Icons were created as a quick way to visually identify information on a computer, but sometimes Windows 10 shortcut icons are so generic that they don’t feel useful. In this case, Windows makes it easy to customize the icons. Here’s how to do it.
First, find the shortcut with the icon you want to change in File Explorer or on your Desktop. Right-click the shortcut, and select “Properties.”
In Properties, make sure you are on the Shortcut tab, then click the “Change Icon” button.
A “Change Icon” window will appear containing an icon area that you can use a shortcut to. By default, it comes from a Windows system file called “imageres.dll.”
If you wish to use a different icon than the one listed by default, you can click “Browse” and select an EXE file, DLL file, or ICO file. (You can use any image you like – you just need to convert it to the ICO format first.) Once the file has loaded, you’ll see possible icons you can use in the box below.
Whether you are using the default selection or a custom file, choose an icon, and click “OK.”
In the Properties window, you will see that the icon has changed to the one you selected. Click “OK” to close Properties and save the settings.
Congratulations – your shortcut has a new icon! Feel free to customize the shortcut icon as you like. It’s a great way to add personality to your Windows installation.