Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How do I customize live folder icons in Windows 8.1?

  1. #11


    Posts : 47
    Windows 8.1 Pro/Server 2012 R2 Datacenter


    Quote Originally Posted by papilio View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Did you download a bunch of .ico files & are now trying to use them to change folder icons ?
    I've got quite a good collection of icons from Deviantart, most icons are a breeze to apply but Live Folders seem to be quite tricky, what works for one person may not work for another. I've applied THESE as my live folders.


    My desktop,<snip>
    I see you're using Clear 3.0 Glass. I had that going for a while but it just got to be too much transparency for me for daily use. I have AeroGlass so I applied a huge blur radius and that helped a bit, and also applied a fake "reflect" image of pure black to darken up the theme beyond the levels it would allow. Maybe I need to play with it some more but I'm back to my old desktop.

    Here's what it looked like at the time (after the blur but before the black reflect image):

    Click image for larger version

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I'm pretty sure you hit on its being related to the iconcache*.db files. These are what my own Explorer folder contained ...

    Click image for larger version

    I was able to delete about half of the relevant files, the others were said to be in use by Explorer. I tried Unlocker on those, it said that no locking handles were found so I selected delete and was told by Unlocker that deletion was successful, yet they remained. I don't know but perhaps they were indeed deleted and immediately replaced.

    I switched the Live Folder icons in the imageres.dll file from the green to the blue versions, performed the above actions once more and watched for changes. Whereas the first time I modified the file it took a couple of days (during which the PC was rebooted numerous times) before any changes showed up, with this latest modification many folders immediately displayed the new blue icons after deleting those iconcache*.db files which I could, while some remain green.

    It appears that the change is now occurring to folders as their contents are modified, either by myself or the computer.


    Thanks for passing on the tip!
    Last edited by papilio; 21 Jan 2015 at 21:20.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    aph, your last post showed up after I'd posted my own reply ... anyway, personally I guess I'm pretty comfortable so far with the transparency and blur level I'm getting, as long as my wallpaper is relatively featureless. I'm actually using Aero Glass for Win8.1 for much of the transparency effect on the windows frames, but also Full Glass for the actual window transparency ... maybe that's the difference. But I do like the degree of blur you're getting very much!

    I'm having some application compatibility issues with 8.1, despite their claiming to be fine running on it. If I don't get the solutions to those problems it looks like I may resort to heading back onto 7 in the end.


    Here's hoping you find what works for you!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    I changed the Explorer Taskbar icon & it took a while to show up.
    A mystery.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Posts : 47
    Windows 8.1 Pro/Server 2012 R2 Datacenter


    Quote Originally Posted by papilio View Post
    I'm pretty sure you hit on its being related to the iconcache*.db files. These are what my own Explorer folder contained ...



    I was able to delete about half of the relevant files, the others were said to be in use by Explorer. I tried Unlocker on those, it said that no locking handles were found so I selected delete and was told by Unlocker that deletion was successful, yet they remained. I don't know but perhaps they were indeed deleted and immediately replaced.

    I switched the Live Folder icons in the imageres.dll file from the green to the blue versions, performed the above actions once more and watched for changes. Whereas the first time I modified the file it took a couple of days (during which the PC was rebooted numerous times) before any changes showed up, with this latest modification many folders immediately displayed the new blue icons after deleting those iconcache*.db files which I could, while some remain green.

    It appears that the change is now occurring to folders as their contents are modified, either by myself or the computer.


    Thanks for passing on the tip!
    To delete them all you can type:

    Code:
    ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache
    taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F
    cd %localappdata%
    del /f IconCache.db
    cd Microsoft\Windows\Explorer
    del /f *
    del /f IconCacheToDelete\*
    shutdown /r /t 0 /f
    The last command will restart the computer. Alternatively you can press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to bring up the session menu and restart from there.

    You may be able to get away without a restart by hitting Ctrl+Shift+Esc to bring up Task Manager, and from the File menu, Run, type in "explorer" and hit enter. Just a note, don't run explorer from that elevated command prompt or problems will crop up with it being inaccessible by certain processes and creating high integrity files that will later be inaccessible.
    Last edited by aph; 22 Jan 2015 at 18:50.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Thanks aph, I'll give it a shot. All of the Live Folders have converted to my custom icons by now, with about 75% having already gone from the green to the more recent blue version. Even if your commands aren't perhaps required at this point, I'll doubtless be doing more of this so it's very helpful info to have on hand.

    I'd love to be as conversant in using the command prompt as you are! And a huge thanks for notifying me about potential trouble in running that from an elevated window, I nearly always do. Is that generally a bad practice?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    Posts : 47
    Windows 8.1 Pro/Server 2012 R2 Datacenter


    Quote Originally Posted by papilio View Post
    Thanks aph, I'll give it a shot. All of the Live Folders have converted to my custom icons by now, with about 75% having already gone from the green to the more recent blue version. Even if your commands aren't perhaps required at this point, I'll doubtless be doing more of this so it's very helpful info to have on hand.

    I'd love to be as conversant in using the command prompt as you are! And a huge thanks for notifying me about potential trouble in running that from an elevated window, I nearly always do. Is that generally a bad practice?
    Yup. There are lots of implications, but you're essentially running Explorer in Run as Administrator mode.

    That means, for example, you won't get UAC prompts in that mode. All apps you launch from the desktop, a folder view or the start menu will run elevated automatically, which is obviously a bad thing.

    And don't worry, my cmd-fu comes from 20 years of using it, and probably 90% of that time wasted. You're better off without that kind of esoteric knowledge.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    LOL Esoteric or not, it implies a considerably deeper knowledge of the OS than I'm ever likely to have ... and I envy that!

    I should perhaps have elaborated a bit, once the PC is set up I do run on a limited user account, not under the administrator account. So under that circumstance the command window usually needs to be Run as Administrator, is that correct or not? Likely the truth is sometimes yes sometimes no, but I'd have a good deal of learning to do before I'd know when to do which.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


    Posts : 47
    Windows 8.1 Pro/Server 2012 R2 Datacenter


    Running the cmd window under Administrator is required for the commands you need to run, I was talking about restarting explorer after the taskkill command. If you run it from Task Manager it restarts under a proper medium integrity security context, but if you run it from the elevated cmd window by typing "explorer" and pressing enter, it will launch under high integrity, which is the undesirable security context. Restarting avoids that by launching it via the normal startup process.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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