How to Customize Desktop Icons in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Customizing your desktop icons in Windows 11 is a simple way to personalize your computer and make it easier to navigate. By following a few straightforward steps, you can change the appearance of your desktop icons, add new ones, or remove those you don’t need.

How to Customize Desktop Icons in Windows 11

This guide will walk you through the steps to customize your desktop icons in Windows 11. We’ll cover everything from accessing the settings to changing individual icons.

Step 1: Open Settings

Start by clicking on the Start menu and selecting the "Settings" icon.

Opening the Settings app is the first step to accessing all the customization options available in Windows 11.

Step 2: Go to Personalization

In the Settings window, click on "Personalization" from the menu on the left.

The Personalization section is where you’ll find most of the options to change the look and feel of your Windows 11 desktop.

Step 3: Click on Themes

Within the Personalization menu, select "Themes."

Themes allow you to change the overall appearance of your desktop, including colors, sounds, and icons.

Step 4: Select Desktop Icon Settings

Scroll down in the Themes section and click on "Desktop icon settings."

This opens a new window where you can manage the icons that appear on your desktop.

Step 5: Customize Your Icons

In the Desktop Icon Settings window, you can check or uncheck boxes to add or remove icons. You can also select an icon and click "Change Icon" to pick a new image from the provided list or upload your own.

Customizing your icons can help you create a desktop environment that is unique and easier to navigate.

Once you complete these steps, your desktop will have the new icons you’ve chosen. You’ll notice the changes immediately, and you can always go back to adjust them if needed.

Tips for Customizing Desktop Icons in Windows 11

  • Backup Your Icons: Before changing your icons, it’s a good idea to back up the default icons. This way, you can easily revert to the original look if needed.
  • Use High-Quality Images: When uploading custom icons, make sure they are high-quality images to avoid them looking pixelated.
  • Keep It Simple: Too many icons on your desktop can make it look cluttered. Only add the ones you use frequently.
  • Group Similar Icons: Organize icons by function or frequency of use. This makes it easier to find what you need.
  • Regular Clean-Up: Periodically review and remove icons you no longer need to keep your desktop tidy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I restore the default desktop icons?

To restore default icons, go back to the Desktop Icon Settings window, and click "Restore Default."

Can I change the size of desktop icons?

Yes, right-click on the desktop, select "View," and then choose between large, medium, or small icons.

How do I add new icons to the desktop?

You can add new icons by dragging and dropping them from the Start menu or by right-clicking and selecting "Show more options," then "Create shortcut."

Can I use any image as a desktop icon?

Yes, but the image needs to be in .ico format. You can convert images online to this format.

What should I do if my icons disappear?

If your icons disappear, right-click on the desktop, go to "View," and ensure "Show desktop icons" is checked.


  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Personalization.
  3. Click on Themes.
  4. Select Desktop Icon Settings.
  5. Customize Your Icons.


Customizing desktop icons in Windows 11 is a great way to make your computer feel more like your own. Whether you want to change the look of your current icons or add new ones, the process is straightforward. Remember to keep things simple to avoid a cluttered desktop. For further reading, you might want to explore more personalization options in Windows 11, such as changing the wallpaper or adjusting the taskbar settings. Customizing your desktop icons not only enhances the visual appeal but also makes navigation more efficient. So, dive in and make your desktop truly yours!

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