Customize folder background in Windows XP and Windows Vista

Published: Jan 2004
Updated  : Jun 2008
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Windows 98 comes with a utility named Customize Folder Wizard (ieshwiz.exe) using which you can customize folders easily. The Customize Folder Wizard automates the Desktop.ini and Folder.htt editing process. This utility works fine in Windows XP as well.

For Windows Vista, see note at the end of this article.

Windows XP

Download and save it to the Desktop

Extract ieshwiz.exe to the C:\Windows\System32 folder

Open a Command Prompt window (cmd.exe) and type:

IESHWIZ <path:\foldername>

For example, to customize the folder D:\Tools, replace <path:foldername> placeholder with D:\Tools

Select the background image for that folder, and click Next

Close and re-open the folder.

Note that the text color in a folder can be customized using the wizard. All of the these settings are stored in a file named Desktop.ini within that folder.


The changes are stored in the desktop.ini file. Here are the sample contents:


For more information on Desktop.ini files, see MSDN article Customizing Folders with Desktop.ini.

Windows Vista

Note that the folder background feature is removed in Windows Vista. If you need to customize the folder background in Windows Vista, you may use the freeware utility Vista Folder Background from Ave's Vista Apps Website. This uses a a shell extension module named VistaFolderBackground.dll that integrates with Windows.