3 Free Icon Changer Programs to Customize Your Folders

Saikat Basu 05-09-2009

icon-changer-programHow boring is yellow? The color brings on a state of yellow blindness when you have been staring at it for a decade. But ever since I can remember, that has been Microsoft’s color of choice for its folders. Vista has brought in some changes, but for us Windows XP users it’s the same old default without resorting to a total change of our icons. We can change icons but we fall short at changing its colors.


Changing the colors of our folders has certain visual advantages. Other than the superficial visual appeal, different colors for different folders can serve as visual tags. We can color code folders according to importance (for instance, red for red hot documents) or say, according to contents (green for country music, orange for grunge?) or whatever strikes our fancy.

Looking at a bunch of yellow folders can make us unsighted as to the true value of the folders. And it’s quite easy to inadvertently delete the wrong folder. With color labeling, we can easily make the important ones standout amidst the sea of yellow.

So, let’s begin to paint our folders in any colors other than yellow, with these three free icon changer programs.


iColorFolder - icon changer program


iColorFolder (ver. 1.4.2) is a small icon changer program that lets us color Windows XP folders with a right click. Choose from 7 different colors (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Pink and Gray) or eight differently colored folder icons. Selecting a new color is a cinch. Just right click on the selected folder and select Color Label to go into the sub-menu with the seven colors. And if you hanker for the old yellow, you can go back to it easily by selecting None.

iColorFolder also comes with three skins – Agua, Mac OS X and Vista. Additional folder skins are available for download in a 7MB pack. The skins can be easily applied with the installed Skin selector. On un-installation, all icons return to the same ol’ yellow.

icon changer program

The only two negatives I could observe were its tendency to realign my desktop icons when they weren’t auto-arranged. The other peeve relates to the lack of skins. But beyond this, iColorFolder is a simple color labeler for our folders.


iColorFolder is an Open Source project and supported by Windows XP.


folderico - icon changer freeware

Folderico (ver.3.7.2) is another icon changer program built for Windows XP just to give it some touch of color. Folderico is quite similar to iColorFolder but it has its individualistic pluses.

Using Folderico, we can browse to the target folder and select any icon to apply from the five icon libraries provided.  A further bit of customization can be added by putting in a custom tooltip for the folder that gets displayed with a mouse hover.


icon changer software

Additional Folderico themes (i.e. icon libraries) can be downloaded from the website. Using an associated program called ICL Builder (Beta), we can create ICL-files from standalone ico files.

Right click integration is a matter of choosing the choice theme and setting it. We can opt for one theme and set it to apply on folders using the right click context menu. The best feature of this little free software (apart from the tooltip customization) is that it stores the folder’s new icon within the folder itself. So, if we transfer the folder to another computer it will retain the new icon.

Folderico is a free software and supported by Windows XP.



change folder icon color

Customizing a folder’s icon is just one feature in the repertoire of StyleFolder (ver.1.0.3). It goes one up on the first two icon changer programs by letting us customize the entire folder starting with its icon.

Let’s start with changing the icon – StyleFolder does not offer any unique sets of icons but we can use it with any available (or downloaded) icon resources.

The folder can be given its own “˜wallpaper’ using any picture as a background. Set contrasts within the folder by giving the sub-folders names their own color. Like Folderico again, you can change the folder’s info tip. Right click integration makes the whole process easier and if going back to square one is easy with a click.


Again, the best thing about this freeware (like Folderico) is its ability to keep the look “˜permanent’ even with a change in folder location, as the customizations are stored within the folder itself.

StyleFolder is a free software and supported by Windows XP.

As with all things related to customization, the ultimate goal is to create an intuitive system for ourselves. These three are just a few among the many tools which help us to change a bit of our Windows user experience.

Probably, Varun’s post on 10 Tools to Overhaul Your Windows Interface 10 Tools to Overhaul Your Windows Interface Read More would make good reading for those bored with timeworn milk-and-water looks of our PCs. If you happen to read his post, then do also click through to the mention of Rainbow Folders, another of the ilk we talked about here.

Are you caught up in colors and customizations? Or do you like your yellows just the way they are?

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. jackie
    February 11, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks. I'm using XP and it's great. Least I don't have a hard time changing my icons. XP is a classic. And like Gates said classics never go out of style.

    • Saikat
      February 11, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      Ah. I have fond memories of XP :)

      Though Windows 7 gives me the same feeling of stability.

  2. Anton
    January 28, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Author forgot to mention FolderMarker software.
    As for me it actually the best.
    Btw it works properly on W7/8.

    • Saikat
      January 28, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation, Anton. Looks good.

  3. Drew
    January 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I think you need to make a windows 7 version

  4. TC
    December 8, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Nothing for Vista (x64, specifically)???

    I ask because I am getting sick-n-TIRED of the whole Vista schemata as I sit waiting for my Win7 Upgrade Kit promised by HP/Arvato *I know A LOT of ppl are still waiting*

    I'll keep looking then :(

  5. Craig
    September 9, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    What I have never been able to find - with the exception of a program offered free by PCMag (before they started to try and make money from their programs) - is a program that will change the colour of the OPEN folder so that it stands out from all the others.

    Two features are needed (1) to be able to change the colour of the CLOSED folders and (2) to allow changing the colour of any of the CLOSED folders, whether standard yellow or a custom colour, to a different colour when OPEN.

    Does anyone know of a program which will do this?

  6. Sweton Fleming
    September 7, 2009 at 1:05 am

    hi buddy.....ur study regarding twitter followers was really very amazing ...

  7. John Paul
    September 5, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    what about Vista? Not everybody is still using XP!

    • affyk
      September 6, 2009 at 6:20 am


    • emtec
      September 8, 2009 at 8:29 am

      And what about win 7? are we living in the past?