Change Control Panel Icon in Windows 7

Change Control Panel Icon in Windows 7 Do you want to change the Control Panel icon in Windows 7?


You can either do it via a registry tweak or use a handy tool like IconPackager from Stardock. Let’s see how difficult that registry tweak is!



Only advanced users should try this registry tweak, because we are modifying an important registry entry. If you are a beginner, you might want to consider to read the full article and do some additional research on the topic. If you are too lazy for this, just spend $10 and grab Iconpackager, it will do all the work for you.

Method 1: Change Control Panel Icon via Registry Tweak

The instructions are intended for advanced users. Feel free to post any questions if you want to try it. Beginners should try Method 2.

1. Step First of all, open up the registry and run it as administrator (click on Start and enter regedit.exe into search field, right-click on regedit.exe and select “Run as administrator”, click on “continue” when prompted)

2. StepNow uncollapse the entry [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}\DefaultIcon]

The easiest way to find the entry:
Uncollapse HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
Enter “CLSID” on your keyboard (it will auto-jump to the registry entry)
Uncollapse CLSID
Enter “{21E” on your keyboard
Uncollapse DefaultIcon

Grant permission to modify registry

3. StepRight-click on the entry “Default” and click on “Permissions”:

Registry entry DefaultIcon: change permission

4. Step Select your username, check the option “Full Control” below and click on “OK”:

Permission for Registry editing: Full Control

Sidenote: This step is very important, because some registry keys and values are protected by Windows 7 and require special permissions or you will receive the error message “Cannot edit”.

Change system path to Control Panel icon

5. Step Now, double-click on the entry “Default”:

Registry Entry Default Icon

6. Step Change the value to the system path to the icon that you want to use as your Control Panel icon from now on:

Change Control Panel Icon System Path

7. Step Confirm the path and click on “OK”.

8. Step Voilà, you just changed the system path of your Control Panel icon!

Default Control Panel Icon

If you want to restore the original Control Panel Icon again, simply enter the following path:
%SystemRoot%\System32\imageres.dll,-27

Cannot edit: Error writing the value’s new contents

Cannot edit: Error writing the values new contents

If you are receiving the error message “Cannot edit”, then you should reread step 4 again.
You need to give your user permissions to modify the registry entry or it won’t work.

Right-click on the regedit.exe and click on “Run as administrator”. If you don’t have administrator privileges you will not be able to modify this registry entry. What you can do is to log into the hidden Windows 7 administrator account and then try it again, if it works, then you will need to give your main account administrator privileges.

Method 2: Change Control Panel Icon via IconPackager

The easiest way to change the Control Panel icon in Windows 7 is to use the tool Icon Packager from Stardock.
It allows you to modify basically all system icons!

IconPackager 5 IconPackager 5

IconPackager is not free, but $10 is a ridiculous low price and it will save you hours of work!

IconPackager is part of ObjectDesktop2010, which is a completely suite of tools that allow you to customize Windows 7.
If you are still looking for a tool that can do *anything* and help you to make Windows 7 look 100% different, you should read my review:

Object Desktop 2010

5 of 5 0 (100%) 1 vote
- Cheers!

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Written by:
Oliver is the founder and lead editor of this site. He is interested in finding new ways to break Windows, find common errors and help others to fix them. Aside from that, he loves to fully customize systems with Rainmeter and Dreamscene, find out more about ancient civilizations like the Chachapoya, sharpen his digital photography skills and create software with a small group of selected developers. If you would like to connect with him to discuss anything, send him a mail!

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2 Responses to Change Control Panel Icon in Windows 7

  1. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    SpartanW80 said:

    Advanced method didn’t work, which is kinda disappointing because I wrote a script for it just to realize it doesn’t work.

  2. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    fluffypuff said:

    An even easier method is to create a shortcut of Control Panel, and change the icon on that. Then under Personalize > Change Desktop Icons, uncheck Control Panel.

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