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How to Change the Default Icon for Removable Drives


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How to Change the Default Icon for Removable Drives

If you are bored seeing the default look of removable drives in Windows, here is a simple tutorial on how to change the default look. The Removable drive looks like this, without any customizations and its confusing if you have more than one drives connected to your PC.

Removable Drive

The default look of Removable drives like USB pen drives, Memory cards for phones and cameras can be changes using these 3 simple steps.

1. First step is to find a good icon which will represent the removable drive. Make sure that the image has .ico extension.

2. Open Notepad. Type in whatever is given in the image.

Autorun

Here Label denotes the text which you want to display in My Computer when the drive is connected and Icon represents the icon image name. Save this file as autorun.inf.

3. Copy both files (autorun.inf and Icon file) to your removable drive. You can make both files as hidden, if don’t want to see those files when you are connected to drive

Now unplug the drive and connect it back to USB and now you can see the effect of your customizations.

Removable Drive2 Removable Drive1

Have a look at the customizations of my removable drives (iBall USB drive and SE W700i cell phone 1GB drive).

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Nirmal is a Technology Blogger and a Microsoft MVP in Windows. He can be contacted at nirmal@nirmaltv.com. You can find Nirmal on , and .

58 Comments

58 Comments

  1. Ashwin

    July 12, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    A Cool tip. I’ll keep a icon of my blog’s favicon! :mrgreen:

  2. Arpit Jacob

    July 12, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    mmm interesting tip. It works only for removable drives ?? what about individual drive partitions ?

  3. Bush Mackel

    July 12, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Nice tip! Every time I use a USB card reader for SD cards, the icon looks like a bunch of others I have. Now I can change it to something a bit more different! I probably won’t though due to laziness, but I hope I remember. (#):)

  4. Grace

    July 12, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    Very nice! But I like to keep my removable drives with the same icons so I remember that they are, in fact, removable drives. 🙂 Nice tip though.

  5. Vijay

    July 12, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    This does seem to be a fun thing to do. Now that I have a lot of stock icons with me, I sure will try this out!

  6. Madhur Kapoor

    July 13, 2007 at 1:07 am

    Great tip Nirmal , will surely help me to diffrentiate between my pen drive and cell phone .

  7. Vaibhav

    July 13, 2007 at 7:37 am

    Nice one, turn your drives from boring looking icons, to your favorite icons. this is surely going to give some fun 😎

  8. nirmaltv

    July 13, 2007 at 9:58 am

    @Arpit,
    I have not tried with Individual partition drives. May be you can try it tell us the result. 🙂

    This tip is mainly to differentiate between partition drives and Removable drives.

  9. Binny V A

    July 13, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Whenever I see the autorun.inf file, I jump to the conclusion that the stick has a virus and delete the inf file.

    So, if you have made this modification – don’t give the stick to me without warning me first 🙂

  10. Myo Kyaw Htun

    July 13, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    Do you have any idea to write about how to kill USB toy virus or how to prevent from attacking ? Because we all still have been attacking by this virus a long time ago and still can’t beat it.

    Thanks you.

  11. Rishi

    July 13, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Great way but just a question … is it safe?

  12. ram

    July 13, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Nice tip i will update my icons

  13. Ken Xu

    July 13, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Cool! I will change my icon too! This idea is fresh for me! 🙂

  14. nirmaltv

    July 13, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    @Binny,
    Even I had this perception that all .inf files are virus. 🙂

    @Myo Kyaw Htun,
    I have never encountered the situation mentioned by you.

    @Rishi,
    Did you mean to ask if it damages the drive or safety in terms of virus attack?

  15. Shankar Ganesh

    July 13, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    I’ve tried this.. and it’s a pretty sweet tip 😀

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  17. Vikram

    July 13, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    Nice tip

  18. kuanhoong

    July 13, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Love the Sony Ericsson icon.. 😀

  19. nirmaltv

    July 13, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    @Vikram,
    Thanks for the comment.

    @Kuanhoong,
    Glad that you liked it. I did a lot of search for good SE icons. 😀

  20. Shashank

    July 13, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    cool handy tip

  21. Pallab

    July 14, 2007 at 12:21 am

    The trick you have mentioned would also work with Cds and Dvds.
    [However in case of Cd and DVD it is a good idea not to use long file names with capital letters and special characters].

    @ Arpit : Icon Packager ( http://www.stardock.com ) would do the job. After installing it simply right click on the partition you want to change icon for and set the icon from “Properties”.

  22. TechZilo

    July 14, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Great….trying it out.

    Came through Rishi.

  23. nirmaltv

    July 14, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    @Pallab,
    Thanks for the information. Icon Packager is a great software to change icons.

    @Techzilo,
    Thanks for the visit, hope you liked my blog. 🙂

  24. Oznob43

    July 16, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Cool, now I’ll probably end up changing it every week (maybe not every week, but quite frequently at least).

  25. Rajesh

    July 18, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Quite interesting

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  28. Chris

    July 27, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Hmm. This didn’t work for me. Do this trick also works on Windows 2003? I pondered. 😐

  29. nirmaltv

    July 27, 2007 at 10:26 am

    @Chris,
    I’m not sure about Windows 2003 as I have not worked on it. I dont have a system to test this also.

