Changing the file type icons in Windows XP and earlier Operating Systems was a breeze, using the File Types tab in the Folder Options dialog. Unfortunately the File Types tab has been discontinued since Windows Vista and there is no alternate GUI provided to change a file type icon or to customize the right-click menu. Earlier we showed you how to change the file type icon manually using registry edits. In this article, we’ll see how to change a file type icon using the excellent Default Programs Editor utility, which we’ve covered before.
How to Change the File Type Icon Using Default Programs Editor
Download Default Programs Editor, unzip and run the executable. This utility is portable; requires no installation.
Select File Type Settings
Click Icon, and select the file extension for which you want to change the icon, in the next screen.
This screen shows the current icon for the file type. To change it, click the Browse button.
In the icon picker dialog that’s displayed, browse/locate an icon library, or point to a .ico file if you have one. I chose Shell32.dll which contains >200 icons, and selected the text pad icon.
Click the Save Icon button to save the changes to the registry. The icon for .abc file type would update itself automatically.
Saving Settings to a REG file
In case you need to apply the changes to several computers, you can output the settings to a .REG file. This can be done by clicking the arrow mark near the Save Icon button, and choosing Save to .reg file.
You can then deploy the .reg file across other PCs.
To accomplish the above task manually, read How to Change the Icon for a File Type in Windows 7 and Vista.
Default Programs Editor has more features that what has been discussed above. It’s an excellent "File Types" tab replacement, plus it does much more. If you liked this tool and willing to donate money to the author, visit their site here.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.