Unable to change folder icons + folders showing the wrong icons

  1. Posts : 3
    Windows 10

    Unable to change folder icons + folders showing the wrong icons

    Hello! So I just signed up here because I'm desperate and don't know what to do.

    So basically, I thought the windows 10 default folder icons were pretty bland and ugly so I decided to change them. I read that you could change your default icons by going into to registry and I did just that. Long story short, it didn't work so i deleted the registry folder that I had just created, like they said you could. I was very careful (or so I think) to not touch anything else

    But now I'm worried I might have messed up somewhere because now I can't change icons for some of the folders I use. Not sure if this was a problem before that I didn't notice or if it's due to me messing around with things I don't understand.

    As things are now, I can change icons for folders that I created but the folders that came with the system (like documents, music, movies, downloads etc) I'm currently unable to change. The thing is, I was able to change the folder icons just a while ago, so I changed them all by right clicking on the folder, choosing properties and then changing the icon, and that worked fine. Then I decided to just use the default icons anyway but I was only able to switch back some of them, and some of those now had the wrong folder icon. My "downloads" folder is just a blank white space for example and I'm unable to change it.

    To show an example (I'm sorry the text is in swedish I hope you can somewhat understand):

    Properties for an ordinary folder:
    Unable to change folder icons + folders showing the wrong icons-ordinary-folder.png

    Properties for my music folder: Just a blank space where the "switch icon" should be!
    Unable to change folder icons + folders showing the wrong icons-music-folder.png

    I have tried to reboot my computer, I have tried top reset my icon cache, nothing seems to work. Does anyone know what I should do? I'm pretty much just ready to reset my whole system, but I'd prefer if I didn't have to. Any help is appreciated!
      My Computer

  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,414
    Win 10 Pro (1903)

    Hi, whenever you are about to make changes to your registry, back up beforehand. So you now know that and I'll show you an excellent way to rescue yourself in future.

    First, do you have System Restore turned on (it's off by default in '10), and do you have any useful restore points?
    Second, have you made a system image using Windows Backup and Restore or do you use disk imaging?

    Either of those could let you restore your PC to a point before you made these changes- hopefully System Restore would protect enough to reverse your changes.

    Please advise.

    If you can't do that, and you are convinced there is a problem, then you may have two options, assuming you've not done some damage to the registry.

    1. If you create a new user account for test purposes, do your folders look normal?

    2. If not, I suggest you do an in-place upgrade repair install.
    I will provide the instructions if necessary when you have replied.

    Please post back and advise on these points.

    I can also tell you how to achieve this quite easily and relatively safely:
    Unable to change folder icons + folders showing the wrong icons-snap-2016-09-22-23.51.39.jpg

    Now here's the backup method we strongly recommend:
    Creating disk images lets you restore Windows and all your disks and partitions to a previous working state, quickly and probably without technical help.

    You can recover from:
    - a failed disk drive (restore to a new one)
    - ransomware (which encrypts your disk)
    - user error
    - unrecoverable problems from failed updates to problem programs
    - unbootable PC (hardware faults aside)

    Images also act as a full backup- you can extract files too.

    You can even use images to help you move more easily and quickly to a new PC.

    Imaging can even help you sleep at night knowing you have a second chance.

    Many here recommend Macrium Reflect (free) as a good robust solution and more reliable than some others. It’s
    - more feature rich
    - more flexible
    - more reliable
    than Windows Backup and Restore system images.

    It's well supported with videos, help and a responsive forum.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 3
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thank you so much for the reply! And yeah, I won't be messing around with the registry anytime soon.

    I can confirm that the folders look normal when logged into another account.

    Just out of curiosity I tried to delete and restore the folders, as I had already backed up the contents on an external hard drive, and surprisingly most of them ended up being restored to their default state. The problem is the "downloads" folder as that one will still occasionally flip-flop between it's default state and another map icon when I close/open the file explorer.

    So I still don't really know what the problem is, but maybe it isn't as gamebreaking as I thought. In a way it has worked out... but it's still weird, and one folder is still kind of glitchy... I don't really know. If you have any idea what it could be, please tell. Thanks for the help anyway!
      My Computer

  4. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,414
    Win 10 Pro (1903)

    Hi, if all your folders look normal in a new account, then I would suggest you continue to use that and transfer your data to it, and configure your start-up programs accordingly.

    That's not trivial, unfortunately, and depends on your personal configuration, potentially affecting everything from your login id to favourites.

    There's no point continuing with a user account that's corrupted- it will only cause you problems.
    one folder is still kind of glitchy... I don't really know. If you have any idea what it could be, please tell.
    - sorry, I can't tell anything from that.
    Assuming this is a folder accessible only from your original user account, my comment about using your new one applies.

    I suggested restoring using a system restore point- as you've not commented on that I guess it wasn't an option for you.
    If you don't have system restore on, I recommend you turn it on.

    Here's how I change the folders:
    I use a program by Anolis - IconChanger
    This applies some 77 Win 7 icons to imageres.dll
    "Icon Changer fails to copy the modified imageres.dll from its installation folder to C:\Windows\System32

    Do this from a command prompt outside Windows (via SHIFT + left click restart)."

    Some like Customiser God.

    I like the solution I found, as after an upgrade I run the program once,, and copy the dll once. Routine.
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 3
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Hello again! So I decided to do as you recommended and moved everything to the new account I created. Everything seems to be working as it should now, so hopefully it will continue to do so. Thank you again for your help! I'll check out IconChanger and Customiser God!
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 2
    Windows 10

    I wonder if it's not anything you did, but related to the latest Windows Anniversary update. My PC updated a couple days ago and some of the custom icons I selected (through folder properties) show the "bad link" image now. Some folders let me choose a new icon, but as you experienced, some do not. Obviously, I was able to change them before the update. Now I can't even reset them to the default icon. Anyone now how to do this through the registry?

    Unable to change folder icons + folders showing the wrong icons-screenshot-3-.png
      My Computer


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