Custom Icons/Labels for your drives with autorun.inf

By default, Windows automatically adds icons to local drives as defined in the system and names as they were set during formatting. Most users could care less what the icons are or what the drive name is. But what if you want want to be able to tell your drives apart at a glance? Maybe you want a more descriptive name then “Local Disk (C:)”. Luckily windows (and perhaps other OS’s; I haven’t tested it) has a easy way to do so. How you ask? Our old friend autorun.inf. Click through to find out how to do it.
I’ll start off by saying this method should be used carefully. Because the autorun.inf can be used for much more, like running programs, it can be used for nefarious purposes. I would advise that anyone using this trick on a multi-user PC either hide the file and/or restrict access to Administrators.

To construct your custom drive icon autorun file you need the icon (.ico) file and any text editor. Notepad will do just fine though I prefer Notepad++. The first thing you want to do is place the .ico file in the root of your drive (or any subfolder if you wish). From there, open up your text editor and we’ll begin writing the autorun.inf. For our purposes the autorun.inf will only consist of 2-3 lines depending on whether you want just an icon, a label or both. The basic layout of our autorun.inf will be as you see below.


The first line simply tells the system that it’s an autorun file. ICON tells the system what the icon will be and where it is located via a relative path. Label will tell the system what label if any to display. The nice thing about the last property is that you can exceed the limit usually applied to drive names so you can use a more descriptive label. It will also allow you to use symbols that are usually not allowed. Using the autorun.inf will allow you an extra bit of customization for your local and removable drives. As of yet I have not found a way to reliable apply this method to regular network drives but it will work for everything else.

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