Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How do I customize live folder icons in Windows 8.1?

  1. #1


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    How do I customize live folder icons in Windows 8.1?


    I got it to work on Windows 7 though I don't remember exactly how. And to some extent they would come and go.

    But I've just finished installing 8.1 and have most of the visual style finished, just the live folders to go and I'd rather not buy one of the apps just to do it.

    I'm sure this has been well explained somewhere, can anyone point me to a reliable tutorial?

    I've tried:
    Resource Hacker to put the new icons in the imageres.dll file,
    Adding the registry keys as shown at Change Windows 8 icons trough registery - OS Customization, Tips and Tweaks - Neowin Forums .

    These steps seem familiar to me from doing it with Windows 7, but I can't get them to change over this time.

    TIA for any help!

    - papilio

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 47
    Windows 8.1 Pro/Server 2012 R2 Datacenter


    Changing the icons inside the exe/dll file should work, that's the method IconPackager (which doesn't support Windows 8 officially) uses and it still works on 8.1.

    I just used it to change the live folders and it seems to access C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\imageres.dll and C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\NetworkExplorer.dll, 4 and 2 times respectively.

    Note this functionality isn't in the trial, but the file trace should help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Thanks aph! Since posting I got the trial of IP, it does claim to work on live folders ... I made a small IP file with just the live folder icons and tried to apply it without results, so you must be right about the trial not having the capability. The new live folder icons do show up in my modified imageres.dll file itself, but I must still be missing something. I'm pretty sure that when I got them to work on Windows 7 I didn't do anything to the NetworkExplorer.dll file.

    While I mentioned in the post doing also that registry hack, on 7 that bit didn't appear to be relevant as running sfc /scannow, wiping out the modified imageres.dll file, killed the custom live folders (but not other custom folder icons) until I again replaced the modified file.

    I'll keep playing around, thanks again!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    To add something to the last post ... I just took a look at the registry, it turns out that IconPackager did make these modifications there as well.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Image101.jpg  
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  5. #5


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    How odd ... this morning the new Live Folder icons just stated showing up! Not all folders but most of them, though I'm not recognizing the pattern as to which are or are not. Gradually more and more are changing over.

    Does anyone know what's happened here?



    Thanks!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


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


    Did you download a bunch of .ico files & are now trying to use them to change folder icons ?

    A picture---

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    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,

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


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


    I believe if you want folders to change {like empty folder/folder with something in it} the .ico's need to be in a .dll file.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    I believe if you want folders to change {like empty folder/folder with something in it} the .ico's need to be in a .dll file.
    Yes, I used ResourceHacker to modify the Live Folder icons (livefolder_back, livefolder_front, livefolder_data) in the C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\imageres.dll file. It appears somehow to have worked, just as it should ... I'm now mostly quite curious as to why it took a couple of days before they finally began showing the new icons.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 47
    Windows 8.1 Pro/Server 2012 R2 Datacenter


    Quote Originally Posted by papilio View Post
    How odd ... this morning the new Live Folder icons just stated showing up! Not all folders but most of them, though I'm not recognizing the pattern as to which are or are not. Gradually more and more are changing over.

    Does anyone know what's happened here?



    Thanks!

    I've seen the exact same behavior, of the modification being made but not showing up until a reboot or some other time. It is just those 2 files and the other things you tracked down, just that it takes a little while to apply.

    You can try clearing the contents of C:\Users\Rod\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer that pertain to the icon cache. I see about 12 files as well as a folder called IconCacheToDelete, but I would personally just wipe the entire contents of the main folder.

    Post back if you find a working solution!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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