Windows 7 - How to Change Default Icons
Many of us love to customize our computers and make them our own. There are so many ways to do this and you certainly don't have to feel restricted only to changing the visual theme or the desktop background. Amongst the many features that you can change are the desktop icons, as well as other icons on your computer. Doing so is a fairly simple process, even for novice users.
1 - Changing Desktop Icons
First, right-click anywhere on the desktop and go to "Personalize." In the top left-hand side of the personalization window, you'll see the link "Change desktop icons." Click this and the "Desktop Icon Settings" window will appear.
In Windows 7, by default, only the Recycle Bin icon appears on the desktop. Here you can check the boxes to enable icons for Computer, User's Files, Network and Control Panel as well. Select the boxes for the shortcuts that you require.
In the section below, you can easily change the icon for each of these shortcuts. Simply click on the icon to select it and then click "Change Icon." Browse to the location of your desired icon file, unless you want to use one from the default list which appears. Any icon you choose will need to be in the ICO format. You can find many different icons and icon packages on Windows customization sites all over the web.
Before you close the window, you may want to deselect "Allow themes to change desktop icons" if you want your custom icons to remain regardless of the visual theme you're using.
2 - Changing Folder and Shortcut Icons
Before you begin, you should know that some program shortcuts will not allow their icons to be changed. However, any shortcut that you have made yourself can have its icon changed. Most folders may have their icons changed as well. You cannot change an icon for an actual file, since the file type icon is always used.
To change the icon for a folder or shortcut, right-click on it. If you're changing the icon for a shortcut, click on the "Change Icon" button. If you're changing the icon for a folder, go to the "Customize" tab and click the "Change Icon" button.
If you're changing the icon for a shortcut, a list of default icons for that program will appear. These icons are usually contained within the program file itself and there are often several to choose from for most programs. Alternatively, you can also click the "Browse" button and choose your own icon.
When changing the icon for a folder, you'll be offered a list of default Windows icons as in the previous section where you changed your desktop icons. Again, you can also hit the "Browse" button if you have your own icons to choose from stored on your computer.