How to create custom icons for your CDs or Flash Drives

You know when you buy a game and you put the CD in, it shows an icon related to that game? Have you ever wanted to do something like that to your CDs? It’s actually really easy to do. It just requires a custom autorun.inf file and the icon file (.ico) you want to use. This tutorial will guide you through the steps required to create both.

Icon files are kind of hard to find. You can try looking on DeviantArt for some, but chances are they are .png files. Luckily, it is easy to convert files to .ico using the ConvertIcon site. You don’t even need to install anything. Click Get Started and you will be asked to select a file. Make sure to change Files of type: to whatever you need. After that you get a preview and can click Export to move on. You can then check on which sizes to include. I select all the sizes. Finally, click Save As and you can download your .ico file. I will be using the icons from here for the rest of this example.

Now, on to the Autorun file, which are very easy to make. All you need is Notepad or a similar program that can save as a .txt file. Enter [autorun] as the first line, and then ICON=ICON.ICO where you replace ICON.ICO with the name of your icon file. See my example above. Now you just need to save it as autorun.inf (not autorun.txt) and you’re done!

When you burn a CD make sure that your autorun.inf and icon files are in the root directory of the CD. That means it’s not in any sub-folders on the CD. When you or a friend put the CD in, they should see your custom icon! This can also be done with flash drives. So have fun with it!

2 thoughts on “How to create custom icons for your CDs or Flash Drives”

  1. This was a great article, very easy to understand. I do have a few questions

    1. How come when I copy the autorun.ini and icon to the root of my CD it works in some computers and not others

    2. What if I have a MAC? how can I get the icon to show for that?

    3. I have a Batch.bat (located in a hidden SYSTEM Files folder) file that basically launches our website. Instead of the CD automatically launching the site, I want to give the user the option to do it themselves by double clicking the shortcut to the batch (located in the root). I tried to associate an icon I made for it (to the shortcut, since you cannot change the Batch.bat icon), but the location points to the local location of the icon. How do I make it so when the icon for the batch is on the CD it works (it works on our network but not on other peoples computers).

    Your help is greatly appreciated!

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