How to Customize the Library Icons in Windows 7

Windows 7 does not provide a GUI to change the icons shown for Libraries, and the Libraries don’t use the icon references provided in the desktop.ini file. Here is a nice way to customize the Library icons in Windows 7.

Thanks to Bogo for this excellent tip!

Changing the Library icon in Windows 7

1. Start Notepad

2. Click Start, type the following path and press ENTER:


3. Drag the library (for which you want to change the icon) into the Notepad window.

4. Add the following entry after the line <isLibraryPinned>


For example, to assign the 84th icon (index starts from 0) from Shell32.dll, type the following line:


Note: The <iconReference> line may already exist for the default Libraries. For custom Libraries, you need to add it manually.

5. Save the file and close Notepad. Press F5 to refresh the Libraries window to see if the Library icon has changed.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

4 thoughts on “How to Customize the Library Icons in Windows 7”

  1. I can’t paste any Library on to Notepad, i did it once, and can’t do it anymore…
    Anybody know why? I also rebooted the PC and nothing…

  2. @zmin: I have that problem too. doesn’t anyone know how to make it display at all the icon sizes available in the ico file. ie. all the way up 128 exists but is not being displayed and it also has a grey square around it.


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