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Posted 28 May 2014

Getting Icon Overlays to Work

, 28 May 2014
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Coping with Windows overlay icons number limit


First of all, let’s explain that an overlay icon is a small icon that is shown in the bottom left part of normal icons, if you are using any version control software, dropbox, skydrive, Google drive… software you will have seen them as green marks telling you which is the synchronization status.

Windows 8 has a limit of 15 icon overlays. This means that if you are using various applications that use them, you can be in trouble as some of them can simply not be shown.

You won’t be able to get more than 15 overlay icons shown, but at least you will be able to select which ones you are interested in.


You will need to know how to access, navigate and edit the Windows registry.

Also you will need to know how to restart Windows Explorer (or spending time restarting your computer).

How to Proceed

Open regedit (Windows+R -> write regedit -> press enter).

Navigate to the following key:


Here you will see a list of all the icon overlays that are installed in your system.

The operating system will show only the first 15 (alphabetically sorted).

Then you can define which ones you want to show by changing their names.

In my case, I have Subversion, Google drive and Acronis installed:

Regedit overlay icons

As you can see in the picture, I’ve added A# in front of each GDrive icon to get Google Drive status icons shown where # is a number.

The first 15 icons will be shown when needed. After changing the names of the GDrive icon set and restarting the Windows Explorer, GDrive icons were shown.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Joan M
Chief Technology Officer robotecnik
Spain Spain
I'm from Catalonia (in Spain) and a specialist in CNC, PLC, robotics and automation in general.

From 1998 I've been developing software applications for the automation market.

I'm using different technologies in each case to get the proper result, fieldbus communications, special electronics, special laser sensors, artificial vision, robot arms, CNC applications, PLC's...[^] - robots, CNC and PLC programming

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