Folders 2: Dress Up Your Bland Folder Icons

September 24, 2009 at 1:15 am Leave a comment

Supported platforms: Windows XP & Vista
Version: 2.0.0.5
Released: September 29, 2008

Yellow folder after yellow folder, thats what the typical Windows computer looks like. Open Windows Explorer and youre bathed in a sea of yellow folders. Not only is it boring but its a waste of visual real estate that could make your life more productive.

Folders 2 lets you quickly and easily change folder icons. You can change a folders icon to whatever icons you happen to have or use one of the many icons included with the program. Weve included music, video, sports, business, money, and other icons that can help you manage your files better.

This update to Folders adds the following:

An enhanced user interface with icon previewing
Over 150 different icons to use
A shell extension so that you can right click on a folder in Explorer and quickly select a custom icon

 

The ability to change folder icons that start with, end with, or contain characters that you choose
The ability to change folder icons that contain a certain percentage of files
An interface to add your own favorite icons for quick access to the Explorer context menu or within the Folders 2 program

Using Folders 2
There are two different methods to change your folder icons using Folders 2: You can change icons from the programs main window or you can change them by right-clicking on a folder from within Windows Explorer.

Using the main program window allows you to change multiple folders at once and gives you the ability to refine which folders youd like to change. Using the Explorer context menu can be faster but only allows you to change one folder at a time.

The main program window contains four areas. Theres a folder tree to select the folders that you want to change. Theres an icon selection area where you can choose from icons included with Folders 2, favorites that youve set aside, or icons from files on your system. Theres a preview area to view the icons in their different sizes and theres an area to refine the folder selection using various criteria. Folders 2 main window

Clicking on the box next to a folder will select the folder and its subfolders. It you dont want to change the icon of the subfolders, expand the folder and select the individual folders that you would like to change. Only those boxes with a check will be changed.

Once youve selected the folders youd like to change, select an icon. Folders 2 comes with more than 150 icons to choose from, and you can also select one of your own. To do this, click on the Browse tab and then either the Icon file button or Icon folder button to select an icon file, exe, dll, or an entire folder of icons.

Icons that you plan to use over and over again can be dragged to the Favorites tab or you can right click on an icon and Add to favorites.

Now that youve selected the folders to change and the icon you want to use, simply hit the Apply icons button. All the selected folder icons will be changed to the new icon.

Folders 2 can make assigning icons even easier than what Ive described above. What if you want all of the folders that contain MP3 files to have an icon of an MP3 player? Folders 2 makes it easy. Select the top folder or drive, select the appropriate icon, and then in the “Refine folder selection” area choose the last option. This option lets you change the icon of folders containing a certain percentage of a specific file type. You simply enter the percentage you want to check for and the extension of the file. In our example, I might want a folders icon to change if 70% of the files have the MP3 extension. I simply enter “70” in the first input box and “mp3” in the second box.

Next hit Apply icons and Folders 2 will check each folder for MP3 files. If it finds them it checks to see what percentage of all the files the MP3 files make up. As it finds matching folders the icons are changed.

Changing Icons with the Explorer Context Menu
Youre not limited to changing icons within the Folders 2 window. While in Windows Explorer you can right click on a folder and select PC Magazine Folders which will pop open a menu. This menu contains some of the default icons that come with the program but you can also add any icons that youd like to the menu.

Folders 2 - context menu

Select the More icons menu choice to bring up a window that contains all of the icons included with Folders 2, your favorites, or browse for an icon on your system. It behaves just like the icon selection area of the main program window.

Folders 2 - more icons 

In addition, you can click the Manage menu button to modify the icons that appear in the Folders 2 context menu. Simply click Add and browse for an icon that youd like to have in the context menu. You can also move icons up or down in the context menu or remove them from the menu.

Folders 2 - manage menu

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