How to Change the Default Folder Picture in Windows 10 File Explorer

Windows will automatically pick a folder’s default picture. But if you like to customize File Explorer and make it your own, here is how to set the picture you want.

When you have many photos in a folder, Windows chooses the default picture it displays when you have the view set to thumbnail view at Medium or larger. Typically, Windows will choose one of the first four listed in the folder. Or, it will just display a Windows default picture icon. But you might want to customize things a bit. Especially if you take several photos, finding the right collection can be easier with a visual cue. Here is a look at how you can make any picture you want a folder’s default one that displays when you open File Explorer.

Note: This is not the same thing as changing a folder icon in File Explorer. This will allow you to set the default image that displays on the folder.

Change Default Folder Picture Windows 10 File Explorer

First, open File Explorer and right-click on the folder you want to change the default picture. And choose Properties from the context menu. Then click the Customize tab and click the “Choose File” button. For example, here I am changing the default photo for the folder named “Saved pictures.”

Then browse to the location of the image you want to use. It can come from the same folder or any other accessible location, including another drive or cloud storage like OneDrive or Dropbox. Click OK, and you should see the folder picture has changed. If you don’t see it right away, refresh the folder.

Another way you can do it is by using a trick that has been around at least since the XP days. This allows you to set a specific picture in a folder to display as the default. Where the method above lets you choose from any location. Now, since you are renaming the picture, you should copy it in that same folder first and then rename it.

Open the folder with the picture you want to set as default. Then rename the picture you want as “folder.gif” and click “Yes” to the confirmation dialog that comes up. Now when you go back, the image you renamed will be displayed.

Keep in mind that if you use the first method described above, where you change the folder’s properties, the image you choose there will override anything you have set it by renaming it to “folder.gif,” so use one or the other accordingly.

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