How to Change File Icon on Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing file icons in Windows 11 is a great way to personalize your desktop and make it uniquely yours. With a few simple steps, you can swap out the boring default icons for something more exciting. Here’s how to do it.

How to Change File Icon on Windows 11

Changing a file icon in Windows 11 might sound complicated, but it’s really straightforward once you get the hang of it. These steps will guide you through the process so you can refresh your desktop’s look.

Step 1: Right-click the file

To start, right-click on the file whose icon you want to change.

When you right-click, a context menu will pop up. This menu contains options to interact with the file. Look for one labeled "Properties."

Step 2: Select "Properties"

From the context menu, select "Properties" at the bottom.

The Properties window will open, giving you various tabs to choose from. For changing icons, you’ll want to find the "Shortcut" tab if it’s a shortcut or "Customize" tab if it’s a folder.

Step 3: Click "Change Icon"

In the Properties window, click the "Change Icon" button.

This button will open a new window displaying the current icon and other options. Here, you can pick a different icon from the list or browse for your custom icon file.

Step 4: Choose an icon

Select the icon you want from the list, or browse to find a custom .ico file.

Once you’ve selected your new icon, click "OK." You can find many free .ico files online, or you can create your own using various software.

Step 5: Apply and confirm

Click "Apply" and then "OK" to confirm your changes.

After you click these buttons, the new icon should replace the old one on your desktop. If you don’t see the change immediately, try refreshing your desktop or restarting your computer.

After completing these steps, your file icon should now be updated to your new choice. It’s a quick way to personalize and organize your desktop more effectively.

Tips for How to Change File Icon on Windows 11

  • Use High-Quality Icons: Ensure that your custom .ico files are high-quality to avoid blurry icons.
  • Create Icons: Use icon creation tools like IcoFX or online converters to make your own icons from images.
  • Backup Your Icons: Save your custom icons in a dedicated folder to easily reuse them later.
  • Refresh if Necessary: Sometimes changes don’t appear immediately; right-click on the desktop and select "Refresh".
  • System Protection: Be cautious when downloading icons from the internet to avoid malware.

FAQ About How to Change File Icon on Windows 11

Can I change icons for all file types?

No, you can only change icons for shortcuts and folders easily. For specific file types, you’ll need third-party software.

Can I revert to the original icon?

Yes, simply follow the same steps and select the default icon from the list.

Do I need administrative rights?

Yes, changing icons typically requires administrative rights.

Where can I find custom icons?

You can find custom icons on websites like IconArchive or DeviantArt, or create your own.

Can I change the icon size?

Icon size is changed through "Display Settings," not the icon properties.

Summary of How to Change File Icon on Windows 11

  1. Right-click the file
  2. Select "Properties"
  3. Click "Change Icon"
  4. Choose an icon
  5. Apply and confirm


Changing file icons on Windows 11 is an easy, fun way to customize your desktop. By following these steps, you can make your workspace more visually appealing and organized. Whether you’re using icons from the web or creating your own, the process is simple and straightforward.

For further customization, consider exploring third-party icon management tools that can offer even more features and flexibility. So, don’t settle for the default icons—make your desktop your own! Dive in and start experimenting with different icons today. It’s a small change that can make a big difference in how you interact with your computer every day.

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