How to Change Icons on Windows 11

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By default, all files, folders, and applications have an icon on Windows. This helps you identify them quickly and easily. If you want to change specific icons, Windows gives you various ways. You can also change entire icon packs using third-party applications. Read on to understand how to change your icons on Windows 11.

Changing the icon of a specific folder

  1. Right-click on the folder for which you want to change the icon. Now, select Properties. Alternatively, click on the folder and press Alt + Enter.

    Select Properties
    Right-click and select Properties.

  2. The folder’s properties will open up. Go to the Customize tab and click Change Icon under the “Folder icons” section.

    Select Change Icon
    Under the Customize tab, select Change Icon.

  3. Choose an icon from the options given. Finally, click OK to confirm your choice.

    Select an icon
    From the given options, select an icon.

  4. Click OK again to confirm your choice.

    Click OK
    Press OK to confirm your choice.

  5. You can now see that the icon of your folder has been changed.

    Icon is changed
    The desired folder’s icon is changed.

Uploading your own icons

If you don’t like the template icons, you can upload an icon of your own.

  1. Go back to the Project Properties dialog box. Then, go to Customize and select Change icon.
  2. Instead of choosing an icon from the list of options, click Browse.

    Click Browse
    Select Browse.

  3. Navigate to where you have your icon stored on your computer. Note that the icon must be in a .ico format for it to be used. Other image formats like .jpg, .jpeg, .png or .gif will not be accepted. Click Open once you’ve selected your icon.

    Select the desired icon
    Pick the icon you want.

  4. Click on the icon again and select OK.

    Click OK
    Click OK to select the icon.

  5. Finally, click OK again for confirmation.

    Click OK for confirmation
    Press OK to confirm your choice.

  6. You can see that the folder icon has been changed to your preference.

    Icon is changed
    The selected folder’s icon is changed.

Changing desktop icons using Personalization

You can change desktop icons (This PC, Recycle Bin) in Windows 11 from the Windows settings.

  1. Press Windows + I to open Windows settings. You can also search for settings by pressing the Windows key.
  2. Click on Personalization on the left panel. Then, select Themes.

    Select Themes
    Open the Settings app and click Personalization > Themes.

  3. Click Desktop icon settings.

    Click Desktop icon settings
    Click Desktop icon settings.

  4. Click on the icon you want to change, then the Change icon button. In this example, we are changing the icon for This PC.

    Click Change icon
    Select Change icon.

  5. Choose a new icon and press OK. You can also upload your own icon (must be a .ico file) by clicking Browse.

    Choose icon
    Choose your preferred icon.

  6. Click OK again.
    Click OK for confirmation
    Press OK for confirmation.

    Your This PC icon has been changed.

    Icon is changed
    The selected folder’s icon is changed.

Changing icons by creating a shortcut

Sometimes you can’t change an application’s icon. For that instance, you can create a shortcut for that app and change the shortcut’s icon. Follow these steps to do that:

  1. Right-click on the application or folder for which you want the icon changed. Now, select Show more options.Click Show more options
  2. Click Create shortcut.

    Click Create shortcut
    Select Create shortcut.

  3. Click Yes to create a desktop shortcut for that folder or app.

    Click Yes
    Press Yes to create a shortcut for the selected folder/app.

  4. Go to your desktop and find the shortcut—Right-click on it and select Properties.

    Select Properties
    Choose Properties.

  5. Click the Change icon option. Select an icon and click OK. Click OK again for confirmation. You’ll now be able to see the icon changed to your preference.

    Icon is changed
    The selected folder’s icon is changed as per your preference.

Changing drive/disk icons using the Registry Editor

To change drive or disk icons on your PC, you must make changes to the registry editor.

  1. You need to have a .ico file saved on your computer. Copy the file path of the icon – you can do this by right-clicking it and selecting the Copy as path option. Keep the path stored somewhere.

    Copy the file path of the preferred icon
    Copy the file path of the preferred icon.

  2. Now, press Windows + R to open the Run command. Type regedit in the text field and hit Enter.

    Type the regedit command
    Type the regedit command in the Open field and press Enter.

  3. Copy the following path ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerDriveIcons and paste it into the Path field of the Registry Editor. Once you’ve done that, right-click on Drive Icons in the left panel and select New, followed by Key.

    Create a new key
    Create a new key.

  4. Name this new key to the letter of the disk for which you want to change the icon.

    Name the disk letter as new key
    Name the disk letter.

  5. Right-click on the newly created key and select New, followed by Key.

    Create a new key
    Right-click the newly created key, and press New, followed by Key.

  6. Name the key DefaultIcon. After naming the key, right-click (Default) and select Modify.

    Select Modify
    Choose Modify.

  7. You’ll now find an Edit String dialog box. On the Value data field, get the icon’s path from the first step and paste it here. After pasting the icon’s file path, click OK.
    Paste the icon file path
    Paste the icon file path in the Value data field and press OK.

    The drive icon has now been changed.

    Icon is changed
    The disk/drive icon is changed.

Installing entire icon packages using third-party applications

Third-party apps can be used to change a whole set of icons (following a particular theme) rather than each individually.


A popular app used to change Windows icons is 7TSP.

  1. Go to the 7tsp link to download the software. You’ll have to create a DeviantArt account if you don’t have one.

    Click on the Download icon
    Click on the Download icon to download 7tsp.

  2. Extract the downloaded zip file by right-clicking and selecting Extract All.

    Extract the zip file
    Extract the downloaded zip file.

  3. Rename the file’s extension from .ee to .exe.

    Change the file extension
    Change the file extension to .exe.

  4. Next, you need an icon pack. If you don’t already have one, you can go to this website and download any icon pack for free. Go to the icon pack you like and click Download free to start downloading the icon pack. For this instance, let’s choose the Miyuki icon pack.

    Download the chosen icon pack
    Download the chosen icon pack.

  5. Double-click on the .exe file to launch the application. After the app is launched, click Add a Custom Pack.

    Add the custom pack
    Open the application and select Add a custom pack.

  6. In File Explorer, navigate to the downloaded icon pack and double-click it. You can see your selected icon pack in the application. After uploading the icon pack, click Start Patching.

    Upload the icon pack and select Start Patching
    Upload the icon pack and select Start Patching.

  7. Click Yes to start patching. This will change your icons.

    Click Yes
    Select Yes to start patching.

  8. Wait for the patching to complete. Once it’s over, click Yes to reboot your computer.

    Reboot your computer
    Select Yes to reboot your computer,

  9. After your computer restarts, you can see that your computer’s icons have been updated.

    Icons have been updated
    Your icons will be updated after your computer restarts.

Erik is a full-time product quality engineer at the IBM who has a passion for teaching others (and always learning) about technology. He has a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology. Erik is the chief editor for Windows, Linux and coding tutorials.

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