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(Solved) - How do I change icons for many folders at one time in Windows 7?

(9 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by realdavid
  • Latest reply from SarahJames
  • Topic Viewed 7886 times

realdavid
Posts: 4

I can change one folder icon at a time, but not many at once like I could with XP.

This question was asked in a How-To Geek Forum entitled How To Customize Multiple Folder (Icons), where user "scowilcro" posted this solution that I used often in Windows XP, but I cannot get to work in Windows 7:

"Highlight all of the folders for which you want to change the icons. Right-click on any one of the highlighted folders and click "Properties."
Click the "Customize" button
Click the "Change Icon" button. Choose an icon from the list on the screen or click "Browse" to choose your own icon that you've either created or downloaded from the Internet.
Click "OK" to change the folder icons for multiple folders
Done"

Thanks, "scowilcro", but now that I am using Windows 7 (Home Premium with Service Pack 1), this does not work for me.

No matter how many folders I highlight — even if I use Select All — it only changes the one folder I land on when I right-click the group. Properties (General Tab) shows as many folders as are highlighted. I've tried right-clicking in every area of the highlight from the icon to the right edge, and I've even tried using the right-click key, but only one folder changes.

(My goal, in case you are curious, is to "re-icon" hundreds of music folders with respective vinyl, CD, or MP3 icons.)

Thank you, How-To Geeks, for being here!!

David

Posted 2 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Hi David,

I use FolderMarker Pro myself (once a giveaway at GAOTD), which I really like for doing things like this.
You might try out the free version here.
Or you might try Shedko FolderIco (I haven't tried this one myself, but it looks good).

They both come with their own themes, but you can make your own icl files to use with the free version of IcoFX.
An icl is a collection of icons. If necessary put just one or two icons you like to use in the icl and off you go :)

If you need a hand in finding your way around this, here is a tutorial:
creating an iconlibrary

And if you need any more info or help, just ask ;)

Posted 2 years ago
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realdavid
Posts: 4

Sarah,

Thanks for the great input!

The free version of FolderMarker definitely looked great! Unfortunately, it was anything but great. It just did not work right.

(The boring details:
I downloaded it, only to find I need at least 5 clicks to change one folder. (It's still an improvement over the 6 to 8 clicks needed to change one using Explorer.) Changing several folders at once requires each folder to be found through a directory and added to a list individually. The list must be populated one by one: there is no multiple picking using the mouse, Ctrl, or Shift. I began (thankfully) with a trial list of 7 folders. Only 5 changed icons successfully. Repeated attempts to get the other 2 to change failed. Of the 5 that did change, 4 did not change the icons displayed in the bottom pane of the window. After closing and re-opening the window, 3 had not changed icons in the bottom pane. So, I closed both Explorer and Foldermarker. The results remained the same; and those 2 folders that would not change before still would not. Also, the Help feature does not work in Windows 7, and Microsoft's solution — a download of WinHlp32.exe — is not available for x86.
Hey, it was free, right?)

Anyway, as the cow says, moooooving right along....

I moved on to Shedko FolderIco. (Thanks again, Sarah, for offering more than one solution.) I, too, like how it looks. But I've come to find out that the ability to change several folders at once is the most requested feature for a future version. (It does not yet do it. I'll watch for it.)

I also took a look at IcoFX, per your great suggestion. Nice! I had already found some good icons, but I could really made some great ones with IcoFX! Thanks! Too bad it won't change multiple folder icons....

I just have to laugh: In all this time and effort we have both spent looking for a shortcut, I could have them all changed by now, one by one. There is only 872 of them, with several hundred yet to come. LOL

It's ironic. I just changed my directory to get rid of "- Shortcut", and now I may end up adding "- Vinal", "- CD", and "- MP3" to my folder names! :D

My sincere thanks to you, Sarah. It sure was worth a shot!

David

P.S. I like your penguin.

