Windows 11 User icon looks like a Regular folder

After adding the user profile icon to the desktop (via Settings > Personalization > Themes > Desktop icon settings), the user icon may look like a regular folder with the generic yellow folder icon.

user folder icon - regular folder

Users expect the icon to appear like the one below.

user folder icon - with the user avatar


This happens if the desktop icons are small. The special icon for your user profile folder shows up only when you increase the icon size. If you increase the desktop icon size (i.e., you can use the ctrl + key combo to increase the desktop icon size), the user folder icon looks like a user icon.

The user profile icon uses the icon imageres.dll, 123. The icon resource contains plain folder icons for smaller sizes — i.e., 16×16 up to 64×64.

You may wonder how to fix this issue without increasing the size of the desktop icons.


To resolve the issue, use a custom icon for the User profile folder.

  1. Download usericon.ico (zipped), unzip the archive, and extract usericon.ico to your desktop.
  2. Press Win + R to bring up the Run dialog.
  3. Type the following command exactly:
    control desk.cpl,,0
  4. Press Enter.
    (This opens the Desktop Icon Settings dialog.)
  5. Click on your User icon, and click “Change Icon“.
    change user profile icon
  6. Browse and select usericon.ico, which you downloaded in Step 1.
  7. Click Apply, OK.

That should do the trick! The user icon should appear correctly regardless of the desktop icon size or display scaling setting.

(Last tested in Windows 11 23H2.)

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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.

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