Veronica With Four Eyes

How To Customize Icons In Windows 10

When I was exploring ways to make my computer easier to see, I decided to learn how to customize icons in Windows 10 to help make my favorite programs easier to see. This was especially helpful at my summer internship, because my most used programs all had similar colored icons and I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t open the wrong program by accident. Here are my tips for how to customize icons in Windows 10, with no advanced technology skills required.

First, why use custom icons in Windows 10?

There are lots of benefits to using custom Windows 10 icons, including:

  • Being able to create custom color palettes for icons
  • Make icons with similar display colors easier to tell apart
  • Create simpler icons with less visual elements
  • Having high-contrast icons for users with visual impairments

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Finding custom icons online

There are lots of different free custom icons for popular programs online, though they will need to be downloaded in the .ico file format in order for them to be used as icons. I recommend running a websearch for one of the following terms:

  • ICO files
  • ICO downloads
  • Free icons for Windows

ICO files can be downloaded online for free, though I recommend avoiding any app or website that requires users to download another application or EXE file in order to access icons, as these may contain viruses.

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Create your own custom icons

Another design option is to create your own custom icons in Windows 10. I typically create a custom slide/page size of 128 x 128 in Microsoft PowerPoint, PicsArt, or MIcrosoft Publisher to design my own icons, though icon designs can be created in other graphic design programs as well.

Another option is to crop existing images in a square shape or scan in drawings/images and crop them to the appropriate size.

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Convert images to icons

If users wish to use their own custom images or designs for icons, they will have to convert their image file to the ICO file format. I use an online file converter to do this, which is linked below, and I save the image in all of the different resolutions, as a single ICO file can support multiple resolutions.

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How to change desktop icons in Windows 10

To change desktop icons in Windows 10, follow these steps:

  1. If the program isn’t already on the desktop, open the start menu and drag the program name to the desktop area.
  2. On the desktop, right click the program icon. A drop-down menu will appear next to the icon
  3. At the bottom of the drop-down menu, click “Properties”
  4. In the Properties menu, click the center button that says “Change Icon…”
  5. If the icon does not show up, click the “Browse” button and go to the file location where the ICO file is saved
  6. Once it is on the screen, click the icon of your choice and press “OK”
  7. Press “OK” on the Properties dialog box. If the icon does not show up immediately, close the program or restart the computer.
  8. The new icon will appear on the desktop and taskbar

Some applications don’t support custom icons, so if the Properties menu is not available, then an app’s icon cannot be changed.

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Resize desktop icons

Some users may prefer to have larger desktop icons in order to make their custom icons easier to see. Icons can be enlarged by doing the following:

  1. Right-click on the desktop and wait for the drop-down menu to appear
  2. Hover your mouse over the “View” section
  3. Select small, medium, or large icons
  4. The changes will automatically take effect

How to change taskbar icons in Windows 10

To change the taskbar icons in Windows 10, follow these steps:

  1. If the program isn’t already on the taskbar, open the start menu and right click the program name. Click the “More” option on the drop down menu, and click “Pin to taskbar”
  2. On the taskbar, right click the program icon. A drop-down menu will appear next to the icon
  3. Right-click the name of the program in the drop-down menu, and open the Properties menu
  4. In the Properties menu, click the center button that says “Change Icon…”
  5. If the icon does not show up, click the “Browse” button and go to the file location where the .ico file is saved
  6. Once it is on the screen, click the icon of your choice and press “OK”
  7. Press “OK” on the Properties dialog box. If the icon does not show up immediately, close the program or restart the computer.
  8. The new icon will appear on the desktop and taskbar

Some applications don’t support custom icons, so if the Properties menu is not available, then an app’s icon cannot be changed.

Other options for making icons easier to see

Besides having custom icons, there are many other options for making Windows 10 easier to see. Some of the options I have used include:

  • Enabling high-contrast mode
  • Using Windows Magnifier to make items larger
  • Creating custom keyboard shortcuts to open applications
  • Opening applications with Cortana

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Final thoughts

I love having custom icons in Windows 10 and having easy to see icons on my desktop and taskbar. All of my icons have different colors and shapes, and this has helped tremendously with making sure I open the right applications for my internship or for doing my homework on the first try. I hope that this guide to how to customize icons in Windows 10 is helpful for others as well!

How To Customize Icons In Windows 10. How to find, create, and set up custom icons for Windows 10 to make your icons easier to see



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