Changing Icons

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 8, 2019)

2

When you add programs, create shortcuts, or do any number of other tasks in Windows, the system assigns an icon to whatever it is that is being added or created. Most people use the default icons selected by Windows, but you might want to be different and specify your own icons. Here's an easy way to do it:

  1. Right-click the item whose icon you want to change. (For this example, I'll assume you are right-clicking on a shortcut icon.) Windows displays a Context menu.
  2. Click the Properties option. Windows displays a Properties dialog box for the item.
  3. Make sure the Shortcut tab is displayed. (Depending on the nature of the item you are working with, you may need to search around to find the correct tab in the dialog box.) (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Properties dialog box for a shortcut.

  5. Click Change Icon. Windows displays the Change Icon dialog box.
  6. Click Browse. Windows displays a familiar Open-style dialog box.
  7. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate and select the file that contains the icon images you want. (For the purposes of this example, locate and select the file c:\windows\system32\imageres.dll.)
  8. Click Open. Windows displays the icons in the file in the Change Icon dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  9. Figure 2. The Change Icon dialog box.

  10. Select the icon you want to use.
  11. Click OK. Windows updates the icon in the Properties dialog box.
  12. Click OK to close the Properties dialog box.

You can, if desired, attempt to use different files in step 6. Sometimes Microsoft or a software vendor will create a file that contains many images (as imageres.dll does) or the icon images may be part of some other file that contains only a few. Only some exploring on your part will get you to the images you want to use.

 This tip (3604) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 3 + 7?

2019-07-08 17:13:03

MW

When you click to change the icon as described above, Win10 typically defaults to the list of icons contained within the file: Shell32.dll

However as Allen discusses there are many other icon options squirreled away in various systems files, like his selection imageres.dll. But searching for those icon 'depositories' is a bit time consuming.

Here are several system files that I refer to frequently when I need specific icons:
compstui.dll
outllibr.dll
mapi32.dll
ieframe.dll
netshell.dll
mmcndmgr.dll
pifmgr.dll

Here is a website suggesting more locations:
https://www.digitalcitizen.life/where-find-most-windows-10s-native-icons



2019-07-08 12:44:03

Allan

Unfortunately this procedure does not always work. I have never found out why ..


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