Customizing Your IconsCustomizing Your Icons in Windows
Customizing your icons is a great way to make a computer uniquely yours. Let’s take a look at the different ways Windows allows you to customize your icons.
Once you have the icons of your dreams, store them in a safe place, some of these processes will require them to stay in a specific location on your PC.
Change Your Desktop Icons (Computer, Recycle Bin, Network etc.)
Icons such as This PC, Network, Recycle Bin, and your User folder are considered “desktop icons”, although they do not display all modern versions of Windows on the desktop.
However, you can still change the way these icons appear elsewhere on your system. To do this, you need to access the “Desktop Icon Settings” window to turn these icons on or off or change their associated icons.
In Windows 10, you can access this window via Settings> Personalization> Themes> Desktop Icon Settings.
In Windows 8, click Control Panel> Personalize> Change Desktop Icons.
Use the checkboxes in the “Desktop icons” section to select the icons you want on your desktop. To change an icon, select the icon you want to change and then click the “Change Icon” button.
In the “Change Icon” window, you can select any icon you want from the built-in Windows icons or click “Browse” to find your own icon files.
If you browse your own icons, you can choose any EXE, DLL, or ICO file. After selecting the file, the “Change Icon” window will show the icons found in the file you selected. Click the one you want and then click “OK”. Here we change the “This PC” icon to use an icon that looks more like a laptop than a desktop.
After changing your icon, you should see the new icon used in File Explorer, Desktop and taskbar with the folder open.
And if you want to undo the change, you can always go back to the “Desktop Icon Settings” window, select the icon you want to restore, and then click “Restore Default”.
Change Folder Icons
Changing the icon of a folder is not only a good way to do cool things but also a good way to draw attention to important items. To change a folder icon, right-click the folder you want to change and then select “Properties”.
In the folder properties window, switch to the “Customize” tab and then click the “Change Icon” button.
In the “Change Icon” window, you can select any icon you want from the built-in Windows icons or click “Browse” to find your own icons.
If you browse through your own icon file, you can select any EXE, DLL or ICO file. After selecting the file, the “Change Icon” window will show the icons found in the file you selected. Click the one you want and then click “OK”. Here we change the icon of this folder to red to make it stand out more.
And go back to the properties window, click “OK”.
The folder should now appear with the new icon.
This feature works by creating a hidden Desktop.ini file inside the folder containing several lines of data, such as:
[.ShellClassInfo]IconResource = D: Walter Documents Simgeler Oxygen-Icons.org-Oxygen-Places-folder-red.ico, 0[Durumu görüntüle]Mod = Vid = FolderType = Genel
This is one of those situations where you should definitely store the ICO file in the location you have when you apply the icon. Put it somewhere you know you won’t delete it first or hide the ICO file.
Change the Icon of Any Shortcut
Changing the icon for a shortcut in Windows is also pretty straightforward and works the same whether it’s a shortcut to an app, folder, or even Command Prompt command. Right click the shortcut and select “Properties”.
In the “Shortcut” tab, click the “Change Icon” button.
This opens the standard “Change Icon” window that we’ve seen several times. Choose one of the default icons or browse any EXE, DLL or ICO file that contains icons. Once you’ve made your selection and applied it, you’ll see the new icon in File Explorer, Desktop, or taskbar if your Shortcut is pinned.
You can also customize these shortcut icons by removing (or replacing) the arrow skins or preventing Windows from adding the “- Shortcut” text.
Change Icon of Applications Pinned to Taskbar
Icons pinned to your taskbar are really shortcuts; they just don’t have the arrow overlay and the “- Shortcut” text normally associated with shortcuts. Therefore, you can customize its icons the same way you customize almost any shortcut icon. You just need to keep a few things in mind:
- You can only customize the icons of apps that are actually pinned to the taskbar. Since the app is currently running, if the icon is only on the taskbar and isn’t pinned there, you won’t be able to customize it.
- If an app is pinned but is currently running, you must close the app before changing the shortcut icon.
- Just right clicking on a pinned app will show you the app’s jump list. To access the normal context menu instead, hold down the Shift key while right-clicking the icon. Select “Properties” from this menu and then the rest of the process will be familiar to you from the previous section.
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