Configuring Windows Explorer
Specifying Magic Desktop Icons

Icons that the user places on the desktop are placed in a Desktop folder (c:\Windows\Desktop in Windows 95). However, serveral operating system icons are defined in the registry. I assume that this is simply to make Windows more user hostile. However, it does have the advantage of making it difficult (nearly impossible) for the average user to either delete the icon or to change the image that is displayed.

These icons (application shortcuts) are defined in the registry under

Deleting the associated registry key will delete the icon from the desktop. If you create a new key (using Edit/New/Key) with the same name as the corresponding key in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID, then the application's icon will be placed on the desktop. Double click on the default property and enter a description. Its value does not really matter because it appears that this string is not used for anything. The name which is actually displayed is the default value of the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID entry. (Verify this by re-naming one of the icons currently being displayed and then search the registry for the new name.)

Hint: When creating new keys, don't re-type the CLSID ... it is too easy to make an error. Instead, locate the desired CLSID in the registry (or at the bottom of this page), copy it to the clipboard, and simply paste it into the name of the new key. (Ctrl-Ins will copy, Shift-Ins will paste.)

If you want to change the icon(s) associated with the application, simply modify

Some applications may have more than one icon.

Your changes will take effect the next time you log on.

The following icons are defined via ..\Desktop\NameSpace

        Icon name               Key value
        Inbox                   {00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
        Recycle Bin             {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
        The Internet            {FBF23B42-E3F0-101B-8488-00AA003E56F8}
        The Microsoft Network   {00028B00-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
        WS_FTP Pro Explorer     {49707377-6974-6368-2E4A-756E6F644A01}
The My Computer icon is handled differently.
Reference: This information is based on data from the Microsoft web page. In order to access this reference, your browser must support JavaScript and you must register with Microsoft online Support. (Most of the registration info is stored at Microsoft, and a short identifier is stored in a cookie on your machine. It also appears that the VBScript is reading your registry and sending info back to Microsoft. Mmmmm This could be considered a privacy issue.)