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Make New Folders in Your Vista User Directory Use Matching Greenish Icons

Have you ever noticed that new folders that you create inside of your Home directory in Vista just look out of place? All the built-in folders have those stylish greenish icons, and your folders are ugly and yellow.

Fixing this is a really simple process… all we need is to know where to find the nice looking icons.

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Changing Folder Icon to Match

The beauty of this tip is that you don’t need to download anything at all. Just right-click on the folder, choose Properties:

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Choose the Customize tab, and then click on the Change Icon button:

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Now here’s the trick… instead of the default shell32.dll file, we’ll change that to use the icons in imageres.dll. You can paste in the full path if you’d like (or just find the imageres.dll file with the Browse button)

%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll

Once you’ve changed the text in the box, use the Enter key to update the list, and then if you scroll all the way to the right you’ll find an empty green folder icon that matches perfectly.

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And there we go… now we have nice matching folders:

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Of course you could choose one of the other icons in the file if you want… it’s all up to you. You can even use the Restore Defaults button to switch it back to the ugly yellow folders.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/26/08

Comments (19)

  1. Jon Humphrey

    A quick one on this then:

    Is there any way to have this make ALL new folders have the green icon or is that not possible?

    Thanks again for all the help!

  2. Terraromaster

    Or you could download this icon set and have every new folder even better customised: http://darkhiusaki.deviantart.com/art/Vista-RTM-Concept-Folder-Pack-44230022
    From experience this is the best pack out there.

  3. Wil

    If you need more of the Vista style icons check out my gallery on deviant art. http://steelew.deviantart.com/gallery/ everything in it is free. Hope you like them.

  4. Ibrahim

    Thanks, that’s quite useful! The only drawback is that I don’t think you get the small previews of files inside the folders, but that’s not too bad since they’re mostly aesthetic rather than useful anyway.

  5. Keith

    For some reason my “pictures” and “music” folders are a different icon and under customize theres no option to select a new icon. Is there anything I can do to change those back?

  6. Aleeve

    nice, just what i wanted!

  7. frigiliana

    Thanks for the tutorial , can you advice on the folder to use that puts a picture in the folder similar to when you use a folder for an album and the picture of the album is inside .

    Cheers Dave

  8. ilesal

    I use your site all the time for hints and tips, this is another great one. Thanks alot!

    I have been using icons from gnome look website and converting to ico files from the png.

  9. Rachael

    Lousy Vista!!! I just tried that, but the cool greenish ones are nowhere to be found! It’s just a bunch of boring ones, and a tree…

    Moral of this story = my Vista sucks. Bad Vista!!

  10. Nemesco

    Lousy Vista!!! I just tried that, but the cool greenish ones are nowhere to be found! It’s just a bunch of boring ones, and a tree…

    Moral of this story = my Vista sucks. Bad Vista!!

    Or you just didn’t read how to do it :P

    It’s more easy to blame Vista then saying I’m to stupid to follow instructions.

  11. moises

    After typing in the path or finding it with the browse button you must press enter within the window or it will not pull up the other set of icons.

  12. Joe

    Yes it is tricky until you know this path. Share the knowledge people the green folders have been found. They are mostly on the far right. :)

    %SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll

    Otherwise, use Terraroforms stuff its awesome.

  13. Xeogin

    Thank you! This helped my fix my Downloads folder, cause it turned into a yellow one, it was really bugging me!

  14. Jack

    Hi, i have this problem where i go into the user folder and where it shoud say Jack it says Desktop, but when i go into it, it goes into my User folder anyway :P it wont allow me to change the name or it when i right click and go to properties, its really bugging me, system restore doesn’t affect it i really want it to say Jack again.

    Please Help

  15. jd2066

    @Jack: I don’t quite get what you mean. Do you mean that the User icon in C:\Users, the desktop one or the start menu one has the wrong name?
    Also you should post your question to the forums, you will get a faster responce time due to more people watching the forums and the posts do not need to be approved before appearing.

  16. alison

    yes!!! that works for me. I had a problem at first though. My problem was when I right clicked on the documents folder in the start menu the option did not show up to change icon in the customize tab. what I did was open my documents and the folder icon in the bottom left corner. I right clicked on that and it still did not give the option to change icon in the customize tab.

    So how I did it is while my documents open, right click on icon in bottom left corner, then click on the location tab and click find target. Mind you this brought another documents folder up in which I right click on the icon in the bottom left corner again and then properties and then “lo and behold” the change icon option became visible in the customize tab.

    Then I just put in the string you specified in replacing the one as you said to and clicked ok and there it was just where you said it would be on the far right. My pretty little green icon!!! :) And more cool icons that I couldn’t find anywhere else on the computer.

    Thank you for this useful piece of information!! It wouldn’t have helped me though unless I had kept opening the documents folder from inside the documents folder. I don’t know if it is a glitch in my Vista or just how its set up to make life complicated, thanks to you though, its a lot easier. Thanks again. I have bookmarked your page, I just got this Vista for my Birthday and I am making it my own so I am pretty sure I’ll need you again to dig me out of the sand. This is the first time I have used Vista and I really enjoy it.

  17. omgwtflolz

    @alison: i had the same problem, but now i know how to fix it. thank you so much for your help! :D

  18. Johnny

    that was tariffic, I may start liking my computer folders now

    Thanks

  19. Allison

    Thanks! I moved my Documents folder to a different drive and the icon turned yellow. I moved Documents back to C: and was going totally OCD trying to figure out how to get the nice matching icon back. Thanks for posting that path!!

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