How to change Windows icons easily

Among the possible customizations for Windows PCs, one of the best is certainly that of the icons, choosing logos and icons other than standard ones for various desktop shortcuts and folders.
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!

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, since the steps are very similar.

Change link icons

Desktop shortcut icons can be easily changed thanks to the built-in 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, let's open the tab connection 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 Shop by Department 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 Update.

Likewise it is possible 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 Add to the 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 the right window down and click on 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 "What PC", Trash can full and empty, Network e Profile folder
In the Change Icon window, you can select any of the icons included in Windows or by pressing on Shop by Department, 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 it is possible to 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 modified, select Property, let's move on to the card Customize and press on Change icon.

In the "Change icon" window, select the one you prefer from 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 window 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: english 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 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, on the other hand, 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.

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