Change Drive Icon in Windows 10  

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    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10

    How to Change a Drive Icon in Windows 10
    Published by Category: Customization
    18 Apr 2021
    Designer Media Ltd


    How to Change a Drive Icon in Windows 10


    A drive icon is a graphical representation of a drive.

    By default, Windows will use an icon for a drive based on what type of drive it is. Some types of drives are network drive, mapped drive, USB drive, internal drive, external drive, DVD drive, Windows drive, etc...

    This tutorial will show you how to change the icon of a drive to any icon for only your account or all users in Windows 10.

    If you like, please feel free to upload and attach your .ico file(s) in a reply post for this tutorial thread to share with others.

    If you turn on BitLocker for a drive, the BitLocker icon will always show for the drive no matter what you change it to.



    Contents

    • Option One: To Change Drive Icon using autorun.inf File
    • Option Two: To Change Drive Icon for All Users in Registry Editor
    • Option Three: To Change Drive Icon for Only Current User in Registry Editor



    EXAMPLE: Drive icon before and after changing
    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-before_change_drive_icon.png Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-after_change_drive_icon.png





    OPTION ONE

    To Change Drive Icon using autorun.inf File


    This option will not work for mapped network drives, but Option Two and Option Three will.

    This option will override Option Two and Option Three.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option for the Windows C: drive icon.


    1 Open This PC in File Explorer, click/tap on the View tab, and turn on (check) File name extensions in the ribbon. (see screenshot below)

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_autorun-1.png

    2 Open the drive (ex: E ) you want to change the icon of. (see screenshot below)

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_autorun-2.png

    3 Right click or press and hold on an empty space in the root directory of the drive, click/tap on New, and click/tap on Text Document. (see screenshot below)

    If you already have a autorun.inf file in the root directory of this drive, then skip this step and go to step 5 instead.

    If this is for the Windows C drive, then you will need to do steps 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 on your desktop first, then move the autorun.inf to the root directory of the Windows C drive. You will need to be signed in as an administrator to do this for the Windows C drive.

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_autorun-3.png

    4 Rename the New Text Document.txt file to autorun.inf, and click/tap on Yes to confirm. (see screenshots below)

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_autorun-4.png
    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_autorun-5.png

    5 Copy the .ico file (ex: "USB.ico") you want to use as the icon to the root directory of this drive. (see screenshot below)

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_autorun-6.png

    6 Open the autorun.inf file in the root directory of this drive. (see screenshot above)

    7 Enter the separate lines below into the autorun.inf file. (see screenshot below)

    Code:
    [autorun]
    icon="file name.ico"

    If any of these lines already exist in the autorun.inf file, then you would only add or change the icon line for what .ico file you want to use instead.

    Substitute file name in the icon line with the actual name of the .ico file from step 5.

    To undo this, you would just need to delete the icon line.

    For example:

    [autorun]
    icon="USB.ico"


    OR

    [autorun]
    icon="USB.ico"
    label="My Backups"

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_autorun-7.png

    8 When finished, click/tap on File, click/tap on Save, and close the opened autorun.inf file. (see screenshot below)

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_autorun-8.png

    9 Restart the computer to apply. If this is for a removable drive, then you could just disconnect and reconnect the drive to apply instead.






    OPTION TWO

    To Change Drive Icon for All Users in Registry Editor


    You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do this option.

    It is recommended to use Option One instead for removable drives (ex: USB flash drive) or DVD disc.

    This option will override Option Three.


    1 Press the Win + R keys to open Run, type regedit, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.

    2 Navigate to the registry key below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons

    If you do not have the DriveIcons key, then right click on the Explorer key, click on New, click on Key, type DriveIcons, and press Enter to create it.

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_hklm-1.png

    3 Right click on the DriveIcons key, click on New, click on Key, type the capitalized drive letter (ex: "D") of the drive you want to change the icon of, and press Enter. (see screenshot above and below)

    If you already have a sub key (ex: "D") for this drive letter (ex: "D") under the DriveIcons key, then skip this step and go to step 4 instead.

    To undo this, you would delete the sub key (ex: "D") for the drive, click/tap on Yes to confirm, and go to step 7.

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_hklm-2.png

    4 Right click on the sub key (ex: "D") under the DriveIcons key, click on New, click on Key, type DefaultIcon, and press Enter. (see screenshot above and below)

    If you already have a DefaultIcon sub key under the drive's key (ex: "D"), then skip this step and go to step 5 instead.

