How to Change an Icon on Windows 10

Changing the Icon on Windows 10: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re someone who likes to customize your computer’s appearance to suit your personal style, you’re probably interested in changing the icons on your Windows 10 desktop. Utilizing new icons can enhance your user interface, making it more visually appealing and easier to navigate. The good news is that changing icons on Windows 10 is a straightforward and easy process, and there are plenty of ways to do it.

To help you get started, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide that will walk you through the process from start to finish. In this article, we’ll go over 12 simple steps to change the icons on your Windows 10 desktop. We’ll also provide tips and tricks to make the process easier and more efficient.

Let’s get started!

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Icons on Windows 10

Step 1: Choose the Icon You Want to Replace

The first step to changing your desktop icons is to choose which icon or icons you want to replace. You can replace an icon on the desktop or in other locations, such as the Start menu or the taskbar. Once you’ve selected the icon you want to replace, right-click on it to access the contextual menu.

Step 2: Access the Icon’s Properties

From the contextual menu, click on “Properties.” This will bring up the Properties window for the selected icon. Within the Properties window, you’ll see several tabs, including “General,” “Shortcut,” “Security,” and “Details.” Click on the “Shortcut” tab to access the icon’s shortcut properties.

Step 3: Choose Another Icon

To change the icon, click on the “Change Icon” button. This will open up a new window that displays a list of available icons. You can also browse to find a specific icon file. Once you’ve found the icon you want to use, click on it to select it.

Step 4: Confirm Your Choice

After you’ve chosen a new icon, click on the “OK” button to save your changes. You’ll be returned to the Properties window, where you’ll see the new icon displayed. Click on “Apply” to confirm your choice.

Step 5: Refresh Your Desktop

To see the changes you’ve made, you’ll need to refresh your desktop. Right-click on your desktop and select “Refresh” from the contextual menu. This will update your desktop to show the new icon.

Step 6: Change Icons for Other Files and Folders

To change the icons for other files and folders, repeat these steps for each icon you want to replace. You can also use a third-party program like IconPackager, which makes it easy to change multiple icons at once.

Step 7: Create a Shortcut to the Change Icon Dialog Box

If you plan on changing icons frequently, you can create a shortcut to the “Change Icon” dialog box. Right-click on your desktop and select “New” and then “Shortcut.” In the “Type the location of the item” field, type “rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,0” (without quotes) and click “Next.” Type “Change Icon” in the “Type a name for this shortcut” field and click “Finish.”

Step 8: Customize Your Icons with Icon Themes

Another great way to change your icons is by using icon themes. Windows 10 comes with several pre-installed themes that include different sets of icons. You can access these by right-clicking on your desktop and selecting “Personalize.” Click on “Themes” and then “Theme settings.” From there, you can choose from a variety of different themes that include new icons.

Step 9: Use Third-Party Icon Packs

If you don’t like the pre-installed icon themes, you can also download third-party icon packs. There are many websites that offer free and paid icon packs that you can use to customize your icons. To install an icon pack, simply download the pack and extract the files. Right-click on an icon that you want to replace and follow the steps outlined above to change the icon. When you get to the “Change Icon” dialog box, click on “Browse” and navigate to the location of the icon pack files.

Step 10: Use a Program to Create Custom Icons

To create custom icons, you can use a program like GIMP, Adobe Photoshop, or Paint.net. Simply create a new image and design your icon. Save it as an icon file (.ico), and then follow the steps outlined above to change the icon.

Step 11: Backup Your Icon Settings

If you’ve spent a lot of time customizing your icons, it’s a good idea to backup your settings in case you need to restore them later. To do this, navigate to the following location in File Explorer: “C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer.” Copy the “IconCache.db” file and save it to another location, such as an external hard drive or cloud storage.

Step 12: Troubleshoot Icon Issues

If you’re experiencing issues with your icons, such as missing icons or incorrect icons, you can use the built-in Windows troubleshooting tool to fix the problem. To access the tool, right-click on the desktop and select “Display Settings.” Click on “Advanced display settings” and then “ClearType text.” Follow the prompts to troubleshoot any issues with your icons.

