TortoiseCVS and TortoiseSVN on Vista and Windows 7 x64 – Overlay Icons

For more than a year, getting icon overlays to work with both TortoiseCVS and TortoiseSVN on x64 has been a nightmare.

Not anymore.

First, install the latest stable TortoiseSVN.

Then install my custom build of TortoiseCVS, TortoiseCVS-1.11.6-pardini.exe. It is a custom built CVS-HEAD checkout, without many changes.

Please note that apparently TCVS is the one that decides the icons to use (both TSVN and TCVS will use the same icons), but they all work.

If it’s not working for you, uninstall all TortoiseSVN, TortoiseCVS and TortoiseOverlays you may have installed.

Also delete the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers.

Then reinstall in the order I suggested above.

21 Replies to “TortoiseCVS and TortoiseSVN on Vista and Windows 7 x64 – Overlay Icons”

  1. I just bought a windows 7 machine and installed tortoise cvs. I’m not seeing the usual green check mark when I post to the server. Will your two downloads fix this issue?

  2. Pardini, are you going to release the source code for your modifications to TortoiseCVS… You’ve only given a EXE download, as as such its not really trustable what you’ve modified.


  3. Why won’t you commit your changes to the repository and have these changes become a part of the mainstream version?

    Isn’t that the point of open source?

    As someone else has pointed out, I do have mixed feelings when I decide to download this thing and install it.

  4. hehe, but you’ll download the msi install off a trunk stored on 😉 ive got no problem recompiling the software.. I would just like to know how you managed to register all to have the columns of cvs as i read this wasnt possible in the vista&7 design.

  5. Hi pardini,

    Is your version of tortoire can support the cvs column of CVS revision and TAG in the detail view of windows explorer.


  6. Guys, there’s really no new sources involved. It’s just a new recompile of the trunk/head source from original TortoiseCVS.

    There is no support for the explorer columns since Windows Vista, there’s nothing wrong with Tortoise, it’s just M$ removed that capability.

  7. Doesn’t deletion of the ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers key remove shell icons for ALL installed products that use them?

  8. you said “… Then install my custom build of TortoiseCVS, TortoiseCVS-1.11.6-pardini.exe. It is a custom built CVS-HEAD checkout, without many changes.” but your saying there was no new source involved. are you saying a compiliation of CVS HEAD, along with TortoiseSVN makes overlay icons work in Win7 ?

    If you’ve made ANY change, then its a change, and needs to be documented or given out so we can reproduce the whole events from the original sources.


  9. Hello,

    does anyone deploy TortoiseCVS e. g. via GPO and has functional MSI-Package for Windows 7x 64?

    I want to deploy TortoiseCVS for our development department, but it’s quite difficult to repackage.



  10. Pardini,

    This worked perfectly, many thanks for posting this build. This development has made my life so much easier!

  11. I’ve had the same issue and, after searching a bit, I found this could be caused by the limit in overlay icons windows allows to show (15 in total). This can be checked in the registry key stated here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers.

    Deleting this seems a radical suggestion! There can be other entries in use by other applications and the OS.

    There may be several entries, much more than the 15 allowed! They are applied in alphabetical order, therefore, if you count 15 from above and the “Tortoise” entries are out of range, the overlays won’t be shown. You can make a work around, for example, renaming other entries (related to applications you use less) so they appear lower in the list (for instance, adding a “z_” prefix or a “v” or anything that makes Tortoise go up) .

    I did this, logged out and logged back in and it’s working for me so far!

  12. i can also confirm that your installation instructions work.

    moreover i think that the crucial point is to install TortoiseSVN before (!) TortoiseCVS. i installed the official TortoiseCVS 1.12.5 release instead of the pardini version and this works as well.

  13. Is TortoiseSVN required to get the icon overlay to work? Or are you saying if you must have both, then install TortoiseSVN first?

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