Control Panel Desktop Icon

How to Change the Desktop Control Panel Icon in Vista
This will show you how to change the Control Panel icon on the Desktop and in the Windows Explorer Navigation Pane Folder section to any icon you want for all user accounts.
How to Change the Desktop Control Panel Icon in Vista

information   Information
This will show you how to change the Control Panel icon on the Desktop and in the Windows Explorer Navigation Pane Folder section to any icon you want for all user accounts.
Tip   Tip
For how to have the Control Panel icon on the Desktop, see: How to Restore and Change a Desktop Icon in Vista
warning   Warning
The icons you decide to use must be a 256x256 bit .ico (icon) file, not .png, to be used in Vista without viewing problems. A png file must be converted to a 256x256 ico file before it can be used. To convert a PNG to ICO you must use a program such as this free 30 day trial program called Axialis IconWorkshop: Axialis IconWorkshop Download Page. Here's a good location for some icons: deviantArt: Dock Icons

EXAMPLE: Before and After Control Panel Icon Change
Before.jpg After.jpg

Here's How:
1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.​
3. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below step 5)​
NOTE: CLSID is there. You just need to scroll past all the file extensions first.​
5. In the right pane, right click on (Default) and click on Modify.​

6. To Restore the Default Control Panel Icon -
A) Type %SystemRoot%\System32\imageres.dll,-27 and click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
B) Go to step 8.​

7. To Change the Control Panel Icon -
A) Type in the full path of where the icon is saved at and click on OK.​
(EX: C:\Users\Everyday\Downloads\Tools.ico)​
NOTE: The icon will need to remain in it's location for as long as you are using it. You can use any icon (.ico file) you want, or one that came with Vista. (EX: A .dll file path) See the How to Use a DLL OR EXE Icon Library File tip section below.​

8. Close Regedit.​
NOTE: The change will be immediate. You may need to press F5 to refresh the window to see the new icon though.​

Tip   Tip
How to Use a DLL OR EXE Icon Library File
Example: For a .dll library full path, you would type in something similar to this: C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll,24

1. imageres.dll is just one the many icon library files that come with Vista. This one contains most of the different icons used by
2. The ,24 is the icon's index number location inside the imageres.dll icon library.
NOTE: See the highlighted icon in the screenshot below.

3. You can determine this by counting the icons in the library. The top left icon is 0, and it counts vertically down until you run out
if icons. It then starts in the next column/row and repeats vertically down.
NOTE: See the added red numbers in the screenshot below to help understand this.

4. When you count to the highlighted icon, you get 24. Thus, the imageres.dll,24
(Icon Library File),(Icon Index Number)
To see how to open a box like this to just see what the icon index number is, See: How to Change a Shortcut Folder or File Icon in Vista and How to Change a Folder Icon in Vista


That's it,

Related Tutorials

Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink


I've spent some time checking every "DefaultIcon" in the registry last night, but how did I miss it? U've done a great & better job than me, Shawn, Thanks again!
Your welcome niGht kiD,

LOL, do not feel bad. I missed it the first few times through it myself until my eyes stopped crossing. haha

Hi Shawn,
Just a quick note to say thanks. Finally got rid of CP icon and replaced it with one I created. The task seemed so daunting at first and I almost gave up in frustration, but I stuck with it, and after going over the tutorial more than once I eventually saw where I was slipping up. Thanks again! Well-written tutorial.
Your welcome Rajah. I'm happy to hear that you got it the way you wanted.

I want to make this tutorial easy for everyone to follow. If you have any suggestions or ideas to add from your experience to add to the tutorial to help prevent others from slipping up like you and make it easier, then please let me know. :geek:

Thank you,
Hello Claustrawberry, and welcome to Vista Forums.

It could have happened from some Windows Update, using a sfc /scannow command, or some other changed setting that reset it.

Double check the settings in the registry to see if they have been changed or not. You should be able to change it back if it was.

Hope this helps,
I've followed your directions, but my control panel won't change. I've tried different icon files as well as just switching the default dll to see if it would change. Any help would be apprecieated.

also, could you please post a link for the control panel icon you used. I like it.
Your welcome Ktrentra,

Right click on the wrench.ico file and click on Properties. Under the General tab, see if there is a Unblock button. If there is click on it to unblock the file. If not, then it's already unblocked.

Next, try these value combinations to see if they will work for you instead:






Did you refresh the window to see the changes? If so, then try logging off and on to see that helps.

You may also have a incorrect icon file. The one in the ZIP file I posted still works fine for me. You might try it or another one as a test to see.

I think the problem is that you are using the 32bit Home Edition while Brink is using the 64bit premium edition. I have the 32bit Edition and have changed my Control Panel icon by changing some different registry keys.

To change the icon on the desktop, address bar, and folder trees go to:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\ [FONT=&quot]{26EE0668-A00A-44D7-9371-BEB064C98683}\DefaultIcon
[FONT=&quot]In the right panel, right-click "(Default)" and then "Modify". Change the info the the new icon location.

This will not change the control panel icon everywhere. When you click on the star menu and let your pointer rest over where it says "Control Panel", the icon will still be the old icon. To change this one go to:
[/FONT]HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\ [FONT=&quot]{[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]5399E694-6CE5-4D6C-8FCE-1D8870FDCBA0}\DefaultIcon[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
Use same instructions above to change icon.

Hope this helps.
Hello CrimsonPhoenix, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Thank you for your addition. I hope that it helps Ktrenta as well.

The location below used in the tutorial would be there by default in both the 32-bit and 64-bit Vista. It's only for the Desktop and Navigation Pane though.

hello brink
although your post isn't that new I hope you can still help me :D

my control panel icon didnt change hoovering over the start menu, I followed crimson's suggestion too, but I first accidently changed the wrong string...instead of scrolling till DefaultIcon I went to the main [FONT=&quot]{[/FONT][FONT=&quot]5399E694-6CE5-4D6C-8FCE-1D8870FDCBA0}[/FONT] and changed there the default. can you pls tell me the original code in order I can reset this?

(anyway doing all changes my icon on start menu (hovering) didnt change :shock:)
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