Tips and Tricks for Changing Icons on Windows 10

1. Use a high-quality icon

When choosing a new icon, make sure it’s of high quality. Low-resolution icons can look blurry and pixelated on high-resolution displays.

2. Create your own icon library

Create a folder to store icons that you download or create yourself. This will make it easier to find the icons you need when you want to change an icon.

3. Use consistent icon styles

When customizing your icons, try to use consistent styles. Using mismatched icons can make your desktop look messy and unorganized.

4. Be careful when deleting files

When deleting files, be careful not to delete any important system files that may be associated with icons.

5. Use a reputable icon pack website

When downloading third-party icon packs, make sure to use a reputable website to avoid downloading malware or viruses.

6. Preview icons before installation

Before installing an icon pack or creating a custom icon, preview it to make sure you like the design and style.

7. Be careful when installing software

When installing third-party software, always read the terms and conditions and be careful not to install any unwanted software that may come bundled with the program.

8. Keep your icon library organized

Organize your icon library into folders to make it easier to find specific icons.

9. Customize icons for specific file types

Customize icons for specific file types to make it easier to find the files you need.

10. Experiment with different icon sets

Try out different icon sets to find the one that best suits your personal style and preferences.

In conclusion, changing icons on Windows 10 is an easy and simple process. With the steps and tips provided in this guide, you can customize your desktop to match your style and preferences. Experiment with different icons, themes, and styles to find the perfect look for your computer.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Changing an Icon on Windows 10

Advantages

1. Personalization – Changing icons on Windows 10 allows you to personalize your computer and make it feel more like your own.

2. Aesthetics – Swapping out icons can give your desktop and folders a fresh, new look

3. Easier Navigation – Changing icons can make it easier to locate frequently-used files and folders on your computer.

4. Improved Organization – You can use custom icons to better organize your files and folders, making them more easily identifiable at a glance.

5. Branding – You can replace default icons with brand-specific ones, thereby strengthening your brand identity on your computer.

6. Creativity – Changing icons allows for a creative outlet to express one’s artistic abilities.

7. Fun – It can be a fun way to spend time customizing your computer and making it feel more like yours.

8. Improved Accessibility – Changing icons can make it easier for individuals with visual impairments to navigate their computer.

9. Increased Functionality – Custom icons can better reflect the functionality of a file, making it easier to identify and use.

10. Time-Saving – Changing your icons can save you time by avoiding the need to navigate through multiple folders to find the file or folder you need.

Disadvantages

1. Time-Consuming – Changing icons can be a time-consuming process that requires navigating through multiple settings and files.

2. Risk of Errors – Making a mistake during the icon change process can result in problems, such as deleting important files or corrupting your system.

3. Compatibility – Custom icons may not be compatible with all programs or software, resulting in default icons being displayed.

4. Limited Options – Some programs or files may have limited icon change options, making it difficult to personalize the icon as desired.

5. Security Risks – Downloading and using custom icons from untrusted sources can result in security risks, such as malware or viruses.

6. System Performance – Using custom icons can slow down system performance, especially if the new icons are large in size or not optimized for the computer.

7. Confusing – Changing icons too frequently or drastically can confuse users and make it harder to navigate their computer.

8. Compatibility with Future Updates – Custom icons may not be compatible with future system updates, resulting in broken icons or default icons being displayed.

9. Distractions – It can be distracting to have a heavily personalized desktop with lots of custom icons, making it difficult to focus on work.

10. Not a Priority – Ultimately, changing icons is not a top priority and may not be worth the time and effort for some users.

FAQ

1. What is an icon in Windows 10?

An icon in Windows 10 is a small graphical representation of a program, document, or file. It helps users to quickly identify and access their frequently used items on their desktop or in their file explorer.

2. How do I change an icon on Windows 10?

You can change an icon on Windows 10 by following these steps.

