Get the New Windows 10 Folder Icons Without Installing the Beta

Microsoft is changing outdated icons for its popular operating system. You’ve already seen some of these changes affect the Windows 10 desktop apps like Mail and Calculator , but there will be new icons for File Explorer folders.

If you like the look and want to try out the new icons, you have two options. First, you can install the Windows Insider beta that includes these changes. You will need Windows 10 Preview Build 21343, which you can get by signing up for the Windows Insider Program (via the Settings> Update & Security app ). Make sure you choose a development channel for your releases, which means faster access to updated features at the potential cost of some system stability.

But just in case, I wouldn’t use the Dev channel for my main PC. The icons are great and all, but they’re not worth the potential problems if or when the build doesn’t work properly. Fortunately, there is another easy way to get these updated icons: install them yourself.

To get started, download the icons from this helpful link (courtesy of Reddit user Random_Vandal , who pulled them directly from the operating system. Mirror here if that link doesn’t work.) Drag and drop them into a folder on your system that you don’t mind keeping forever. There are a lot of them – only 662 – but they only take up 36 MB of disk space.

Then go to the Users folder, usually C: \ users \ [your name]. Right-click any custom folder you want to change the icon for, such as Downloads, and select Properties . Click the Customize tab and then click the Change Icon button:

Click Browse and find the icon you want in the huge folder you just created. Here are the ones that match the lead image in this post:

  • Desktop: imageres-175.ico
  • Documents: shell32-127.ico
  • Downloads: imageres-176.ico
  • Music: shell32-129.ico
  • Photos: shell32-128.ico
  • Video: shell32-130.ico

Repeat the process as needed for any (or any) custom folders that you want to customize. And if this simple trick doesn’t work, you might have to go to the Windows Registry to do some additional customization. At least that’s how the new icons should appear in the This PC section of File Explorer. Be careful with your edits, however, as the registry is the only place you don’t want to screw up.

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