Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Can't get special folder icons to stick

  1. #21

    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    @richardf That's a great find! I long suspected that OneDrive sync was the problem. So much so that I even tried to trick it by changing the icons on both of my laptops on the same time. That didn't work. I'm tempted to try the following as an experiment:

    1. Take both computers offline
    2. Change the icons on all of the folders and ensure that the desktop.ini get's updated
    3. Take the desktop.ini files and upload them (likely from my phone) straight to OneDrive
    4. Flip the switches and see if it sticks

    I'll let you know what happens.

    Thanks for reviving this thread!!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #22

    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Great - let us know how that goes.

    I have gotten a bit closer today; I found that I can make the icons appear correctly on the OneDrive sub-folders by executing the following at command prompt:

    attrib +r "C:\Users\Richard\OneDrive\Documents"
    attrib +h +s "C:\Users\Richard\OneDrive\Documents\desktop.ini"
    (the second line is often not required)

    Left for a while the icons within my user folder finally mimic the OneDrive sub-folders and show correctly!
    Left for a while longer (until the sync engine kicks in) the icons all go back to the ugly windows folder defaults.

    I've made myself a batch file with the commands above in it for all my special folders. The last step would seem to be what makes the user folder symbolic links synchronise with the real folders.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #23

    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Well, I thought I had it. I tried the above procedure and it only worked for about 30 min. Why is this so hard?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #24

    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    I can't believe how hard this actually is!

    I have a solution now, but it's rather dirty....

    I am running the following batch script:

    attrib +r "C:\Users\Richard\OneDrive"
    attrib +r "C:\Users\Richard\OneDrive\Documents"
    attrib +r "C:\Users\Richard\OneDrive\Pictures"
    attrib +r "C:\Users\Richard\OneDrive\Music"
    attrib +r "C:\Users\Richard\OneDrive\Videos"
    attrib +r "C:\Users\Richard\OneDrive\Desktop"

    taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
    start explorer.exe

    The attrib commands reassert a read only status on the OneDrive sub-folders which reinstates the correct icons there. Then by forcing a restart of explorer.exe the link-folders in C:\Users\Richard are finally showing correctly.

    Everything falls apart when OneDrive does a sync though, and this script needs to be executed again.

    Oh well, I can't think what else can be done. Roll on Windows 10!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #25

    Posts : 1
    Windows 8.1 & Others

    Obviously you're resourceful and creative. I see this as a known serious limitation of OneDrive compatibility for users who want to customize their data storage and retain that customization when using OneDrive. While you did a great job coming up with an industrious workaround, you obviously are interested in finding a simpler and more practical solution. Your last post is fairly recent and leaves the thread open, but unfortunately no one can offer a better solution. It is challenging.

    Would you please update those of us who've followed this issue as to anything else you may have tried or found in any other place? This seems to be a OneDrive problem that simply remains unresolved.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #26

    Posts : 1
    Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

    I think I found a "solution" for this annoying problem, and you were right to assume that the sync engine is the cause of this. However, as I'm running Windows 10 Home Edition (64-bit) which has a different sync engine from its counterpart in Windows 8.1 so this trick might not work. If that's the case, then I suggest you upgrade to Windows 10.

    An overview for my problem: at first I had no trouble changing OneDrive sub-folders' icons such as Documents, Music, Pictures, Games & Programs. but after the 3rd Windows 10 Culumative Update, the problem which I encountered in Windows 8.1 returned. Strangely enough, only the special icons I assigned for Documents, Music & Pictures folders reset to their default state after a full shutdown/restart as the other two icon folders (Games & Programs) remain the same.

    So what I did to overcome this problem was to rename the folders ("Pictures" to "Pictures (Cloud)" for example), then create a new folder in OneDrive, name it "Pictures" and change the icon for it. After that I moved all the contents in "Pictures (Cloud)" to the new one. I did the same trick with other two folders (Music & Documents). I then restarted to test if it worked and thankfully it did. That's it. Please note that I cannot guarantee if this fix still work in the future as Microsoft will probably change/update the sync engine for OneDrive unless this problem is addressed and fixed by them. And because OneDrive app in Windows 10 is vastly different from Windows 8 (smart files feature is removed, which is very annoying to me) this trick might not work well if you're still running Windows 8/Windows 8.1. However I think it's still worth sharing with you guys and look forward to seeing your feedbacks.

    Edit: the icons seemingly reset themselves only after a full shutdown/restart but not after OneDrive syncs/updates changes.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Can't get special folder icons to stick
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