Windows has a number of built-in icons to choose from to change the default ones, but there is also the possibility to download icon packs of all types, so as to make your PC different from all the others.Let’s see in this guide how to change windows icons easily and how to download new icon packs, to be applied to the operating system to customize it and make it unique in its kind; we can also install more packs and use the icons we like the most from time to time!
READ ALSO: Enlarge text and icons on Windows
How to change Windows icons
For this guide we will focus on the steps to change icons on the Windows 10 operating system, now widespread everywhere and a reference point for all desktop and notebook PCs. If we have an old Microsoft operating system we can try to apply the changes anyway, as the steps are very similar.
Change icons to links
Desktop shortcut icons can be changed easily thanks to the integrated function in Windows 10. To change the icon of a shortcut on the Windows desktop click on it with the right mouse button, press on Property, we open the tab link, and finally press the button Change icon.
In the window Change icon we choose the icon we want to use from the list of those incorporated with the program; if we want to choose other icons, press the up button Browse and select the folder where the downloaded ones have been saved, identify the ICO file (or even the EXE or DLL file that contains icon packs) that you want to use, double click on it and press OK to the next window. If the change doesn’t work immediately, right-click on the desktop and then click Refresh.
Similarly, it is possible to change pinned icons on the taskbar below: these are normal links, the important thing is that when you change the icon, the program is closed. To do more things, first, change the shortcut icon on the desktop, then press the right mouse button and select Pin to taskbar.
Show hidden icons
Some desktop icons are hidden by Windows default. In Windows 10 you have to open the path Settings -> Personalization -> Themes, scroll down the right window, and click Desktop Icon Settings.
From the window that appears, select the icons you want to see; moreover, still in this icon selection window, we can press on the icons to select them and then on the button Change icon to choose the one you prefer. The editable icons from here are “This PC“, a Trash can full and empty, Network is Profile folder
In the window Change icon, you can select any of the icons included in Windows or by pressing on Browse, using downloaded or created icons.
Change folder icons
In Windows, you can also change the folder icons. Changing a folder icon is also a good way to draw attention to the most important ones, making them stand out from the others; for example, you can change the color of a specific folder by making it another color to distinguish it from the others.
To change the icon of a folder, press the right mouse button on the folder to be changed, select Property, let’s move on to the card Customize and press on the Change icon.
In the window “Change icon“, select the one you prefer among the Windows icons or click on” Browse “to locate the downloaded icons; you can choose from here an ICO, EXE, or DLL file.
After selecting the file, the Change icon will show the icons contained in the selected file, from which you can choose the one you want.
Sites to download icons for Windows 10
To facilitate the task of change icons on Windows we can download entire packs of icons from customization sites available online. We see below some of the free sites to download new icons for Windows 10.
- All-Free-Download: one of the best sites we can use to download free icon packs compatible with Windows 10 and any other version of Windows.
- IconFinder: if we are looking for a specific icon for a link or a folder, just use this site, equipped with a valid search engine for icons.
- Icon8: Italian site where you can download both single icons and entire packs of customized icons.
- IconArchive: a real archive full of icons ready to use and available for free, with an efficient filtering system (present on the sidebar).
- Icons-Icons: another valid site where we can find customized and unique icons for our Windows 10 system.
- Flaticon: a good site to find single icons of programs, sites, or whatever so that you can customize any type of link or folder.
To learn more, we invite you to read our guide to specialized sites to download free icons of all kinds.
Customizing Windows 10 is possible and, even if we are not at the levels that we can reach on a GNU / Linux distribution, we can still make the desktop or the taskbar more beautiful and more practical, by changing the icon for the shortcuts to the programs we use. more or to the folders that we place directly on the desktop.
Speaking of custom folders in another article we have seen some automatic programs for color the folders in Windows by changing the color of the icons.
If instead, we want to customize every aspect of Windows 10, we invite you to read our guide Change fonts, colors, and buttons on windows and on menu bars in Windows.