Customize the Hard Drive Icon in Windows 7

Edited by Michael J., Lynn, Maria Quinney, Alma and 1 other

If you are bored and have run out of exciting things to do with your Windows 7 PC, then you might want to try this neat little trick of customizing or changing the default Windows hard drive icon.
This trick involves going deep into the trenches of the Windows registry, so it does not fall short of "excitement" for the average user. But utmost caution is necessary. Be sure to follow the instructions to the letter and leave the experimentation for some other day. You don't mess with the registry unless you know what you're doing.

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Open the "Run" window. You can do this by typing "Run" in the windows search bar and hitting "Enter," or by pressing the Windows key and the "R" key on your keyboard simultaneously.
Type "regedit" and hit "Enter." . This will open the registry editor window. This is where the fun begins!
Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes. In the list of folders listed in the left panel, locate the top-level "HKEY_CURRENT_USER" folder and click on the drop-down arrowhead to reveal the folders below the hierarchy.
Explore until you reach the Classes folder.
Right-click on the "Classes" folder create a key called "Applications." If there is already a key or folder named "Applications" in the "Classes" folder, then skip this step.
Registry classes.png
Right-click on "Applications" and create a new key called "Explorer.exe". If there is already a key or folder named "Explorer.exe" in the "Applications" folder, then skip this step.
Registry applications create new key.png
Right-click on "Explorer.exe" and create a new key called "Drives." If there is already a key or folder named "Drives" under the "Explorer.exe" folder, then skip this step.
Right-click on "Drives" and create a new key. Type the letter of the hard drive you want to customize the icon of and hit "Enter."
Right-click on the new hard drive letter folder and create a new key. This time name it "Default Icon." If you haven't skipped a beat, then you should have hierarchy that looks similar to this:
Registry hierarchy.png
Right-click on the "Default" value on the right panel of the registry editor and click "Modify."
Enter the full Path of the icon that will replace the default Windows hard drive icon.
Registry modify value.png
That's It! Close the registry editor and see if the trick worked. If it doesn't, try to restart Windows and see if it shows up after.
Customized hard drive icon.png
Credits to IconFactory ( for the Iron Man Suit icon

Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Only icon files (.ico

) work in this trick. You need to convert your jpeg

or png images to icon files. There are a lot of free tools on the internet that will do just that.
  • As said in the intro, follow the steps with utmost caution. Do not mess with other registry entities apart from the ones mentioned in the article.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Article Info

Categories : Windows

Recent edits by: Alma, Maria Quinney, Lynn

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