Change folder icon - maybe through regedit (Dropbox icon)


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Hello! :)

I have just setup my new laptop with Windows 10 Home and installed Dropbox. I noticed that the Dropbox folder icon is offset compared to other icons. The folder part of the icon is more towards the top than all other folder icons. See this image:
Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

I know it seems like a small issue, but once I saw this, I can't unsee it, and it annoys the heck out of me.

So - I designed a new icon. It is basically the same, but with the position fixed and the Dropbox-logo is a flat design. If anyone is interested, you can grab it here:
Dropbox - dropbox-fixed.ico

It looks perfect when changed - BUT, once you restart the computer, the Dropbox folder icon reverts back to the default. I tried it several times.

So I was wondering if it is possible to change the icon elsewhere. Maybe in the regedit somewhere. I don't know enough about that stuff to mess with it.

Hope someone can help! :)

Thanks.
 
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Regedit32

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Hi,

I'm a little busy right now to assign full concentration to your issue, but briefly:
  • The new icon you created; is it an overlay icon? If yes, then something to note:
  • Windows 10 allows a maximum of 15 Overlay icons to load and be displayed at any one time.
  • The Windows System loads 4 itself, which leaves you with 11 more you can use.
  • If you happen to have more than 15 loading at the moment the top 15 listed in the Registry get displayed (noting Windows System takes 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th priority). Thus if your new icon is an overlay icon and its 16th or greater position in the Registry it will not display when you restart the computer.
  • You can check this without opening the Registry Editor by doing the following:

  • Press Winkey + X or with mouse right-click Start
  • Press C or with mouse click on Command Prompt
  • In the Command Prompt console that opens type or copy & paste the following command:

reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers
  • Press Enter key to execute command
  • You'll now see a list: Is it more than 15 items? Is your icon listed from 16th position or greater?
  • Report back and later when I have time I'll investigate further if needed or provide a solution if it is listed there but in 16th or greater position on the list.
  • To close the Command prompt console, type exit | press Enter when done reviewing that list.

Regards,

Regedit32
 
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Hi Regedit32,

No it is a normal icon (.ico) - not an overlay icon.

As mentioned, I can change the icon the normal way by right clicking the folder -> preferences, and change icon. But once I restart, the other icon comes back.

I'm curious as to where the Dropbox folder icon comes from and how to change it permanently.
 

Regedit32

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Hi colorrush,

Sorry for the delay in response. It's been a busy day for me.

Thanks for clarifying you are using a standard icon. Earlier today I probably just misread your post. Sorry about that.

I haven't used Dropbox in a while, so I installed it this evening to take a look.

As for overlays it was installed nicely to the Registry in the top 10 positions so that would not have been a problem anyway.

It's main Registry entries though are stored under HKEY_CURRENT_USER, more specifically here:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Dropbox​

There is nothing there though that ought to affect your icon modifications that I can see.

That leads me to ask you what you Desktop Personalization settings look like? If you:
  • Click Start | select Settings | select Personalization | in left pane select Themes | select Desktop icon settings
  • Is there a checkmark next to Allow themes to change desktop icons?
  • If there is see what happens when you remove the checkmark

The other question I have is what Security software is installed and running on your computer? No one here has mentioned it in a while but some of them have been known to interfere with Desktop settings randomly. For example ESET has been known to cause issues, and in most cases, uninstalling ESET, then re-installing it seemed to resolve the troubles. There were also a couple of Registry keys you could modify but in my opinion doing that would be risky for a novice user as they were System protected keys which meant you needed to edit the Keys permissions first to take ownership in order to modify them.

I'll need to do some more investigating to work out if there is a specific DLL or other file there controlling the ICOs in Dropbox. This is not something I normally muck around with so I may not update here for a while.

Actually that brings me to one last question. What are you using to change resources with regarding the Folder icon in question? For example:
  • Resource hacker
  • Icon Viewer
  • Bluefische [Note this one while popular is now black listed by most security software]
  • Super Finger and Eye marathon - running Notepad as Admin and editing XML files
  • Some other tool or method?
Regards,

Regedit32
 
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Thank you for the comprehensive answer, Regedit32. Unfortunately it didn't solve the issue :(

I tried unchecking the "Allow themes to change desktop icons" option, which didn't help.

I am using Windows Defender, so no ESET to cause the issue.

To change the icon I just right click the Dropbox folder and selecting Preferences. Then change icon. But as mentioned the other "crooked" icon comes back when restarting.

I would be happy if you were able to figure out where the Dropbox folder icon comes from, so it can be changed at the source - maybe that would help.
 

Regedit32

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Hi colorrush,

I've been trying very hard to replicate your issue on my System but no matter what I fiddle with I cannot get it to forget I changed the icon, which in turn makes it tricky to figure out why your change of folder icon does not stick after you reboot computer.

I'll keep playing around to see if I can create a scenario that causes this to occur.

In the meanwhile try changing its attributes via an elevated command prompt: that might force Windows to accept your new icon.

