How to Change Icons on Windows 7: Refresh Your Desktop Look

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How to Change Icons in Windows 7: A Guide by Tracy

Introduction to Changing Icons in Windows 7

Customizing your Windows 7 interface by changing icons can make your desktop feel more personal and can potentially improve your workflow. As an expert in tech-related issues and troubleshooting, I’m here to provide you with a straightforward guide to update your desktop icons with ease.

Step-by-Step Guide to Change Desktop Icons

Changing System Icons

Windows 7 allows you to change several system icons including the ‘Computer’, ‘Recycle Bin’, ‘Network’, and ‘User’s Files’ icons directly from the desktop icon settings.

  1. Right-click on an empty area of your desktop, then click on ‘Personalize’.
  2. On the left pane, click on ‘Change desktop icons’.
  3. Choose an icon you want to change, and click ‘Change Icon…’.
  4. Select an icon from the list, or click ‘Browse…’ to choose a custom icon file. (*.ico)
  5. After selecting the icon, click ‘OK’ to apply changes.

Changing Shortcut Icons

Besides system icons, you can customize the shortcuts to your applications or folders.

  1. Right-click the shortcut and select ‘Properties’.
  2. In the ‘Shortcut’ tab, click the ‘Change Icon…’ button.
  3. Choose a new icon from the list, or click ‘Browse…’ to upload your own icon file.
  4. Click ‘OK’ twice to save the change.

Finding and Using Custom Icons

For personalized icons, you can find free or paid icon packs online, or create your own using graphic design tools. Remember to check the license for the icons and credit the creator if necessary. Additionally, ensure your custom icons are saved as ‘.ico’ files, as this is the format Windows accepts for icons.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Issue Solution
Custom icon reverts to default Make sure the icon file is saved in a permanent location, as Windows references the file path to display the icon.
Unable to select custom icon Confirm the file is an ‘.ico’ file. If not, use an image converter tool to change the file type.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I convert a PNG or JPG image to the ICO format?

You can use online conversion tools or software like GIMP or Photoshop to convert image files to the ICO format.

How do I restore the default icon if I change my mind?

In the icon changing window, simply click the ‘Restore Default’ button, and the default icon will be reinstated.

Can I change the folder icon to a picture?

Yes, you can set a custom icon for folders as well by following the same process as changing shortcut icons.