Tired of default device icons? You can change the default icon for USB and external devices with a custom .ico file. Here is how to do it.
When you connect a USB or external hard drive, the default icon makes it look like any other drive in Windows. It can be difficult to distinguish between a system drive and an external or USB drive. If you have more than one USB drive, we recommend changing the external drive icon to a custom icon.
Adding a custom icon to a USB drive not only gives it a custom look, but also makes it easier to find among other drives and partitions.
This quick guide will show you how to change the icon for USB devices in Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7.
Before proceeding, make sure you have a custom icon in .ico format. If you do not have one, download one from a website such as IconArchive. You can also convert existing JPG or PNG images to the ICO format.
The following procedure works the same in Windows 10 and 11.
- Change USB or external hard disk icon
- Restore default device iconor external hard disk icon
To add a custom USB device icon. Simply copy it to
Here are the steps needed to change the USB or external hard disk icon in Windows.
- Turn on the USB drive.
- Copy the .ico icon to the root of the USB drive.
- Name the icon ” Drive.ico “.
- Right click in the drive.
- Select ” New > Text Document “.
- Name the file ” autorun.inf “. It is important to replace the .txt extension with .inf.
- Right click on the “autorun.inf” file and select ” Open “.
- Copy and paste the following code into the file.
- Press ” Ctrl+S ” to save.
- Close Notepad.
- This completes the device icon change.
First connect a USB or external drive and open it. Do not paste the icon into the USB drive folder, copy it to the root of the drive.
Next, right click on the USB drive and select the “New > Text Document” option.
Change the default name to “autorun.inf”. It is important to replace the .txt extension with .inf.
Right click on the “autorun.inf” file and select “Open”.
Paste the following code into Notepad and press the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+S” to save the file. You can also select “File > Save”.
That’s it. The device icon has now been changed. When you reinsert the drive, the new icon will appear in the File Explorer.Contents
(Optional) Hide the drive.ico and autorun.inf files
Hide the drive.ico and autorun.inf files as they may get in the way if nothing is done. You can hide them so that they do not appear with the other files and folders on your USB drive. Here is how to hide these files.
- Select the two files drive.ico and autorun.inf.
- Right click on them
- Select ” Properties “.
- Go to the “General” tab.
- Select the checkboxes ” Read Only ” and ” Hidden “.
- Click the ” Apply ” and ” OK ” buttons to save your changes.
That’s it. Both files are now hidden. If you want them to be visible, go to the “View” tab and select the “Hidden files” checkbox.
Windows 11 users select “Show > Show > Hidden items”.
Restore the default USB drive icon
If you no longer use the custom icon, you can restore the default icon by simply deleting the Drive.ico and autorun.inf files. The method is as follows.
- Plug in and open the USB drive .
- Open the ” Browse ” tab and check ” Hidden files “.
- Select both “Drive.ico” and “autorun.inf”.
- Right click on them and select ” Remove “.
- When prompted, click ” Yes “.
That’s it. After deleting the file, reinsert the USB drive and you will see the default drive icon instead of the custom icon.
To hide hidden files, uncheck “Hidden files” in the “View” tab.
For Windows 11, select “View > View > Hidden Items”.
That’s it. It is as easy as replacing the USB drive icon with a custom .ico file.
We hope this brief guide to working with Windows is helpful.
If you are having trouble or need help, send us an email and we will do our best to help.
YouTube video: How to Change the USB or External Hard Drive Icon