So it seems from the sheer number of emails I get that many people are not happy with the new icons in Windows 10 Technical Preview. Most users complain about ugly Recycle Bin icons and bright yellow folder icons. Personally, my favorite icons were in Windows XP. I simply don't like any of the icon sets which came after Windows XP. And I still do not like the default icons. Today, we will replace Windows 10 icons with the ones from Windows 8 (or Windows 7, which are mostly the same). This tutorial will be helpful for people who are looking for a way to make Windows 10 look like they want.
Let's get Windows 8 icons back in Windows 10. First, we need to obtain icons from Windows 8. I extracted and uploaded them for you.
Extract the ZIP archive you downloaded to some folder like C:\Icons (for example) and you will see the .ICO files:
Get old Desktop icons in Windows 10
- Right click on an empty area of the Desktop and pick "Personalize" from the context menu:
- The Personalization window will be opened, click "Change desktop icons" on the left:
- In "Desktop Icon Settings", change all the icons you want to the ones you downloaded. You will get them as follows.
So, we got the old Recycle Bin icon back along with a few other Desktop icons.
Tip: You can open the "Desktop Icons Settings" dialog directly using this command:
Get the old folder icon from Windows 8 in Windows 10
The new folder icon can be applied with a simple Registry tweak. Do the following:
- Open Registry Editor.
- Go to the following Registry key:
- Here you must create a new subkey and name it Shell Icons. It may already exist in your Registry. That is normal.
- Create new string values named 3 and 4. Set the value data of both values to following value:
Now create the c:\Icons folder and move your Folder.ico file that you extracted from the ZIP archive there.
- Restart Windows 10 to get the update folder icons.
Replace icons for user profile folders in Windows 10 with Windows 8 icons
Here is how you can change them. I will explain these steps with an example, the Contacts folder:
- Open the "Contacts" folder (C:\Users\Your user name\Contacts).
- In the address bar of File Explorer add "\desktop.ini" to the end of the current folder path and press Enter. For example, C:\Users\Your user name\Contacts\desktop.ini):
- The Notepad application will be opened.
- Find the line starting with "IconResource" and comment out it by adding a semicolon before the IconResource word:
- Add a new line to the end of the file, like this
- Save the file and close Notepad.
- Re-open your user profile folder to see the changes:
- Repeat all steps above for other folders in your user profile.
Note: If some file comes with IconFile/IconIndex parameters, comment them out too by adding semicolons.
Finally you will get the following:
Fix large icons issue
If you apply Large icons view to File Explorer, you will see the following:
- Press Win + R on the keyboard.
- Type the following in the Run box:
- Click Settings in the Performance group:
- Untick "Show thumbnails instead of icons:
That's it. Windows will show the correct icons: