Custom icons aren’t just for fun; they can also help you better identify oft-used folders and apps to save you time searching. Changing an app or folder’s icon is very easy in Windows. Here’s how to do it.
We’ve shown you how to do this on a Mac, and while there are a few more caveats to doing it on Windows, it’s still pretty simple. All you need is a .ico file for your icon, which you can get at sites like Iconspedia or Icon Archive. Alternatively, you can turn a .png file into a .ico with an online converter like this one. Once you have it, save it in a safe place (since you can’t delete it later on, or else your custom icon will disappear), then just follow these steps:
- Right-click on the folder or shortcut that you want to customise and choose Properties. If you’re trying to customise something on the taskbar, right-click on it, then right-click on its name in the jumplist and choose Properties.
- Go to the customise tab if you’re changing the icon of a folder, or the Shortcut tab if you’re changing the icon of a shortcut. Click the Change Icon button.
- Browse to the .ico file you want to use and click OK. Depending on what you’re changing, you may need to log out and back in for the icon to show up. If it’s an icon in the taskbar, you may even need to rebuild the icon cache and restart by opening a command prompt and running the following four commands:
taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F
CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
DEL IconCache.db /a
shutdown /r /f /t 00
This will restart your computer, so save any work you have before running these commands
OK, it isn’t the most seamless process, but it still isn’t too bad. If you want to customise more than just a few icons, though, you’ll need to buy a program like the $US10 IconPackager from Stardock. It costs money, but it’s well worth it if you’re a heavy customiser.