After messing around with my hard drive and copying the contents of a software DVD (CyberLink PowerDirector) to a local partition on the hard drive, I ended up with a drive that has no icon at all. Even though this did not affect the performance of the operating system in any manner, it just looked awful. After going through some of the usual settings, I have compiled a few steps that anyone can follow to reset their folder or drive icons. So here is how you can go about restoring the default icons used for drives:
1. Remove autorun.inf
The “autorun.inf” file is used mainly by optical drives (CD, DVD and Blu-ray drives) to set their icons, labels and default actions. But it can also be used for hard drive partitions. You can see one of these “autorun.inf” files in your Windows 10 installation DVD. This file is kept in the root folder of a drive and interpreted by Windows File Explorer to change the drive icons. If you drive has an icon which looks different from the default drive icons in Windows 10, then it could be because of “autorun.inf”. You can fix this simply by deleting “autorun.inf” from the drive. For example, in order to restore the drive icon for D: drive, you have to delete “D:\autorun.inf” file.
2. Remove registry settings for drive icons
Some software can change the default drive icons using the settings found in Windows Registry. In order to reset drive icons back to their default values, you can remove these registry keys and restart Windows. Here is how this is done:
- Launch registry editor by pressing Win+R, typing regedit and pressing Enter.
- Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons.
- You will find various sub-keys named with drive letters under the key named DriveIcons. Delete a sub-key for a drive letter for which you want to reset the drive icon. If you want to reset drive icons for all the drives, then you can delete the whole DriveIcons key.
- Restart your computer so Windows can load the new settings.
Using these two methods, you can restore the drive icons back to their default ones easily. Both of these methods need a system reboot in order for the changes to take effect.