  • Right-click on the file or program icon that you want to change.
  • Select “Properties” from the context menu.
  • Click on the “Change icon” button located under the “Shortcut” tab.
  • Select the new icon that you want to use and click on “OK.”

3. Can I use any image as an icon?

No, you cannot use any image as an icon. Windows 10 accepts only .ico, .icl, .exe, .dll, and .cpl file formats as icons.

4. Where can I find good icons for my Windows 10 desktop?

You can find good icons for your Windows 10 desktop by downloading them from icon websites such as IconArchive, DeviantArt, or iconfinder.com.

5. Can I create my own icon?

Yes, you can create your own icon by using an icon editor software such as Photoshop or GIMP. You can also use online icon generators such as RealFaviconGenerator or Favicon.io.

6. Can I customize the size of an icon?

Yes, you can customize the size of an icon by right-clicking on it and selecting “Properties.” Then, click on the “Shortcut” tab, and select “Change icon.” Here, you can see different icon sizes under “Icon sizes,” and you can choose the size you want to use. Alternatively, you can use an image editor to resize the icon.

7. Will changing an icon affect my program’s or file’s functionality?

No, changing an icon will not affect your program’s or file’s functionality. The icon is only a graphical representation of the program or file.

8. Can I change the icon of a folder?

Yes, you can change the icon of a folder by right-clicking on it and selecting “Properties.” Then, click on the “Customize” tab and click on the “Change Icon” button. You can then select the new icon that you want to use.

9. Can I change the icon of the Recycle Bin?

Yes, you can change the icon of the Recycle Bin by right-clicking on your desktop and selecting “Personalize.” Then, click on “Themes” and select “Desktop Icon settings.” Here, you can change the icon of the Recycle Bin by selecting “Change Icon”

10. Do I need to restart my computer after changing an icon?

No, you do not need to restart your computer after changing an icon. The changes will be visible immediately.

11. Can I restore default icons on Windows 10?

Yes, you can restore default icons on Windows 10 by right-clicking on your desktop and selecting “Personalize.” Then, click on “Themes” and select “Desktop Icon settings.” Here, you can click on “Restore Default” to restore the default icons.

12. Can I use animated icons on Windows 10?

Yes, you can use animated icons on Windows 10, but only for some programs such as Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger, and Windows Movie Maker.

13. Can I change the icon of a program in the Start menu?

No, you cannot change the icon of a program in the Start menu. However, you can create a shortcut to the program on your desktop and change the icon of the shortcut.

How to Change an Icon on Windows 10

Windows 10 comes with a variety of icons that you can choose from to customize your desktop and file folders. However, you may want to change an icon to something more specific to your needs or preferences. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Find the Icon You Want to Use

The first step is to find the icon that you want to use. You can search for icons online or create your own using an icon creation tool. Make sure the icon is in a .ico file format, which is compatible with Windows.

Step 2: Right-Click on the File or Folder You Want to Change the Icon For

Once you have the icon file you want to use, right-click on the file or folder you want to change the icon for. In the drop-down menu, select “Properties.”

Step 3: Select “Change Icon”

In the Properties box, select the tab that says “Customize.” Then click on the button that says “Change Icon.”

Step 4: Choose the Icon You Want to Use

A new window will appear with a selection of icons that are already installed on your computer. If you want to use one of these icons, simply select it and click “OK.” If you want to use an icon that isn’t shown, click “Browse” and navigate to the location where the icon is saved.

Step 5: Apply the Icon

Once you’ve chosen the icon you want to use, click “Apply” and then “OK.” The icon for the file or folder will now be changed to the new icon you selected.

Conclusion

Customizing your computer’s desktop and file folders with personalized icons is a fun and easy way to make your computer your own. By following these simple steps, you can quickly and easily change any icon on your Windows 10 computer.

Closing

Thank you for reading this article on how to change an icon on Windows 10. We hope that you found it helpful and informative. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Until next time, happy icon hunting!