Prevent Windows 10 themes from changing icons

Some of the themes you download for Windows 10 may come with extra icons, sounds and mouse cursors. In the previous article, we saw how to prevent themes from changing your mouse cursors. Now, let's see how to do the same for icons.

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Some of the themes can change icons like This PC, Network, Recycle Bin and your user profile folder icon. The appropriate option was available in the classic Control Panel. In Windows 10, Microsoft is moving all its settings to the new Settings app, which is a UWP app optimized for touch screens. While most of the appearance-related settings are already there, some of them can be changed only using classic applets. This is true in case of the option we'll review in this article.

Prevent Windows 10 themes from changing icons

Table of contents

  1. Prevent Windows 10 themes from changing icons using Desktop Icon Settings
  2. Prevent Windows 10 themes from changing icons using a Registry tweak
  3. Allow Windows 10 themes to change icons using Desktop Icon Settings
  4. Allow Windows 10 themes to change icons using a Registry tweak
  5. Download ready-to-use Registry files

Prevent Windows 10 themes from changing icons using Desktop Icon Settings

The classic Control Panel applet "Desktop Icon Settings" can be found in the Settings app of Windows 10. There, you will find the required option.

  1. Open Settings.settings-app
  2. Go to System -> Personalization -> Themes.settings-personalization-themes-page
  3. On the right, click the option "Desktop icon settings".settings-personalization-themes
  4. The following dialog will appear:desktop-icons-settingsThere, untick the checkbox "Allow themes to change icons" and you are done.desktop-icons-settings-disable-icon-change

Prevent Windows 10 themes from changing icons using a Registry tweak

The same can be done with a Registry tweak. Do the following.

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes

    Tip: How to jump to the desired registry key with one click.registry-branch

  3. In the right pane, find the 32-bit DWORD value named ThemeChangesDesktopIcons. Set its value data to 0.gistry-disable-theme-change-icons
    Tip: if you don't have this parameter in the Registry, then create a new 32-bit DWORD value called ThemeChangesDesktopIcons.
    Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
  4. Close Registry Editor and restart the Explorer shell. Alternatively, you can sign out and sign in again to your Windows 10 account.

From now, themes won't be able to change your desktop icons.

Allow Windows 10 themes to change icons using Desktop Icon Settings

  1. Open Settings.settings-app
  2. Go to System -> Personalization -> Themes.settings-personalization-themes-page
  3. On the right, click the option "Desktop icon settings".settings-personalization-themes
  4. The following dialog will appear:
    desktop-icons-settings
    There, enable the option "Allow themes to change icons" as shown above and you are done.

Allow Windows 10 themes to change icons using a Registry tweak

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes

    Tip: How to jump to the desired registry key with one click.registry-branch

  3. In the right pane, find the 32-bit DWORD value named ThemeChangesDesktopIcons. Set its value data to 1.registry-enable-theme-change-icons
  4. Close Registry Editor and restart the Explorer shell. Alternatively, you can sign out and sign in again to your Windows 10 account.

Download ready-to-use Registry files

To save your time, I prepared ready-to-use Registry files. Use them to do this tweak with just one click.

Download Registry Files

Please keep in mind that this tweak can be removed at any moment by Microsoft. If it does not work for you, tell us in the comments which Windows version and build you are running.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer from Russia who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

5 thoughts on “Prevent Windows 10 themes from changing icons”

  1. Firstly, I have problems accessing the link for “How to Fix Problems with Windows 10”. I am told that it is a dangerous site.

    When I do access it and download the application Norton immediately deletes it telling me it is not safe.

    Have you any comment?

    1. The link is a third-party advertisement on winaero. I would follow Norton in this case. It might be a false positive. Better to contact the developer of the app.

  2. Поражаюсь! ВСЁ написано о десятке. Проделано много работы. А, извините ??????ЗАЧЕМ????????, именно в этом обзоре. Изменить тему на тёмную в десятке. ?????????ЗАЧЕМ???????? если и так, средствами виндоус можно поменять тему на чёрную. Мне, больше нравится 8.1. Но, все свой взор, старания перенаправили на десятку. В заглавии КАЖДОГО продукта пишите ОГРОМНЫМИ буквами, только для десятки! Пробовал десять раз поменять тему на чёрный цвет, Никак! Да, я НЕ ТАКОЙ ПРОДВИНУТЫЙ! Но , на каждом шагу Заставляют перейти на десятку. БЛАГОДАРЮ за то что испортили настроение!

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