried it again with another filetype (.txt) and it did work. It does not work on .url bookmarks though, which was what I am trying to change. Therefore, it looks like this program is actually fine and it is some other issue I am facing. I've edited my question now. – paradroid Jan 13 '13 at 7:22

The icon of .URL files are treated in another way then normal extensions. The icons are bound to the registered protocol handler which is mostly your default browser.

Additionally the system distinguishes between HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and mailto links
(and some other irrelevant)

enter image description here

But you can change them without to change your default browser. I describe my own approach when I changed the icons.

  • First you have to know what browser is registered to your HTTP and HTTPS Windows shortcuts
    (.url files)
  • Then you could search in your regedit.exe where the default icon is stored. In my example I registered a portable browser with this guide. As you can see in the guide the default icon is stored in the following location

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\ OperaHTML \DefaultIcon]
    Note: The bold part will differ according to your own registered browser

  • The second line defines your new icon. The zero/null at the end defines the used icon index which is relevant if your chosen .exe or .dll contains more than one icon. First icon will be index=0, second icon=1 and so on.
  • Search for this entry and change the default value enter image description here Unfortunately I can't give you an English screen but it provides the relevant information too
  • You have to do this for all protocols you want to change.

Important: Please take a full backup immediately before you change anything in your registry. This way you can revert easily when you messed up something.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Thanks. That has worked for me. I did make another registry change before, so I am not sure if that was required as well, but I doubt it. I got that information from this webpage, but it is quite old - virtualplastic.net/html/icn_file.html#urlicon – paradroid Jan 13 '13 at 12:52

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