  30. Chris

    July 27, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Heh. It doesn’t. It probably have to do something with the performance/preference settings. However, I tested it with Windows XP and it works just fine. Thanks! 😀

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  32. RJ

    August 17, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Thank you for this tip.

    On a related but not connected topic, would you know how to set change the default path of the ‘My Pictures’ short cut in XP.

    Default points to ‘My Pictures’ folder in ‘My Documents’. I would like to change it to point to ‘Pictures’ folder on an external NAS drive. (Something like Y:/Pictures)

    Anyone else have an idea on this?

  33. nirmaltv

    August 18, 2007 at 10:39 am

    @RJ,
    I have not tried out the point mentioned by you, if I get a work around, I’ll surely post it. 🙂

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  35. Pavan Kumar

    November 18, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    @RJ
    that can be done by tweaking registry, if u are not aware of that, better get some tweaking software, lots of such softwares are available..

  36. Gravity

    March 1, 2008 at 5:45 am

    great share, thnx alot!

  37. Mystar

    April 30, 2008 at 4:38 am

    I found your tip from a google search…i was looking for how to change the folder icons on removable storage drives. This one is a good start.
    Do you know if there’s a way to customize the folders on a flash drive so that the custom icons are changed in any vista machine you plug the flash drive into?
    Is there anything i can put in the autrun file that will do it?

    • Bar

      May 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      Exactly what i need!!
      It just uses system default after replugging it.
      there must be a configuration file with specified commands for the icon.
      I used once such file in a windows XP to change a background images for folders (i mean inside the white background area in a folder).
      I know this file works with 7 and vista (we need it for vista).

      Here’s some info:

      the file you need to write any folder attributes is located inside each folder in your system, you just can’t see it. When you creating this file you override the system default file.

      file name has to be: desktop.ini (can and should be hidden)

      the commands i used for bg image is:
      IconArea_Image=path+”filename”.jpg/.png/.bmp – this specifies the location of the image to be drawn in the folder’s background. for example – C:\picture1.jpg

      IconArea_Text=0x00FFFFFF – specifies the color of the text of the folder, if you have let’s say “music” folder then the color of the the text for music will be 0x00FFFFFF which is the hexadecimal color code of White.

      you can see other codes here: http://www.december.com/html/spec/colorhex.html

  38. patrick

    May 12, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Dude!!

    B*I*G C*H*E*E*R*S on this!!

    By far one of the coolest tips given and easily understood!

    Much obliged,

    Patrick

  39. Indian Television Media News

    May 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Cool tip, need to check it

  40. Superfast

    May 23, 2009 at 5:14 am

    To change a folder icon on a removable disk, first create a folder in your My Documents and name it what you want the folder to be on your flash drive. Then, change the icon (Right-click > Properties > Customize > Change icon). Cut the folder onto your flash drive, and move the files from the old folder into the new folder, and delete the old folder.

  41. Lime

    July 16, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    I have tried this it didnt work for me can i get some help?

    My icon is a converted image to .ico could that be the problem?

    [autorun]
    Label=Cruzer
    Icon=favicon.ico

    That is what i have wrote in notepad and than copied both the notepad file and the .ico image to usb but nothing has happend when i have taken the usb and out in reinserted it into a usb port :S

    what am i doing wrong any idea? and my usb is a Sandisk Cruzer could that be it?

  42. 1000km

    July 18, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Many thanks for this.

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  45. Andy

    December 15, 2009 at 3:41 am

    – nice
    – and make ICO and INF files hidden
    – Thanx

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  47. Icon Changer

    March 1, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks for your useful article friend. It really helped me.
    I found one working Icon Changer software over here:
    Exe Icon Changer
    I guess this will be helpful for all over here.

  48. Bruno Philipe

    April 25, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Wow! Cool! It really works. Making it in windows it works on Macs?
    Anyway, Thanks!
    An tip to others: Made both .ifo and .ico files hidden, so you don’t see them in the open folder, and no one will know how you did it! lol

  49. mathan

    May 19, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    thanking you

  50. abhay

    July 4, 2010 at 12:44 am

    not working for me in windows 7

  51. lolwerwer

    August 21, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    you sir are a genius!!!

  52. Firewallbypass

    December 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    nice tip men..very easy to apply..

  53. Bar

    May 13, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    What if i want to attach icons for inside folders?
    How can i do that? what commands are needed for it?

    For example, I have in an external HDD with 6 folders: Music, Games, TV Series, Movies, Software, Pictures. And i have 6 icons for each one. What i did was changing each folder’s icon in it’s properties, but when i reconnected the device, the icon’s didn’t appear. No icon was removed from the specified dir’ i have given before. The icons used were the system’s default folder icon dll file.

    Please if i can configure it somehow and you can tell how, give it a help, i really appreciate any help.

    btw, OS is: Vista ultimate x64, HDD is: WD MyBook 1TB
    All icons is located inside the drive so the icons can be mounted on any computer. It’s in G:/Software/Folders Icons/”filename”.ico

    Thanks alot!

  54. Stuart Vicencio

    October 15, 2011 at 1:42 am

    This is really interesting, You’re an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your feed and stay up for in quest of extra of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  55. Sara

    June 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Its great, I found something more from,
    http://www.smartusb.net

  56. d

    August 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    It is not changing at all

  57. David Braybrook

    August 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Seems not to work any more in Windows 10 – is there an alternative for that operation system?

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