Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to change the Desktop and Contacts user folder icons?

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Win8

    How to change the Desktop and Contacts user folder icons?


    ​Customising user folder icons has always been a bit tricky. All user folders apart from the desktop and contacts user folders can be changed via the customize tab in properties when the user folder is accessed from my computer (i.e. not from the desktop).

    To customise the desktop and contacts user folders requires a registry change. For Windows 7 this is explained here User Folders - Change Default Icon - Windows 7 Help Forums, and the necessary .reg files are also provided. This method actually worked for me too in Windows 8. However, after the newest updates, the icons I had added this way have disappeared, and so has the customize tab which I had added via the .reg files available on the page mentioned above. Repeating the reg change would not make a difference. The newest updates must have changed something in the Windows 8 registry to that effect (through those updates all other user folders also lost the custom icon I had previously added, but I was able to easily restore them, as the customize tab of these user folders didn't disappear).

    Hence my question: how to now change the folder icons for the desktop and contacts user folders in windows 8?

    Since all my other user folders are customised in a particular style, leaving the default icon for the desktop and contacts folders looks a bit weird...

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


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


    You could get the trial version of Microangelo on Display:

    Home of Microangelo: The Grand Daddy of Icon Software
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5
    Win8


    Thanks, but I was thinking of a windows-internal (and free) way. Anyone?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by jlan View Post
    ​Customising user folder icons has always been a bit tricky. All user folders apart from the desktop and contacts user folders can be changed via the customize tab in properties when the user folder is accessed from my computer (i.e. not from the desktop).

    To customise the desktop and contacts user folders requires a registry change. For Windows 7 this is explained here User Folders - Change Default Icon - Windows 7 Help Forums, and the necessary .reg files are also provided. This method actually worked for me too in Windows 8. However, after the newest updates, the icons I had added this way have disappeared, and so has the customize tab which I had added via the .reg files available on the page mentioned above. Repeating the reg change would not make a difference. The newest updates must have changed something in the Windows 8 registry to that effect (through those updates all other user folders also lost the custom icon I had previously added, but I was able to easily restore them, as the customize tab of these user folders didn't disappear).

    Hence my question: how to now change the folder icons for the desktop and contacts user folders in windows 8?

    Since all my other user folders are customised in a particular style, leaving the default icon for the desktop and contacts folders looks a bit weird...
    jlan, did you ever find something that worked?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5
    Win8


    No, from what I know, this can only be done with third-party software for now (don't know about Windows 10, haven't upgraded yet). Microangelo suggested above is a good program. There are other, free ones, but which work less well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Super simple.
    1. open desktop.ini in your contacts or desktop folder with notepad.
    2. save it as desktop(WindowsDefaultIcon).ini
    3. save it again as desktop.ini
    4. copy the icon you want into the contacts folder (Suggested name "Z KEEP HERE DONT RENAME [filename].ico" (use greenfish icon editor to make a custom one if you want)
    5. while saving, copy the filename
    6. in your open desktop.ini file, replace the text after "IconResource=" with "%userprofile%\Contacts\[filename.ico],0"

    That's it!
    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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