How to Change Icons in Windows 10: A General Guide

Hello readers! In today’s article, we will discuss a topic that most Windows 10 users might find interesting – How to change icons in Windows 10? Icons are visual representations that allow you to access programs or files on your computer. While Windows 10 comes with some pre-installed icons, you may want to change them to make your computer look more personalized. With this guide, we will walk you through the steps on how to modify icons on your Windows 10 computer.

Step by Step Guide to Change Icons in Windows 10

Step 1: Decide which icons you want to change

The first step to changing icons on your Windows 10 computer is to decide which icons to swap. You might want to replace icons such as the Recycle Bin, This PC, or other shortcuts.

Step 2: Find the icons you want to use

After deciding which icons you will replace, you need to search for the new icons. You can find icons from various websites offering free icon downloads or create your own using an icon-making software.

Step 3: Download the new icons

If you found the icon you want to use, download it and save it to a dedicated folder, so you can easily access it later.

Step 4: Create a new folder for the icons

Now that you have the new icons downloaded, create a new folder on your computer where you will store all of the icons.

Step 5: Right-click on the shortcut you want to change

Locate the shortcut on your desktop or in your folder, right-click on it, and select “Properties” from the drop-down menu.

Step 6: Click on “Change Icon”

In the shortcut properties window, click on “Change Icon.”

Step 7: Locate the folder with your new icons

Browse to the location where you downloaded the new icons, and select the new icon you want to use.

Step 8: Apply changes

Once you’ve selected the new icon, click on “Apply” and then “OK” to save the changes.

Step 9: Repeat for other icons

Repeat steps 5-8 for any additional icons you want to change.

Step 10: Refresh your screen

After changing the icons, you may need to refresh your screen. You can do this by right-clicking on your desktop and selecting “Refresh.”

Step 11: Enjoy your new icons

Congratulations! You have successfully changed your icons in Windows 10. Enjoy your new personalized computer!

Step 12: Backup your changes

Lastly, it’s always recommended to backup your changes. Copy the new folder with your customized icons to a cloud service or a physical storage device to avoid losing them in case of computer crashes or other unforeseen events.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Use high-quality icons

Choose high-quality icons; it can help make your computer look sleek and professional.

Tip 2: Install an icon-making software

If you can’t find the icons you like, try installing an icon-making software to create your own customized icons.

Tip 3: Don’t modify system icons

Avoid changing system icons, as this can result in adverse effects on the performance of your computer.

Tip 4: Use icons for easy access

Replace icons with ones that you use frequently, as this will make it easier for you to access them.

Tip 5: Organize your icon folder

Organize your icon folder for easy retrieval by grouping icons according to their themes.

Tip 6: Match your icon style with your theme

Ensure the icons you choose match with the overall theme of your computer for a seamless design.

Tip 7: Always backup your changes

As mentioned earlier, it’s always recommended to backup your customized icons.

Tip 8: Be careful when downloading icons

When downloading icons from the internet, ensure they are from a reliable source to avoid downloading malware or viruses.

Tip 9: Use templates for consistency

If you plan to create your own icons, use templates to ensure consistency in size and resolution.

Tip 10: Experiment with different colors

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors; it can help you create unique-looking icons that complement your theme. In conclusion, changing icons on your Windows 10 computer is relatively easy and can help make your computer look more personalized and organized. By following the step by step guide and additional tips and tricks, you can create a customized icon folder that suits your preferences. Don’t forget to backup your changes and have fun exploring different icons to find the perfect ones for you.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Changing Icons in Windows 10


1. Improved Aesthetics: One of the biggest advantages of changing icons in Windows 10 is the ability to improve the overall look and feel of your computer. By customizing icons, you can make your desktop and file folders more visually appealing and exciting.

2. Easy to Recognize: If you change icons to reflect the content of the folder or file, it becomes easier to recognize them at a glance. This can save time when searching for specific items on your computer and can help to keep your folders and files organized.

3. Personalization: Windows 10 provides a range of customization options, and changing icons is just one of them. Personalizing your computer to suit your preferences can make your experience more enjoyable and can help to boost productivity.

4. Branding: If you want to give your business a professional image, you can customize icons to reflect your brand. This can be especially useful if you frequently share files with clients or team members.

5. Fun: For those who enjoy customizing their desktops, changing icons can be a fun and creative activity. It can be a way to express yourself and show off your personality to others.


1. Time-Consuming: Changing icons for individual files and folders can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of them. It can take a while to find the right icon or to create a new one from scratch.

2. Technical Knowledge: People with little technical knowledge may find it difficult to change icons. The process requires some basic knowledge of Windows 10 and may involve modifying the registry, which can be risky if done incorrectly.

3. Incompatibility Issues: Changing icons can sometimes cause compatibility issues with third-party software. For example, if you change the icon for a program, it may not be recognized properly by other software that relies on that icon.

4. Limited Options: Although Windows 10 provides default icons, the selection is limited. While you can create your own icons or download them from the internet, finding the right icon for your needs can be challenging.

5. File Corruption: In rare cases, changing icons can lead to file corruption. This can happen if the icon files are not properly created or if they are infected with viruses or malware.


1. Why would I want to change the icons in Windows 10?

Changing the icons in Windows 10 can help you personalize your computer and make it more visually appealing. You may also find it helpful to change the icons for specific programs or apps to make them easier to identify.

2. What types of icons can I change in Windows 10?

You can change icons for files, folders, apps, drives, and shortcuts.

3. How do I change the icon for a file or folder?

Right-click the file or folder, select Properties, click the Customize tab, and click the Change Icon button. From there, you can browse for a new icon or select one from the provided options.

4. How do I change the icon for an app in Windows 10?

Right-click the app on the Start menu or taskbar, select More, and select Open file location. Right-click the app shortcut, select Properties, and click the Change Icon button.

5. How do I change the icon for a drive in Windows 10?

Right-click the drive, select Properties, click the Customize tab, and click the Change Icon button. From there, you can browse for a new icon or select one from the provided options.

6. Can I use my own images for icons?

Yes, you can use your own images for icons. Just select the Browse button when changing the icon and navigate to the image you want to use.

7. What image format should I use for custom icons?

It’s best to use .ico or .png format for custom icons.

8. How do I create my own custom icons?

You can create your own custom icons using image editing software such as Photoshop or GIMP. Just save the image in .ico or .png format.

9. Can I change the icon for multiple files or folders at once?

Yes, you can select multiple files or folders and change the icon for all of them at once by following the same steps as changing a single file or folder icon.

10. Will changing the icon for an app affect its functionality?

No, changing the icon for an app will not affect its functionality.

11. Can I revert back to the default icon?

Yes, you can revert back to the default icon by selecting the Restore Defaults button when changing the icon.

12. Does changing the icon affect other users on my computer?

No, changing the icon for a file, folder, app, drive, or shortcut only affects the user who changes it.

13. Can I change the icons for system-related items in Windows 10?

It is not recommended to change the icons for system-related items in Windows 10, as it may affect system performance and stability.


Changing icons in Windows 10 can be a fun and enjoyable process. It allows you to bring your own personal touch to your computer, making it more unique and reflective of your own personality. There are several methods you can use to change your icons, ranging from simple built-in customization options to more advanced third-party software. Whatever method you choose, always remember to back up your files and be cautious when modifying system files.


Thank you for reading this article on how to change icons in Windows 10. We hope this guide has helped you understand the various ways you can customize your computer and make it truly your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try out different icon sets – you never know, you might discover a new favorite! As always, remember to exercise caution and stay safe when dealing with system files. Good luck and happy customizing!