While the default Windows icons get the job done, they aren’t particularly exciting. If you want to put a personal spin on your computer, changing Windows 10 icons is a great way to do this.
We’ll show you how to change icons on Windows 10, including program and folder icons. With a bit of work, you’ll have an all-new interface!
Where to Find Custom Icons for Windows 10
Before you start changing Windows 10 icons, you need some icons to replace them with. The OS has a few additional icons built-in, but they’re not that great.
Flaticon is a great resource for all your Windows icon needs. The site contains over a million high-quality icons arranged in thousands of convenient packs. You can grab everything in a pack at once, or download single icons.
The site offers downloads in several formats. We recommend downloading them in PNG for easy conversion to the ICO format. Keep all the raw downloads in a folder called PNG Icons or similar.
Converting PNG Images to ICO Icons
Windows uses ICO files for its icons. Thus, you’ll need to convert images from PNG (or other formats) before you use them as icons.
ConvertICO offers an easy way to do this. You can upload up to 50 PNG images at once to convert them into the ICO format. If you prefer, you can also enter the URL of an image you want to convert, cutting out the middle step of downloading the PNG.
Keep all your ICO files in their own folder. Make sure you put this somewhere permanent, as moving icon files after you have set them will cause problems.
Change Program Icons in Windows 10
Windows 10 makes it easy to change the program icon for a shortcut, but not the main executable. Thus, you should make a desktop shortcut for the app icon you want to change, if you don’t have one already.
To do this, search for an app in the Start menu, right-click its name and choose Open file location. In the resulting folder, right-click the program name and choose Send to > Desktop (create shortcut).
Now you can modify the new shortcut on your desktop. Right-click it and choose Properties to open a new window. Here, switch to the Shortcut tab and click the Change Icon button at the bottom.
You’ll see a list of alternative icons included in the app, if any. To set your own icon, click Browse and navigate to the place where you saved your ICO files.
Double-click one to select it, then choose OK on both open dialog boxes. That’s all you have to do to change a program icon in Windows 10.
Pinning Custom Icons to the Taskbar
Want to customize the icons on your Taskbar too? The easiest way to do this is to follow the steps above to create custom desktop icons. After that, simply right-click a shortcut and choose Pin to Taskbar.
If you’d rather, you can customize an icon already pinned to your Taskbar. While holding Shift, right-click the app icon and choose Properties. From here, you can follow the same steps as above to set a new icon.
Changes you make in this way make take a few moments to take effect.
Change Individual Folder Icons in Windows 10
Changing a folder icon is similar to the above process. Right-click the folder you’d like to change and choose Properties.
On the resulting window, switch to the Customize tab. Select the Change Icon button at the bottom to select a new icon from your computer. Windows includes many default icons for this, but most of them are old-school and ugly.
If you ever change your mind, just open this window and choose Restore Defaults to get the original icon back.
Change All Folder Icons at Once
Note: We tested this method that appears popular around the web, but it did not work on Windows 10 version 1903. Your mileage may vary depending on your version of Windows 10.