How to Change a Desktop Icon Image

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How to Change a Desktop Icon Image

The great thing about Microsoft Windows is that you can customize the operating system’s visual appearance to fit your needs.  Many icons for files, programs, and shortcuts are offered on Windows by default, and some themes may change the existing desktop icons you have.  If you want to use your own custom icons for your desktop, here are some ways for you to do it.

Creating Shortcuts

You cannot change icons for folders, programs, and files directly, but you can change shortcut icons.  Shortcuts are very small files that redirect you to a particular file or directory on your computer.  Instead of placing the files or folders directly on your desktop, you can move them to a separate directory and create shortcuts that lead to the desktop:

  1. Move file folders and files to a separate directory outside the desktop.
  2. Open Windows Explorer, and go to the directory where your files and folders are found.
  3. Right-click the file or folder, and highlight “Send To” on the drop-down menu.
  4. Highlight and click “Desktop (create shortcut).”
  5. Go to the Desktop and verify if your shortcut is present on the workspace.

Getting Icons

Many theme packs and skins for Windows XP come with icons, but some of them can be potentially unsafe for your computer.  Some of them may be malicious software that introduce pop-up ads or other malware to your computer.  You can instead use icon making software to convert small images or downloaded line-art to 64 x 64 icons.  You may also download icon packs from safe sites on the Internet.

Replacing Icons

To replace the icon of the desktop shortcut, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the desktop icon.
  2. Highlight and click “Properties” on the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on the “Shortcut” tab.
  4. Click the “Change Icon” button.
  5. By default, the menu will lead you to a set of default icons found in the directory “C:\Windows\system32\SHELL32.dll” for Windows XP.  You can click on the “Browse” button and locate your custom icon directory.  Remember the only valid icon files with a “.ico” file extension can be used to change the icon image.
  6. Save all changes by clicking “OK.”

New icon images can help you customize and personalize your computer.  With these tips, changing desktop icon images in Windows XP is made easier, and you can give your computer desktop that nice, personalized touch.

 

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