How to Customize Icons on Your Windows PC

Icons on your Windows PC make it easy for you to identify a program or application. Although icons do the job in terms of graphical representation, they tend to get boring after a while. The good thing about Windows is that it lets you easily customize your app or program icons.

If you want to update the appearance of Icons on your Windows PC, there are several ways to do it without breaking anything. The only thing we recommend is to create a restore point for your Windows PC before making any changes.

How to Change Default Icons to Built-in Windows Icons

A PC’s default Icons can be set on your Desktop, Folder, File Type etc. typically consists of what you see. These icons can be customized using the Personalization Setting in Windows 10.

1. Changing Default Icons on Windows Desktop

Default desktop applications for all Windows PCs include Computer, User Files, Recycle Bin, Network, and Control Panel. Icons of these desktop apps can be changed using the following steps.

Stage 1: Launch the Settings app on your PC.

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Step 2: Select the Personalization option.

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Stage 3: Choose Themes Option.

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Step 4: In the right window, go to Desktop icon settings.

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Step 5: In the new window, select the Desktop Icon to replace.

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Step 6: Click the Change Icon button at the bottom.

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Step 7: A new window should open with built-in Windows icons. You can select any of them or click Browse to use other icons.

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Step 8: Select the preferred Icon and click OK to save the changes.

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After completing the above steps, the new Icon should appear on the taskbar, desktop or File Explorer depending on the location. If you want to return the icon to its original state, follow steps 1 to 5 above. Click the Restore Default button and the Icon should revert to the default setting.

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2. Changing the Default Icon in a Folder

A Folder’s Icon can also be customized using the following steps.

Stage 1: Select the folder and right click on it.

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Step 2: Select Properties and a new window should open.

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Stage 3: In the window, select the Customize tab and click the Change Icon button.

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Step 4: A new window should open with built-in Windows icons. You can select any of them or click Browse to use other icons.

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Step 5: Select the preferred Icon and click OK to save the changes.

The folder should now appear with the new icons. To replace or revert to previous Icon, repeat steps 1 to 3 above and select Restore Default.

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3. Changing the Default Icon in a File Type

You may have observed that all the same type of files ending with the same extension have the same icon. For example, all Word documents have the same icon. You can change the icon of all files with the same extension. Unlike your Folder Icons and those on your Desktop, a third party tool is required to change the File Type Icon.

Stage 1: Download the File Types Manager tool developed by Nirsoft.

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Step 2: Start and run the application, then find the file type to replace by pressing Ctrl + F.

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Stage 3: A list of file types will appear. Double-click the specific file type. Another window will open with more options.

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Step 4: Click the ellipsis (…) button next to the Default Icon field.

Step 5: Select the preferred icon in the new dialog.

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Step 6: Save the changes by selecting OK.

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Follow the same steps above to restore File Icons to default settings.

How to Create Custom Icons

Built-in icons on Windows PC offer limited options. However, you can create your own using any of the following methods.

Download Icons from Third Party Websites

It is also possible to use icons from third-party websites if you are not impressed with the built-in icons. Follow the steps below.

Stage 1: Search for icons on Icon Icons or other similar websites.

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Step 2: Download your preferred icons and make sure they are in ICO formats to use on Windows.

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Stage 3: Right-click on the program whose icons need to be changed and select Properties.

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Step 4: Click the Change Icon button.

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Step 5: Click Browse and search for downloaded icons.

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Step 6: Select the preferred icon and click Open.

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Step 7: Select Apply and click OK to save the changes.

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Creating Icons Using Microsoft Paint

Stage 1: Start Microsoft Paint.

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Step 2: You can choose to create an icon or paste an image using Shapes in Microsoft Paint.

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Stage 3: Save the picture with a preferred name.

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Step 4: Before using the file as an Icon, you need to convert it to an ICO file using a third-party app like Icoconvert.

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Step 5: Once the image is converted, use steps in Methods 1 to 3 above to replace your Icons.

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Change View

Customizing your PC Icons with any of the above methods is simple! You can customize your Drive Icons as well as your Folder, Desktop and File Type Icons. Check out other ways to customize your Windows 10 PC.

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