How to revert to the old yellow icon for File Explorer?


OldGrantonian

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I have Win 11 Home 21H2, in Dell XPS 17.

Until recently, my taskbar icon for File Explorer was a yellow folder with a tab - identical to folders in metal filing cabinets. It was visible at a glance when the task bar was full of icons.

Now, the icon changes to match the currently active file in File Explorer. For example, if File Explorer is pointing to Desktop, then the taskbar icon is a blue rectangle.

Is there any way to revert to the old taskbar icon?

Thanks
 

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The-Hive

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Search for a yellow folder you wish to use and download it, create a shortcut to explorer.exe and change the icon. move the shortcut to where you want it
 

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Ghot

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Another way would be to go to: C:\Windows\explorer.exe ...and right click and choose: Send to > Desktop (create shortcut)

Then unpin the Explorer that's on the Taskbar, and pin this new one to the Taskbar.
 

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    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22000.856
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    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
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    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
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    Screen Resolution
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    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
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    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
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    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
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    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
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    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

OldGrantonian

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go to: C:\Windows\explorer.exe ...and right click and choose: Send to > Desktop (create shortcut)

Then unpin the Explorer that's on the Taskbar, and pin this new one to the Taskbar.
.
I think that's how I got my current explorer.exe, although my method was more brutal - Ctrl-C followed by Ctrl-V. But the end result should be the same.

I should mention that each of my taskbar icons is followed by some text. That's because I keep multiple instances of Edge open, in multiple browsers. So I need the text to identify each tab.

My memory is no longer reliable, but I think the text next to each icon comes from Classic Shell and Taskbar Tweaker. That gives me a Windows 7 look and feel:
.

1659544222495.png
.
It looks as if the lowest pixels in the screenshot were needed by the Greenshot selection box.

But irrespective of how I exposed the icon text, I can assert that up till recently my File Explorer icon was permanently yellow. Some of the folks on the Microsoft forums were complaining about the same problem. The post that I highlighted below resolved the issue, but MS wrecked the solution at the next build.
.

1659544537487.png
.
Thanks
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17

OldGrantonian

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Search for a yellow folder you wish to use and download it, create a shortcut to explorer.exe and change the icon. move the shortcut to where you want it
.
Thanks for the response.

I'm unclear about your procedure. I now have a downloaded image and a shortcut to explorer.exe

What do I do now? :-)
.
1659546334534.png
.
Thanks
 

Attachments

  • 1659546246571.png
    1659546246571.png
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My Computer

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    Windows 11
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    Dell XPS 17

The-Hive

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Right click the short cut and select properties, then on the shortcut tab select change icon and browse to the location of the icon you downloaded. Firstly move the shortcut and icon to where you want them to live.
Screenshot 2022-08-03 184436.jpg
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware Area 51m R2
    CPU
    10th Gen Core i9 10900K
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Geforce RTX 2080 Super
    Sound Card
    Nvidia HD
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    C: Samsung 2TB P981A
    D: Samsung 2TB 970 Evo
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    Dark side of the moon
    Mouse
    Alienware AW610M
    Browser
    Chrome and Firefox
    Antivirus
    Norton
    Other Info
    Killer E3000 Ethernet Controller
    Killer AX1650i Wi-Fi Network Adaptor
    Alienware Z01G Graphic Amplifier
    Tobii Eye Tracker
  • Operating System
    Dual Boot Windows 11 Pro / Windows 11 Pro Dev build
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 3501
    CPU
    11th Gen i-7 2.80 gb
    Memory
    16Gb
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
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Ghot

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If you go the "change icon" via properties route... where it shows you the choices... click Browse... and browse to:
C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll <----- many, many icon choices.

Another option is just delete the Explorer icon and tell Windows to show: "ThisPC" on the desktop.
It's under...
Settings > Personalization > Themes > Desktop Icons ...in Windows 10... I believe it's located in the same place on Win 11.

ThisPC takes you to the same place as File Explorer.

At top left...
000000 Win 10 vs Win 11.jpg
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22000.856
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    (onboard) Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    DRW-24B1ST CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    COOLER MASTER ATCS 840 Full Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security (latest)
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot®
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

The-Hive

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.
Thanks for the response.

