By default, all files, folders, and applications have an icon on Windows. This helps you identify them quickly and easily. If you want to change specific icons, Windows gives you various ways. You can also change entire icon packs using third-party applications. Read on to understand how to change your icons on Windows 11.
Changing the icon of a specific folder
- Right-click on the folder for which you want to change the icon. Now, select Properties. Alternatively, click on the folder and press Alt + Enter.
- The folder’s properties will open up. Go to the Customize tab and click Change Icon under the “Folder icons” section.
- Choose an icon from the options given. Finally, click OK to confirm your choice.
- Click OK again to confirm your choice.
- You can now see that the icon of your folder has been changed.
Uploading your own icons
If you don’t like the template icons, you can upload an icon of your own.
- Go back to the Project Properties dialog box. Then, go to Customize and select Change icon.
- Instead of choosing an icon from the list of options, click Browse.
- Navigate to where you have your icon stored on your computer. Note that the icon must be in a .ico format for it to be used. Other image formats like .jpg, .jpeg, .png or .gif will not be accepted. Click Open once you’ve selected your icon.
- Click on the icon again and select OK.
- Finally, click OK again for confirmation.
- You can see that the folder icon has been changed to your preference.
Changing desktop icons using Personalization
You can change desktop icons (This PC, Recycle Bin) in Windows 11 from the Windows settings.
- Press Windows + I to open Windows settings. You can also search for settings by pressing the Windows key.
- Click on Personalization on the left panel. Then, select Themes.
- Click Desktop icon settings.
- Click on the icon you want to change, then the Change icon button. In this example, we are changing the icon for This PC.
- Choose a new icon and press OK. You can also upload your own icon (must be a .ico file) by clicking Browse.
- Click OK again.
Your This PC icon has been changed.
Changing icons by creating a shortcut
Sometimes you can’t change an application’s icon. For that instance, you can create a shortcut for that app and change the shortcut’s icon. Follow these steps to do that:
- Right-click on the application or folder for which you want the icon changed. Now, select Show more options.
- Click Create shortcut.
- Click Yes to create a desktop shortcut for that folder or app.
- Go to your desktop and find the shortcut—Right-click on it and select Properties.
- Click the Change icon option. Select an icon and click OK. Click OK again for confirmation. You’ll now be able to see the icon changed to your preference.
Changing drive/disk icons using the Registry Editor
To change drive or disk icons on your PC, you must make changes to the registry editor.
- You need to have a .ico file saved on your computer. Copy the file path of the icon – you can do this by right-clicking it and selecting the Copy as path option. Keep the path stored somewhere.
- Now, press Windows + R to open the Run command. Type regedit in the text field and hit Enter.
- Copy the following path ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerDriveIcons and paste it into the Path field of the Registry Editor. Once you’ve done that, right-click on Drive Icons in the left panel and select New, followed by Key.
- Name this new key to the letter of the disk for which you want to change the icon.
- Right-click on the newly created key and select New, followed by Key.
- Name the key DefaultIcon. After naming the key, right-click (Default) and select Modify.
- You’ll now find an Edit String dialog box. On the Value data field, get the icon’s path from the first step and paste it here. After pasting the icon’s file path, click OK.
The drive icon has now been changed.
Installing entire icon packages using third-party applications
Third-party apps can be used to change a whole set of icons (following a particular theme) rather than each individually.
A popular app used to change Windows icons is 7TSP.
- Go to the 7tsp link to download the software. You’ll have to create a DeviantArt account if you don’t have one.
- Extract the downloaded zip file by right-clicking and selecting Extract All.
- Rename the file’s extension from .ee to .exe.
- Next, you need an icon pack. If you don’t already have one, you can go to this website and download any icon pack for free. Go to the icon pack you like and click Download free to start downloading the icon pack. For this instance, let’s choose the Miyuki icon pack.
- Double-click on the .exe file to launch the application. After the app is launched, click Add a Custom Pack.
- In File Explorer, navigate to the downloaded icon pack and double-click it. You can see your selected icon pack in the application. After uploading the icon pack, click Start Patching.
- Click Yes to start patching. This will change your icons.
- Wait for the patching to complete. Once it’s over, click Yes to reboot your computer.
- After your computer restarts, you can see that your computer’s icons have been updated.
Back in 1966 when I was born, technology as we know it today was drastically different. In my lifetime, I witnessed the word of computing change from the giant ENIAC machine, to the supercomputers of today.
Since a young age, I have been obsessed with technology, and it was only natural that I continued my career path to study computer science. I graduated from NYU Computer Science in 1990.
I went on to work for IBM as a software engineer where our team pioneered a what would later become IBM Cloud. From 2001, I worked as an IT recruiter for one of the top tech firms.