How to use custom icon for flash drive

icon_ducatiI had previously voiced my fondness for fast and expensive flash drives . Windows is lacking in visuals when it comes to displaying attached drives, but it’s easily fixable by attaching custom icons for better usability.

Create icon

  1. Go to site of flash drive manufacturer and look for photos. They are not shy to include those so should be easy.
  2. Choose image that would remain recognizable when resized to small icon.
  3. Grab image and icon editors of your choice (I use Paint.NET and IcoFX , both covered in my screenshoting series).
  4. Make and save icon. You need 48×48 size for Windows XP. I think Vista supports larger sizes – icon format can hold few different sizes in single file.

Create settings

Create plain text file named autorun.inf with following content (replacing file name with what file you created):


Link for lazy

Autorun is widely used by viruses, some antiviruses overreact and kill it on sight – so create backup for such cases.

Put it all on drive

Copy icon and autorun to the root directory of your flash drive, unplug and next time you plug it in – it will have custom icon.


Related Posts


  • Oh noes, my autorun is disabled :) I see you have the same “problem” with drive letters. Yesterday I came to letter “R” already, and 2 of my HDs were unplugged =)

    So here’s a question for you… What happens when you reach “Z” and you plug in another usb key?

  • @Klemen

    Hadn’t checked but I assume icon is still supposed to show up with autorun disabled. Turning it off cancels autostart but not reading of autorun.inf… I think. :) Let me know if you can confirm or disprove this.

    If you are out of letters next connected drive would be detected but volume won’t be mounted to letter.

  • Well, I will try and report back! I believe icon will stay unchaned.

  • Double post, sry :)
    I’ve tried with your favicon, and here’s what happened:

    So I guess you are right and the icon tries to load even when autorun is disabled. The reason for the generic windows icon is probably in my partially corrupted registry (had some problems with acdsee, image associations were never the same again after that).

    Still, as a die-hard Total Commander fan, I need some other workaround to make my icons pretty :)

  • @Klemen

    Maybe Vista just has trouble making sense of using 16×16 icon.

    ACDSee – ewww… I am staying away from it for years already. :) IrfanView rocks.

    Total Commander is completely awesome, wish it was freeware. :)

  • Acdsee is the fastest raw viewer I know, tried many others, but I am always coming back, using it since version 3.
    Irfan’s little piece of code indeed is very nice ( I have it installed), but it’s just not enough for my humble needs :)

  • @Klemen

    No idea about RAWs, last camera I owned (till it broke) was before digital age. :) Never bothered to buy new one.

  • I often wondered how the process of making a icon was done. Looks very easy to do and directions are very good.

  • @Madmouse

    It’s not much different from image editing but usual image editors historically have little to none support for icons. IcoFX is nice, real life-saver when it comes to making images out of icons embedded in software executables as well.

    Drawing original icon is way out of my league but adaptiing existing image is easy. :)

  • @Klemen

    Went to site of Studio and it looks like overkill. :) I tend to use simple tools (IcoFX) when I can get away with that.

    That online converter is nice, thanks! I had seen some mentions of it lately but hadn’t checked till now.

  • Nice trick. I remember doing all these kind of things on Windows 98 few years back.

  • @Nihar

    Heh, Win98 was requiring drivers for flash drives, what a pain. :)

  • @DataRat

    Heard about that one, but not much interested. I don’t need it at my computers (file managers ftw)…

    What’s best about creating icons for external drives that they stay with you through other people’s PCs.

Comments are closed.