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_hklm-3.png

    5 In the right pane of the DefaultIcon key, double click on the (Default) string value to modify it. (see screenshot above)

    6 Type the full path within quotes of the .ico file you want to use as the icon of this drive, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

    This icon displays best if the .ico file is saved in a location that all users have access to. For example, inside the "C:\Users\Public\Pictures" folder.

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_hklm-4.png
    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_hklm-5.png

    7 If open, close and reopen File Explorer to apply. You can now close Registry Editor if you like.






    OPTION THREE

    To Change Drive Icon for Only Current User in Registry Editor


    It is recommended to use Option One instead for removable drives (ex: USB flash drive) or DVD disc.


    1 Press the Win + R keys to open Run, type regedit, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.

    2 Navigate to the registry key below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Applications\Explorer.exe\Drives

    If you do not have the Applications key, then right click on the Classes key, click on New, click on Key, type Applications, and press Enter to create it.

    If you do not have the Explorer.exe key, then right click on the Applications key, click on New, click on Key, type Explorer.exe, and press Enter to create it.

    If you do not have the Drives key, then right click on the Explorer.exe key, click on New, click on Key, type Drives, and press Enter to create it.

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_hkcu-1.png

    3 Right click on the Drives key, click on New, click on Key, type the capitalized drive letter (ex: "D") of the drive you want to change the icon of, and press Enter. (see screenshot above and below)

    If you already have a sub key (ex: "D") for this drive letter (ex: "D") under the Drives key, then skip this step and go to step 4 instead.

    To undo this, you would delete the sub key (ex: "D") for the drive, click/tap on Yes to confirm, and go to step 7.

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_hkcu-2.png

    4 Right click on the sub key (ex: "D") under the Drives key, click on New, click on Key, type DefaultIcon, and press Enter. (see screenshot above and below)

    If you already have a DefaultIcon sub key under the drive's key (ex: "D"), then skip this step and go to step 5 instead.

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_hkcu-3.png

    5 In the right pane of the DefaultIcon key, double click on the (Default) string value to modify it. (see screenshot above)

    6 Type the full path within quotes of the .ico file you want to use as the icon of this drive, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_hkcu-4.png
    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-change_drive_icon_hkcu-5.png

    7 If open, close and reopen File Explorer to apply. You can now close Registry Editor if you like.


    That's it,
    Shawn



  1. Jerry06's Avatar
    Posts : 86
    Windows 10 64bit
       #1

    Great tutorial, I love it. Should it be noted that external drives like DVD drives need to be done with the registry instructions or didn't I read the tutorial closely enough.
      My Computer

  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 58,482
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #2

    Hello Jerry, :)

    Technically you could use Option 1 for an actual DVD disc, and Option 2 or 3 for the DVD drive.
      My Computers

  3. Jerry06's Avatar
    Posts : 86
    Windows 10 64bit
       #3

    Brink said:
    Hello Jerry, :)

    Technically you could use Option 1 for an actual DVD disc, and Option 2 or 3 for the DVD drive.
    Yes that's what I was thinking. Using option 2 or 3 for the actual removable drive
      My Computer

  4. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 58,482
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Note added.

      My Computers


  5. Posts : 1
    10
       #5

    Doesn't work for Bitlocker encrypted drives.


    Thanks for the write-up. I've successfully used these methods in the past to successfully modify HDDs, network drives and USBs on both windows 7 and 10. However, I've found that if you turn on bitlocker for the USB drive, Windows 10 will override all other icon customizations with its own bitlocker icon. I've not been able to find a way to circumvent this. In windows 7, it isn't the behavior - just windows 10. Any thoughts?
      My Computer

  6. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 58,482
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Hello rogerard, and welcome to Ten Forums. :)

    I haven't been able to override the BitLocker icon yet either.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1909 build 18363.1139
       #7

    Is it possible to make it so all removable drives show a different icon to fixed drives? It's annoying Windows 10 uses the same icon for both removable and fixed drives.
      My Computer

  8. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 58,482
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Hello Aenfa, and welcome to Ten Forums. :)

    Windows 10 already shows a different icon for fixed (left) and removable (right) drives by default.

    What are you seeing?

    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-drive.png Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-removable_drive.png
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1909 build 18363.1139
       #9

    They appear exactly the same on my PC. I have tried 2 different USB sticks but still get the fixed disk icon instead of removable.
    Change Drive Icon in Windows 10-usbd.png
    Does anyone know why and is there a registry fix or something to make them appear different?
      My Computer


 
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