I'm unclear about your procedure. I now have a downloaded image and a shortcut to explorer.exe

What do I do now? :-)
.
View attachment 35561
.
Thanks
Sorry, I think I misread your post, yes Browse to the location in C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll to select the icon you want, I thought that it wasn't in that folder, my fault, sorry. btw yoy can rename the shortcut whatever you want, that is what I did as I use a whole range of custom icons and have my shotrtcut pointing to the D: drive
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware Area 51m R2
    CPU
    10th Gen Core i9 10900K
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Geforce RTX 2080 Super
    Sound Card
    Nvidia HD
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    C: Samsung 2TB P981A
    D: Samsung 2TB 970 Evo
    Case
    Dark side of the moon
    Mouse
    Alienware AW610M
    Browser
    Chrome and Firefox
    Antivirus
    Norton
    Other Info
    Killer E3000 Ethernet Controller
    Killer AX1650i Wi-Fi Network Adaptor
    Alienware Z01G Graphic Amplifier
    Tobii Eye Tracker
  • Operating System
    Dual Boot Windows 11 Pro / Windows 11 Pro Dev build
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 3501
    CPU
    11th Gen i-7 2.80 gb
    Memory
    16Gb
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    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
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    WD 2GB EXT
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OldGrantonian

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At this point, both of the kind responders have suggested using:

- C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll

So, I'll start from that point.

Right-click on the "explorer.exe - shortcut" > Properties > Change icon

In the popup, I wanted to select an unlikely icon that would never be used for File Explorer (FE), but would be clearly visible on the taskbar. So I selected the blue question mark in the next screenshot.

Click "Apply". The FE shortcut icon on the desktop changes to "?", as in the next screenshot.

BTW: The screenshot shows an example of the annoying inconsistencies that have plagued Windows since Windows 7. You can see that the "?" icon is square in the palette, but circular in actual use. Personally, I don't care whether the icon is round, square, or pear-shaped :-) But it doesn't inspire much confidence in the code.

1659694719406.png



After changing the icon image, the following simple tests show, unfortunately, that the shell32.dll method is not going to work for me, despite the fact that it works for the two responders to this post.

Click on the new File Explorer shortcut ("?") on the desktop. A FE window opens, and simultaneously a new tab opens on the taskbar. This new tab has a YELLOW folder icon, rather than "?". That's not a good start :oops:

In FE, I now randomly click on folders which have dedicated icons, such as Dropbox, Pictures, iCloud Drive. In each case that dedicated icon is displayed in the FE tab on the taskbar. I want to see a "?" icon - either square or circular.

I'd be grateful if someone could tell me what I'm doing wrong in my procedure.

Thanks
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17

The-Hive

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That is correct, pin your shortcut to the taskbar, if you are allowed to. It will always show the yellow folder when activated. The icon you created will be useful in finding it as with other icons.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware Area 51m R2
    CPU
    10th Gen Core i9 10900K
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Geforce RTX 2080 Super
    Sound Card
    Nvidia HD
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    C: Samsung 2TB P981A
    D: Samsung 2TB 970 Evo
    Case
    Dark side of the moon
    Mouse
    Alienware AW610M
    Browser
    Chrome and Firefox
    Antivirus
    Norton
    Other Info
    Killer E3000 Ethernet Controller
    Killer AX1650i Wi-Fi Network Adaptor
    Alienware Z01G Graphic Amplifier
    Tobii Eye Tracker
  • Operating System
    Dual Boot Windows 11 Pro / Windows 11 Pro Dev build
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 3501
    CPU
    11th Gen i-7 2.80 gb
    Memory
    16Gb
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    512Gb SSD
    WD 2GB EXT
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Norton

The-Hive

The First Three Star Guru
Guru
VIP
Local time
9:08 AM
Posts
10,210
Location
Wiltshire UK
OS
Windows 11 Pro

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware Area 51m R2
    CPU
    10th Gen Core i9 10900K
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Geforce RTX 2080 Super
    Sound Card
    Nvidia HD
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    C: Samsung 2TB P981A
    D: Samsung 2TB 970 Evo
    Case
    Dark side of the moon
    Mouse
    Alienware AW610M
    Browser
    Chrome and Firefox
    Antivirus
    Norton
    Other Info
    Killer E3000 Ethernet Controller
    Killer AX1650i Wi-Fi Network Adaptor
    Alienware Z01G Graphic Amplifier
    Tobii Eye Tracker
  • Operating System
    Dual Boot Windows 11 Pro / Windows 11 Pro Dev build
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 3501
    CPU
    11th Gen i-7 2.80 gb
    Memory
    16Gb
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    512Gb SSD
    WD 2GB EXT
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Norton
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