How To Change the Icon of an App in Windows
Default Windows icons help in recognizing apps, but they aren’t particularly appealing. Thankfully, you can customize the look of your desktop in a few clicks to add a personal touch to your computer. You can either choose icons from the Windows library or upload your own. Today, we’ll share instructions on changing app icons in Windows and answer common questions related to the topic.
How to Change the Icons of Specific Apps in Windows
Changing an app’s shortcut icon in Windows 10 is easy, though you can’t change the icon of the program itself. Therefore, you should first make a shortcut to the app. Here’s how to do that:
- Open the Start menu and find the desired app.
- Right-click the app’s name and select “Open file location” from the dropdown menu.
- Once the “Programs” folder opens, right-click the app’s name again and click on “Send to,” then “Desktop (create shortcut)” from the dropdown menu.
After the shortcut is created, head to your desktop and do the following:
- Right-click on the shortcut and select “Properties” from the dropdown menu.
- Navigate to the “Shortcut” tab.
- Select “Change Icon” at the bottom of the window.
- You’ll see all alternative icons available for the app in the Windows library. Select the preferred icon and click “Ok” to confirm.
- Click on “Ok” once again and exit the app properties window.
How to Set Custom App Icons in Windows
Although Windows offers alternative icons for some app shortcuts, the selection isn’t particularly exciting. Furthermore, some app shortcuts don’t have alternative icons. The solution is simple – set your custom icons. Follow the steps below:
- Find a custom icon you like online or create your own. Most importantly, the icon should be saved as an ICO file.
- Create an app desktop shortcut. You can follow the instructions in a previous section.
- Right-click the shortcut on your desktop and select “Properties” from the dropdown menu.
- Click on “Shortcut” at the top of the window.
- Select “Change Icon,” then click on “Browse.”
- Navigate to the folder containing your custom icon, select it, and click on “Ok” to upload.
- Click on “Ok” once again to confirm and close the window.
How to Pin Custom App Icons to the Taskbar in Windows
Many people prefer to keep their desktops minimalistic. However, the lack of icons on the desktop doesn’t mean that you can’t personalize your computer’s interface. Follow the instructions to pin custom app icons to the taskbar in Windows 10:
- Create a shortcut of an app.
- Right-click the shortcut and choose “Properties” from the dropdown menu.
- Navigate to the “Shortcut” tab at the top of the window.
- Click on “Change Icon.”
- Select an icon from the Windows library or upload your custom ICO file.
- Click on “Ok” to confirm, then “Ok” once again, and close the window.
- Right-click the app shortcut on your desktop and select “Pin to Taskbar.”
Alternatively, you may customize the shortcut of an app that’s already pinned to the taskbar. Follow the steps below:
- Press and hold the “Shift” key, then right-click the shortcut icon in your taskbar.
- Select “Properties” from the dropdown menu.
- Click on “Shortcut,” then “Change Icon.”
- Choose the preferred icon from suggested or upload your own.
- Click on “Ok” to confirm and exit the settings menu.
How to Change Folder Icons in Windows
Apart from app shortcut icons, you can change icons of specific folders in your Windows computer. It’s a handy feature that lets you quickly recognize your apps – or simply make your computer’s interface more fun. Follow the instructions below:
- Head to the File Explorer menu and find the desired folder.
- Right-click the folder and select “Properties” from the menu.
- Navigate to the “Customize” tab at the top of the window.
- Choose “Change Icon,” then “Browse” to upload your custom icon. Alternatively, you may choose an icon from the Windows library.
- Click on “Ok” and close the window.
If you don’t like the new icon, follow the steps below to restore the default icon:
- Right-click the folder name.
- Click on “Properties,” then “Customize.”
- Select “Restore Default” under “Folder Pictures.”
- Choose “Ok” and exit the window.
Keep reading to find answers to common questions related to changing app icons in Windows.
Where do I find custom Windows app icons?
Windows icon selection isn’t that great, but you can download a custom shortcut icon online or create your own. One of the best places to find Window icons is Flaticon, a free vector image library. Head to the website and click “Icons” to browse the library. Once you find the preferred icon, click the “Download” button to save it as a PNG file. You may also download entire packs instead of individual icons.
After you’ve saved the icon as a PNG file, you should convert it into an ICO file. This can be done using different third-party tools, for example, ConvertICO. The tool allows you to upload up to 50 PNG files at once or paste a link to the image instead of downloading it to your PC first.
Once you have the ICO files, you can change shortcut icons as usual by following the instructions above.
Do all app shortcuts have alternative icons in Windows?
Windows library contains many alternative icons for some app shortcuts. However, third-party apps don’t always have alternative icons. For instance, Google Chrome has multiple alternative icons designed by developers, while Adobe Creative Cloud doesn’t have any. Thankfully, you can upload a custom icon for any shortcut.
Can I change the icon of the app and not the shortcut in Windows?
You can change the main app icon rather than a shortcut icon only with select apps – “Recycle Bin,” “This PC,” “Network,” and your main file folder (the name may differ). Here’s how to do that:
1. Click “Start,” then click the gear icon on the left to access the Settings menu.
2. Select “Personalization,” then navigate to the “Themes” tab from the left sidebar.
3. Click “Desktop icon settings.”
4. In the “Desktop Icons” tab, select any icon.
5. Click “Change Icon” and select the preferred icon from suggested or upload a custom file by clicking “Browse.”
6. Click “Ok,” then “Apply,” and exit the window.
Why can’t I change a folder icon in Windows?
If you want to change a folder icon in Windows but don’t see the “Change Icon” option, chances are, you’re attempting to change the main folder icon. Windows has five main folders: Desktop, Pictures, Documents, Downloads, and Videos. There’s no way to change the main folder icon unless you create a desktop shortcut.
A Personal Touch
Hopefully, our guide has helped you put a personal spin on your Windows desktop. Changing icons is not only a great way to customize your computer’s appearance but also a handy tip for quickly distinguishing your apps and folders. Consider changing your Windows theme for further personalization.
Do you know any great PNG to ICO converter tools or icon libraries? Share your finds in the comments section below.