Posted 2 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Hi David,

Now that is weird. I just took a look at mine and it does do multiple folders at once.
(reverting is not that easy though - it doesn't do subfolders and kept me busy for a bit LOL)

Turns out I have Folder Marker Home 3.0 (not Pro as I thought LOL).
Just rightclick a folder > Mark Folder > More Icons and then you get this window:

Just pick an icon and apply, the subfolders now will also have Eeyore ....

If some folders show up right but not all, you might have to refresh your iconcache.
Delete IconCache.db at C:\Users\*username*\AppData\Local\IconCache.db

And you also might have a problem with your thumbnails. You can refresh those by running "Disk Cleanup" and making sure "Thumbnails" is ticked.
Reboot and now take a look at your folders ;)

If it still doesn't work and you need to add Vinal, CD and MP3 to your folder names, you might want to use a renaming app, that will make it easier for you
(yep, I have apps for just about anything <LOL>).
A nice one is Renamer.

Good luck!

Posted 2 years ago
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realdavid
Posts: 4

Hi, Sarah :)

Thanks, again.

The free version is FolderMarker 1.4. It does not have the section entitled "(3) Options", with that cool subfolder option. (In fact, 1.4 does not even have different colors.) Perhaps I should not be so stingy and just buy the upgrade. The option to "Apply selected icon to all subfolders" would make it worth the $25, as long as the icon changes stick to the folders no matter where I move them.

When you use the option "Apply selected icon to all subfolders", do all your folders stay changed when you move them about? (I would put a batch of folders into a temporary top folder, just long enough to use that wonderful option "Apply selected icon to all subfolders". Then I would move the subfolders back to their home, and delete the temporary top folder.)

Great information on the icon cache and thumbnail clean-up! (I have Renamer or I would not consider renaming the folders! Thanks for that recommendation, though.)

David

Posted 2 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

The icons stick as long as the location of the icon where you refer to doesn't change (in my case it's in a icl file I made myself and added to FolderMarker, so it's not going anywhere ;D).

If you want to keep the icons also visible when vieuwing the folders on another computer (for instance when you have them on an external drive) you'd better use the option 'Make customized folder distributable'.

And I think it's worth the money ;)
Or if you're not in a hurry you could wait till GAOTD has a rerun of Folder Marker (might be a while).

As you can see in my screenshots I've made my own icl files with IcoFX and imported them into Folder Marker. Works like a charm :)))

Edit: just tried it on my Win7 PC. You can install Folder Marker Home and try it for 30 days and it works absolutely fine!
The only caveat is that you can't use an icon from one of it's icl files.
Instead use More Icons > User Icons > Add > Browse to icon of your choice > Make sure Apply selected icon for all subfolders is ticked > Hit Apply :)

You'll need to uninstall Folder Marker Free before you give Folder Marker Home a try (use Revo Uninstaller Free to get rid of it. Reboot and then install Folder Marker Home.

Posted 2 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Some screenshots to go with the above description:

and this is the browse window - by default it goes to Shell32.dll. You can use an ico or icl to browse to as long as you don't move that file after doing this. Otherwise use the 'Make customized folder distributable' (in this case I'd use that just to be safe).

Accepted Answer · Posted 2 years ago
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realdavid
Posts: 4

To those reading this post, my conclusion:

Changing many folder icons at once is impossible in Windows 7. The free version of FolderMarker will only save a tiny bit of time, since you must populate a list one folder at a time from a directory. Purchasing FolderMarker Home or FolderMarker Pro gives you the luxury of using the option to "Apply selected icon to all subfolders" to do a batch at one time. They also have a 30-day refund policy.

I am going to purchase FolderMarker. The $25 (for the Home version) will pay for itself: it will save me me at least five hours on over 1,000 folders! (based on 20 seconds per icon change using Windows 7.)

To Sarah:

THANK YOU so much for your help on this!

Problem solved! HOO-RAY!

David

Posted 2 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Super!

And thanks, you made me smile :)

Posted 2 years ago
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