How to Change Windows Icons in Windows 7

Written by andrew mikael
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How to Change Windows Icons in Windows 7
Windows 7 has several custom built-in icon tools. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Windows 7 uses a default set of icons that come pre-installed with the operating system. While the computer uses several of these icons on folders, documents and other files, the system houses many more icons that it uses only rarely or not at all. You can change the default icons to give the computer a customised appearance, or organise folders according to specific visuals. Windows 7 has three icon-changing tools built in for customising folder icons, desktop icons and icon fonts.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


    Folder Icons

  1. 1

    Right click on the folder icon you wish to change. Select "Properties" from the list and then click the "Customize" tab.

  2. 2

    Click either "Choose File" or "Change Icon." The first option lets you specify a picture file to appear in the folder icon without changing its overall look. The latter button completely changes the icon.

  3. 3

    Double click on the picture file or icon file you wish to use. Click "Apply" to save the changes.

    Desktop Icons

  1. 1

    Right click on the Desktop and select "Personalize" from the drop-down menu. Click the "Change desktop icons" option in the left frame.

  2. 2

    Click to highlight the icon you wish to change. Desktop icons include the Computer, user folder and Recycle Bin shortcuts. Click on "Change Icon."

  3. 3

    Double click a new icon to change the item's appearance. Click "OK" to save the changes.

    Icon Fonts

  1. 1

    Open the Control Panel and click on the "Display" icon. Click on "Change colour scheme" in the left frame.

  2. 2

    Click the "Advanced" button. Open the "Item" drop down menu and select "Icon."

  3. 3

    Click on the "Font" drop-down menu to set the icon font. Use the bottom "Size" menu to change the font's readability if desired. You may also use the top "Size" menu to change the overall size of icons from this window. Click "OK" to finish. These settings affect all system icons.

Tips and warnings

  • Third-party applications can add new themes to Windows 7, which also changes the system's icons. Programs such as MyColors and WinStep include icon-changing features.

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