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

Changing icons on Windows 11 is a straightforward process. It’s all about personalizing your computer to reflect your style and preferences. In just a few simple steps, you can swap out those default icons for something that better suits your taste.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing Icons on Windows 11

Before diving into the steps, know that changing icons can give your desktop a fresh look and make it easier for you to navigate your files and apps. Ready to revamp your icons? Let’s get started.

Step 1: Right-click the icon you want to change

Begin by right-clicking on the icon that you want to update. It could be a shortcut on your desktop or a program in your Start menu.

Once you right-click, a menu will pop up. Look for an option called ‘Properties’ at the bottom of this menu. Click on it, and a new window will open, which is where the magic happens.

Step 2: Click the ‘Change Icon’ button

In the Properties window, navigate to the ‘Shortcut’ tab. You’ll see a ‘Change Icon’ button towards the bottom. Click on it to proceed.

A list of available icons will appear. You can choose one of these, or if you’re feeling adventurous, click ‘Browse’ to find a custom icon saved on your computer. Remember, custom icons must be in .ico format to work correctly.

Step 3: Select your new icon and apply changes

Once you’ve made your selection, click ‘OK’. You’ll return to the Properties window. Hit ‘Apply’, then ‘OK’ again to confirm your new icon.

After applying the changes, you’ll immediately see your new icon in place of the old one. If it doesn’t change right away, don’t panic! Sometimes it takes a moment, or you may need to refresh your desktop by right-clicking and selecting ‘Refresh’.

After you complete the action, your desktop or Start menu will display the new icon you’ve chosen. It’s a quick and satisfying way to personalize your computer and make it feel more like your own.

Tips for Changing Icons on Windows 11

  • Make sure to have your custom icons ready in .ico format for a smoother process.
  • If you can’t find the ‘Change Icon’ button, ensure that you’re clicking on a shortcut or a program, not a folder.
  • For a wider selection of icons, consider downloading icon packs from trusted websites.
  • Remember to refresh your desktop if new icons don’t appear immediately.
  • Back up your original icons in case you want to switch back later.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I revert to the original icon?

To go back to the original icon, follow the same steps but select the default icon shown in the ‘Change Icon’ window.

Can I change folder icons too?

Yes, you can change folder icons by following similar steps. Right-click the folder, go to ‘Properties’, then ‘Customize’, and click ‘Change Icon’.

Where can I find custom icons?

There are many websites where you can download custom icons. Just make sure they’re from a safe and trusted source to avoid downloading malicious files.

Can I use any image as an icon?

No, the image must be in .ico format. There are online converters where you can turn your images into icons.

Why isn’t my new icon showing up?

Sometimes, you need to refresh your desktop or restart your computer for the changes to take effect.


  1. Right-click the icon and select ‘Properties’.
  2. Click ‘Change Icon’ in the Shortcut tab.
  3. Choose a new icon or browse for a custom one.
  4. Click ‘OK’, then ‘Apply’, and ‘OK’ again.


So there you have it, a simple guide on how to change icons on Windows 11. Personalizing your computer’s icons is not only a fun way to express yourself, but it can also make it easier to find what you’re looking for at a glance. Plus, it’s always nice to break away from the default and add a touch of individuality to your desktop or Start menu.

Remember, the key to a smooth icon change is having .ico files at the ready and refreshing your desktop if the changes don’t appear immediately. And if you ever get tired of your new look, switching back is just as easy.

Changing icons might seem like a small tweak, but it’s these little touches that make your computer truly feel like it’s yours. So go ahead, play around with different icons, and have fun with it. After all, it’s these personalized details that turn a computer from a tool into a companion.

And if you’re ever in doubt, just come back to this article for a quick refresher on how to change icons on Windows 11. Happy customizing!

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