Windows 10: Change Icons based on extension only, not the associated application.

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  1.    03 Feb 2016 #1

    Change Icons based on extension only, not the associated application.

    Hi, I want to assign a custom icon to every file type no matter what the associated app is. I can change individual default icons, but they get overwritten by the application icon. Is it possible to do this :

    And if so, how ? (I want to keep the file associations: .css and .txt are still getting open by Sublime, .ini by WordPad and so on ...)

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2Ppudy9.png  
    Last edited by Artist; 03 Feb 2016 at 07:35.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. philc43's Avatar
    Posts : 3,603
    64bit Win 10 Pro ver 1809 Build 17763.55 and W10 Insider Build 18262
       04 Feb 2016 #2

    The following Microsoft Dev Centre page explains how this can be done via the Registry. (Note: I have not tested this myself in Windows 10)
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    05 Feb 2016 #3

    Yeah, I did that, but it changes only the default icons. (As you can see, it worked for .rtf). But most of the time, the icons I add in the registry are overridden by the default app icon (in the example, Sublime, Edge or WordPad). I can change the app icon but it is used for all the different extensions that app opens, so that doesn't work either (unless I get a different app for every file type, but that would be absurd). Is there a way the tell Windows to NOT use the associated app icon and keep using the DefaultIcon for files?

    ie. in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT for .css I have the default set to CSSfile and Default Icon to my custom CSS.ico

    I also have the CSSfile Default set the that same icon, something like this:

    (Default) = CSSFile
    (Default) = CSS.ico
    (Default) = CSS.ico
    And yet the displayed icon is still the Sublime icon. BTW there is no mention of Sublime in the registry entries of .css or CSSFile.
    Last edited by Artist; 05 Feb 2016 at 04:32.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    05 Feb 2016 #4

    Hi, you might find this freeware program helpful:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you succeed, strongly recommend you also start using disk imaging periodically, so your changes are preserved. (A great backup technique).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    05 Feb 2016 #5

    I think it has to do with the way some apps work. In my registry there are entries for .avi, .mpg, vlc.avi, vlc.mpg, winamp.avi, winamp.mpg. If I change the Default value of vlc.avi and vlc.mpg and associate those file types to VLC, it works: the icons reflect the the extension yet both are opened with VLC.

    But it doesn't work with Sublime. both .txt and .css files are associated with it but there are no clear entries to reflect this in the registry. (ie .css point to CSSFile which is weirdly associated with .css and .ini in DefaultProgramsEditor). Nor is there any entry like Sublime.txt and Sublime.css that could help.

    Sadly, DefaultProgramsEditor does not help here, as Sublime does NOT appear in the default programs list even though Iit does inthe "Open with ... " context menu, and if I change the icon of any file type associated with Sublime it get applied to all the others as well.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    05 Feb 2016 #6

    Does this one help? I really can't tell as I don't have your program installed..
    Click image for larger version. 

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Size:	206.4 KB 
ID:	62597
    Nirsoft's software is really reliable..
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    08 Feb 2016 #7

    Nope, it just does what the other programs do.

    I also tried adding my own keys but it doesn't matter. Weird thing is that if I change .txt default nothing happens, but if I change .css all the other icons are replaced with it, both are opened with SublimeText3. The entry for .txt says it's opened with notepad, and the .css one point to my custom SublimeText3.css entry that redirects to sublime.exe. Something, somewhere is overwriting everything ...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    08 Feb 2016 #8

    Have you tried running the prog as admin? I'd guess you'd have to log off/on to see the effect.

    When is the icon you've entered overwritten?

    For example, if you change one icon, log off, log on, then inspect the registry/use one of those programs, do you see a change in icon?

    Repeat with a clean boot to see if sthg run on startup is having the effect you describe.

    Just some ideas as you need to diagnose what is happening. Good luck!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    08 Feb 2016 #9

    I see the change right away, most progs that change icons call a refresh, either on change on on exit. The icons are overwritten when I change some specific extensions, ie. using FilesTypesMan to change the Icon of .ini overwrites the custom icons of the other extensions that are opened with the same app like .css or .txt .
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    08 Feb 2016 #10

    I suspect there's a difference between when the change becomes visible- effective if you like- and when the changed registry is written back to disk. Which is why if you suddenly lose power, say, some changes you've made are lost.

    Ok, so at what point do you think your change is overwritten?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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