How to Change a File Icon in Windows 10 (for Any File Type)

If you have a file type that has no icon or using an ugly one, you can easily change the file icon. Follow these steps to change the file icon of a specific file type in Windows 10 to anything you want.

I generally dislike the blank file icons. For instance, even when I understand the language, I like to have subtitles for the movies I watch. However, the SRT file type in Windows has no icon whatsoever. This always bugs me. So, one of the first things I do is set an icon for the SRT file types.

The good thing is, it’s pretty simple to do. Here’s how.


Before moving forward, I assume you already have an icon and the said icon is in the ICO format. If you’ve downloaded the icon from the Internet then it is probably in PNG or JPG format. In that case, convert the icon to ICO format. There are a lot of free services on the internet that can convert images to ICO format.

If you don’t already have an icon, use websites like IconArchive to download some nice free icons.

Also, store the icon somewhere safe. For example, I generally store all my icons in a dedicated folder so that I don’t accidentally delete the said icon. If you delete the icon after setting up, the file type will show default or no icon.

Change File Icon for Any File Type

Unlike the folder icon, there is no built-in option to change the file icon in Windows 10 or previous versions of Windows for that matter. You have to edit registry keys. It is messy and unnecessarily complex. So, we are going to use a free, portable, and small software called FileTypesMan from Nirsoft Utilities.

1. First, download FileTypesManager from Nirsoft. Being a portable application, there is no need to install it. Just extract the ZIP file and execute the application. In the main home screen, you will see all the file types in your system.

Change file icon win 10 - blank file icon

2. In the application, find the file type you are looking for, right-click on it and select “Edit Selected File Type” option.

Change file icon win 10 - select edit

3. Here, click on the “…” button next to the Default Icon field.

Change file icon win 10 - click browse

4. The above action will open the default Windows Icons list. Since we want to set a custom icon, click on the “Browse” button.

Change file icon win 10 - click browse 2

5. In this window, go to where you’ve stored the icon, select it and click on the “Open” button.

Change file icon win 10 - select icon and open

6. Back in the Change Icon window, select the newly added icon and click on the “Ok” button.

Change file icon win 10 - select icon

7. Click on the “Ok” button in the FileTypeManager window to save changes.

Change file icon win 10 - confirm changes

8. Close the application.

That is it. You’ve changed the icon of the target file type. From now on, you will see the custom icon for that specific file type. In my case, the SRT file type will have a new custom icon set by me rather than the blank icon.

Change file icon win 10 - custom icon for file type

If you are not seeing the changes immediately, either restart Windows File Explorer or reboot Windows. Doing any one of the two actions should reflect the changes.

Hope that helps. If you stuck in the procedure or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

If you like this article, do check out how to set a custom icon to drives in Windows 10 and how to create an invisible folder in Windows.

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