Assuming two things:
  1. You have changed Dropbox icon to your dropbox-fixed.ICO
  2. The dropbox folder in question is located here: C:\Users\<your username>\Dropbox
  • Right-click on Start | select Command Prompt (Admin)
  • If prompted click Yes
At the prompt C:\WINDOWS\System32> type or copy & paste the following:

attrib +R %homepath%\dropbox
  • Press Enter to execute above command
  • To confirm command worked type or copy & paste the following:

    attrib %homepath%\dropbox
  • Press Enter to execute

    You ought to see R C:\Users\<your username here>\Dropbox

    If you do then type exit | press Enter to close Command Prompt

  • Restart computer to see whether the Dropbox folder with its new ICO you changed it to sticks now
 
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Hi Regedit32,

I have tried the command prompt thing, and it didn't work. The default icon comes back - I am starting to think it's too much trouble, but yet it still annoys me every time I see that folder - which is many times a day.

I have tried messing with it on 3 different Windows 10 computers and the issue is exactly the same, so I don't understand why you are not having the issue. Are you using Windows 10 Home?

I've sent Dropbox support an email, so I'll see if they can help - but I doubt they can help with stuff like this.
 

Regedit32

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have tried messing with it on 3 different Windows 10 computers and the issue is exactly the same, so I don't understand why you are not having the issue. Are you using Windows 10 Home?
Hi colorrush,

Yes I am using Windows 10 Home Edition, version 1511 (OS Build 10586.218)

I've just done an In-Place Upgrade today and as expected my modified Folder icons were reset to default. So for the first time since modifying my Dropbox folder I am back to the standard folder.

Interestingly, the modified desktop shortcut remained unchanged and still contains the logo image you created.

There must be a minor setting within Windows 10 that you have on or off which I do not, and hence when I modify the folder it remains no matter how many times I boot computer. Unfortunately, other than the personalization feature I mentioned to you a while back I cannot think of what else may cause this issue.
 
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It's finally working!

Someone on another forum suggested using a desktop.ini file, so I looked into that. There was already a desktop.ini file in the Dropbox folder (turn on show hidden files + show system files), and I edited the icon location in the file. When I restarted it godt reverted to the standard icon again, so I tried editing again and then set the desktop.ini file to "Read only". Then it worked!

Thank you for taking the time to help me solve it, Regedit32 :)
 

Regedit32

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Nice one colorrush and thanks for letting me know how you resolved it.

If you find yourself needing to create your own Desktop.ini file in the future make sure you set its format to Unicode, so you can include your Strings that us mere mortals can read when our mouse pointer activates the folder.

Once you've created your custom folder you should also make suire its recognized as a System folder by opening a command prompt and typing attrib +s +h customFoldersNameHere to set its attributes to System (+s) and Hidden (+h). For example, attrib +s +h dropbox

Note: From the C:\WINDOWS\System32> prompt in the elevated command prompt you first need to change the directory to location of the customized folder. So in the case of dropbox you'd type:

cd %homepath% | then press Enter

Then you'd use the attrib command: attrib +s +h dropbox | then press Enter

Next you change directory again: cd dropbox | press Enter

Finally, you'd apply attrib command to the Desktop.ini file you created:

attrib +s +h Desktop.ini | press Enter

As you are all ready inside your Desktop.ini for your Dropbox, make sure the ConfirmFileOp is set to zero. This will prevent you running into issues should you choose to move the folder location, or should you want to delete the folder later. If not set to zero you'll end up being plagued by the default "You are deleting a System Folder" alert.

You should also make sure the NoSharing is set to 1 as from Windows Vista — Windows 10 does not support this any longer. Pre Vista you would set it to 0.

So for example:

[.ShellClassInfo]
ConfirmFileOp=0
NoSharing=1
IconFile=dropbox-fixed.ico
IconIndex =0
InfoTip=Icon Logo designed by colorrush

Don't forget to mark you thread as solved by the way. As a moderator I could do this but I don't want to take away the satisfaction for you to be able to click that. :)

Regards,

Regedit32
 
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Damn! It didn't work in the long run.

Today when I turned on my laptop, guess what - the default icon is back :mad:

The desktop.ini file has been overwritten to the old one. How is that even possible when I set it to "Read only"?
 
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Regedit32

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Damn! It didn't work in the long run.

Today when I turned on my laptop, guess what - the default icon is back :mad:

The desktop.ini file has been overwritten to the old one. How is that even possible when I set it to "Read only"?

Did you set the Desktop.ini attributes to System and Hidden as I mentioned in previous post?
 
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No I did not. The desktop.ini file was already there, I didn't make it myself from scratch. So it shouldn't be necessary?

I got it fixed another way. In the desktop.ini file, it shows where it gets the folder icon from, so I used IcoFX to edit the dropbox.exe file and replace the icon. It has worked so far with many restarts, but the only thing I imagine could mess it up is when Dropbox updates to a new version. We'll see :)
 

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