Get Folder Marker Home (Win) for free

This handy utility, normally $24.99, lets you assign colors and icons to Windows folders for easy at-a-glance identification.

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One folder, two folder, red folder, blue folder. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Some of my favorite Windows utilities are the ones that make seemingly tiny tweaks. WizMouse, for example, makes it so that your mouse's scroll wheel works wherever your cursor is, without having to click first to select the window. Sounds trivial, but I find it essential.

And then there's Folder Marker, which lets you add colors and/or images to Windows' folder icons. Big deal, right? Yet once you start using it, you'll wonder why Microsoft never bothered to incorporate such capabilities into Windows. It's awesome.

Alas, it's also a little pricey -- but not today. Through Friday, you can get ArcticLine Software's Folder Marker Home (Win) for free. Regular price: $24.99.

To get the deal, click through, then enter your name and e-mail address. You also have the option of "liking" Folder Marker on Facebook, though this isn't required.

From there you'll receive a confirmation e-mail (mine arrived almost instantly) with your registration code and a download link. You must use both to take advantage of this giveaway. (I should also note that, during installation, Windows 8 flagged this as an "unknown app," so you'll have to opt to "install anyway.")

When you run the program, you'll see that making changes is a simple three-step process: choose a folder, choose the icon for that folder, then select any options you might want.

Folder Marker Home gives you a wide assortment of icons, including letters, colors, and symbols (such as stars and arrows). You can also apply a custom icon. Many of these choices (mostly colors and work-themed icons) are accessible via context menus as well: right-click any folder and then mouse over Mark Folder.

Like I said, this is one of those utilities that seems trivial but quickly becomes essential. You'll be amazed at how much easier it is to identify, say, document folders if they're all green. And given the price, you've got nothing to lose by taking Folder Marker Home for a spin.

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