Don’t like the icon for a particular file type? You can change it. Here is how to change the icon for any file type in Windows 10 and 11.
For common file types, Windows provides dedicated file type icons. For application-specific file types, the parent application automatically assigns an icon.
File icons allow you to recognize file types at a glance. For example, a text file can be easily distinguished by its icon. There is no need to read the file extension or open the file.
In general, the default file type icons are pretty good. Microsoft has upgraded most of them to meet new design standards. But what if you don’t like the icons for a certain file type? For example, on Windows, subtitle (.srt) files have blank icons. I generally do not like blank icons. So, one of the first things I do when I install Windows is to change the file type icon. This will give you peace of mind.
The good news is that you can do it too. So without further ado, here’s how to change file type icons in Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.
Table of Contents:
First, assume you already have an ICO format icon. If you do not have one, you can obtain one from the Internet.
If the downloaded icon is in PNG, JPG, or other format, convert it to ICO. There are many free online resources that can convert images to ICO format.
Save the icons in a separate folder. For example, we save all icons in a dedicated folder so that they cannot be accidentally deleted. If you delete an icon after setting it up, the file type will show an empty icon.
Change the file type icon
- Get the software FileTypesMan .
- Unzip the zip file.
- Open the unzipped folder.
- Double-click the exe file.
- Find the file type you want to edit.
- Right-click on the file type you want to edit.
- Select ” Edit Selected File Type “.
- Next to the “Default Icon” field, click ” … ”
- Click the ” Browse ” button.
- Locate and select the .ico icon file .
- Click ” OK ” in both windows.
- Exit the application .
- Restart Windows.
- This changes the icon for file type .
Download FileTypesMan – https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/file_types_manager.html
Unlike folder icons, Windowsdoes not have a built-in option to change the icon for a specific file type. Normally, this would require editing a registry key. However, editing the registry is unpleasant and overly complicated. So, we use Nirsoft Utilities’ FileTypesManager, which is free, portable, and lightweight.
First, download FileTypesManager from Nirsoft. Unzip the downloaded ZIP file to any folder and double-click the exe file. Since this is a portable application, no installation is required.
After opening the application, you will see all the file types on your system. Find the file type you want to edit, right-click on it, and select the “Edit selected file types” option.
Now click on the “…” button next to the “Default icon” field.button next to the “Default Icon” field.
The above will bring up the Windows default icon list. Since you want to set a custom icon, click the “Browse” button.
Locate and select the saved icon, and click the “Open” button.
Return to the “Change Icon” window, select the newly added icon and click the “OK” button.
Click the “OK” button in the FileTypeManager main window to save the changes.
Close the application.
That is all. The icon for the target file type has been changed. From now on, you will see a custom icon for that file type. In my case, the SRT file type will go from a blank icon to a new custom icon.
If you do not see the change immediately, restart File Explorer or Windows. Restarting will apply the changes and reflect them as intended.
That’s all. It is as easy as changing the icon for any file type in Windows.
We hope this simple and easy guide to working with Windows will help you.
If you get stuck or need help, please send me an email and I will do my best to help.
If you like this article, also check out How to Set Custom Disk Icons in Windows and How to Create Invisible Folders in Windows.