Recipe 5.2. Changing


Recipe 5.2. Changing "Unchangeable" Desktop Icons and System Objects

Problem

You want to change the name, balloon text (text that appears when you hover your mouse over the icon), and icons of system objects such as Outlook, Internet Explorer, My Computer, and Network Neighborhood that can't be altered in the normal way.

Solution

Using a graphical user interface

  1. Right-click on the desktop and choose Properties Desktop Customize Desktop. The Desktop Items dialog box appears as shown in Figure 5-6.

    Figure 5-6. If you can't change a desktop icon in the normal way, the Desktop Items dialog box will let you do it


  2. Click on the desktop item whose icon you want to change, such as My Computter.

  3. Choose an icon from the group that appears and click on OK twice.

  4. If you don't see an icon in the group that you want to use, click on the Browse button, navigate to the location of the icon you want to use, click on Open, and then click OK twice.

Using the Registry

  1. Open the Registry Editor and go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID, a key that lets you change characteristics of system objects.

  2. Find the CLSID of the desktop icon whose properties you want to change. Use Table 5-1 to find the CLSID for the icon.

  3. Highlight the CLSID whose name or balloon text you want to change. For example, for My Computer, highlight the subkey HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}. Keep in mind that HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID has many CLSIDs listed under it, so it might take you a while to find the proper subkey.

  4. Once you find the right subkey, if you want to edit the name of the object, open the Default value and type in the text that you want to appear underneath the object. If you want to edit the balloon text for the object, open the InfoTip value and type in the text that you want to appear as balloon text.

  5. Save your work. Exit the Registry and reboot. You may also be able to force the changes to take effect without rebooting. After you exit the Registry, go to your desktop, and hit F5 to refresh the screen. The new names and balloon tips might now appear.

That will let you change the name or balloon text, but not the icon itself. To change the icon:

  1. Open the Registry Editor and go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID.

  2. Find the CLSID of the desktop icon whose properties you want to change. Use Table 5-1 to find the CLSID for the icon.

  3. Open the subkey and then the DefaultIcon subkey under that. For example, to change the icon for My Computer, open the subkey HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\DefaultIcon.

  4. Change the Default value to the path and name of the icon that you want displayed.

  5. Exit the Registry. You may have to reboot in order for the new settings to take effect.

Some people aren't able to change their icons using this method. If you can't, try editing the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CLSID\ using this method. It should do the trick.


Discussion

Most desktop objects, unlike Outlook, Internet Explorer, My Computer, and Network Neighborhood, and a few others, let you easily change all of their properties. First right-click on the icon and choose Properties. To change the name of the icon, choose the General tab and in the box at the top, type in the name that you want to appear beneath the icon. To change the balloon text, click on the Shortcut tab and in the Comment box type in the text that you want to appear. To change the icon, click on Change Icon, choose an icon from the group that appears, and click on OK. When you're ready to make the change to the name, balloon text, or icon click on OK again. The object's name, balloon text, and icon should now be changed.

But some desktop objects require special handling, so use Recipe Recipe 5.1 for changing them.

See Also

Windows XP doesn't normally allow you to change the icons for individual files. However, you can download a piece of shareware that will do it for you. Get IconChanger from Shell Labs at http://www.shelllabs.com.



Windows XP Cookbook
Windows XP Cookbook (Cookbooks)
ISBN: 0596007256
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 408

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