In Windows Vista’s Windows Explorer window, when user chooses to display the files and folders listing in Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons and Tiles view, Windows Vista can show a preview thumbnail on the icons of folders itself using content inside the folders, normally image and photo or file type icon if there is no graphic file inside the folder.

The thumbnail preview picture on folders’ icon listing in Windows Explorer window allows user to have a quick yet comprehensive glance about the file contents that may contains inside the folders. However, sometimes, the thumbnail preview image is not the one that user wants. In this case, user can customize or self define a picture to be used, placed and showed on the folder icon.

  1. In Windows Explorer, at folder parent level, right click on the folder that want to change its preview image on folder icon, and then select Properties.
  2. Click on Customize tab.
  3. Under Folder pictures section, click on Choose File button.
  4. In “Browse” dialog box appears, select an image file to represent the folder and to show on the folder icon when viewing directory listing in supported views, and click Open.
  5. The selected picture will be used as thumbnail preview image on folder icon with immediate effect.
  6. To revert the setting (remove the user-set folder picture, click on Restore Default button instead.

Alternative Method:

  1. Copy an image in .JPG or .GIF format that user want to use as folder picture into the folder itself.
  2. Rename the picture file name to Folder. For example, Picture1.jpg should be renamed to Folder.jpg and Picture1.gif should be renamed to Folder.gif.
  3. Optionally, set the folder picture file (Folder.img) with hidden attribute to prevent it from displaying when listing folder’s contents.
  4. To revert and restore the original Windows Vista automatic assigned folder pictures, just delete the Folder.img file.

Note that for alternative method, .BMP and .PNG image formats is not supported.