How to change color of folders in Windows for free [Tip]

The folders in Windows don’t have a great diversity of colors. The standard folder icon is yellow, but you can change folders’ colors. All that’s required is the freeware Rainbow Folders software package.

Rainbow Folders is software with which you can change the color of any folder. Check out this Softpedia page to add Rainbow Folders to Windows XP, Vista or 7. It saves as a Zip folder which you can extract by right-clicking on the folder and selecting Extract All. Then choose a suitable folder location for the extracted folder. Then click the Rainbow Folders.exe to open the software window in the shot below.

Rainbow Folder 1

On the left is the folder tree where you should pick the folder which you’re going to change color. When you have selected a suitable folder, drag the Color and Hue bars to the left and right. Then click the Confirm option, and the folder’s preview color in the software window should switch to the one you selected with the bar as below.

Rainbow Folder 2

Now you click on the Colorize option to change the folder’s color. To revert back to the default yellow color you select Decolorize. Note that for the selected folder’s color to change in Windows Explorer, you must restart Windows first. After restarting, open Windows Explorer; and you should find that the folder’s color has changed to the one you selected for it with the software. In the shot below I have added green, red and purple to three folders.

Rainbow Folder 3

You can change the colors of a wide variety of folders with the software. Add alternative color codes to your folders to highlight what file types or software packages are included within them. For example, red could be system utilities, green multimedia software and blue office packages. Then you might find software and files more quickly.

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  • jmjsquared

    [@MatthewA] Hmm? Okay. I see your point but, since Stalingrad and The Bulge are called “battles” and I am a Yankee chauvinist, are you *sure* you can’t make America’s 20th Century Thermopylae your fifth selection in your second edition?

    Before Ashraf kicks me outta here, Do you know of a good documentary on the Battle of the Coral Sea?

  • Well, Guadalcanal was more of a campaign than a specific battle.

  • JMJ

    @MatthewA – Took a quick peek at your great looking Blog and your Book excerpts over at BlogSpot and, in addition to offering thanks for your article here, offer same for your writing about a topic of special interest to me.

    Rather than doing the Kindle thing, I’ll wait for Amazon’s delivery, as I prefer to have something in my hand that I can safely throw down while yelling, screaming and cursing that, **somehow** , Guadalcanal did not figure as prominently as IT SHOULD HAVE in your reckoning.

    If you gave equally short shrift to Capt. E. Edwards and to the DE Richards at Leyte Gulf, please expect my return visit here and at BlogSpot to offer lots, lots more of my unsolicited opinions. :-)


  • David Roper

    Thanks to my dottechers I have the file now.
    Where else on the world wide web can you find geek friends like these?
    Answer: No where else. JMJ and Ashraf especially.
    My red folders tell me there’s real work to be done there
    My Green folders are programs/batch files ready to GO
    My Blue folders are programs that are sick and need gradual help when I have the time.
    All new downloads go into Yellow (“caution lights”) until screened and “tested”


  • jmjsquared

    [@Ashraf] Thanks. Didn’t know there was a portable version.

    Please remove the link I posted. I felt “obligated”. I have also removed the file.

  • Ashraf
  • RobCr

    Why are people still using Windows Explorer ?
    XYPlorerFree leaves it for dead.

  • jmjsquared

    [@David Roper] Don’t know what they are up to recently. Latest version is at my OneDrive :


  • David Roper

    Shedko wants me to pay for downloading a free file?? And then if I don’t pay, it states I have to wait 1o minutes to “try again” because the download limit or speed on their end is exceeded or something like that. Disappointed.

  • jmjsquared

    Nice, except for having to restart Windows each time a change is made. Here’s a favorite of mine that does not require a restart and has a selection of icon-folder choices built-in. Unlike Rainbow folders, its colors are pre-set and It requires installation. — Folderico by Shedko Software;

    Note: There is a similar, identically-named commercial program that is NOT associated with Shedko.