The icons in Windows 8.1, such as the desktop icons, are not permanently set. Similar to other customizable areas of Windows, such as the Start Screen, the operating system's icons can be personalized. Use the Change Icon utility to select a new icon from the list of Windows icons or browse to the location of an icon you want to use.
Change A Desktop Icon
Right-click an empty area of your display's desktop and then select Personalize from the menu box to open the Personalization window.
Click Change Desktop Icons on the window's left side to open the Desktop Icon Settings dialog box.
Select the icon that you want to change and then click the Change Icon button to open the Change Icon box.
Choose the icon you want to use from the list of icons in the box and then click the OK button. If you have an icon saved in another location, click the Browse button and then browse to the icon.
- There are many icon websites — such as iconarchive.com, findicons.com and dryicons.com — that offer free downloadable icons and icon sets, which can replace your Windows icons.
- It is also possible to create your own icons using an appropriate image-editing program, such as the native Windows Paint program, Gimp or Photoshop. After creating your icon, save it in the ICO file format — for example, myiconfile.ico — which is the Windows file format for icons.
The standard sizes for a Windows program, shortcut or folder icon are: 16 by 16 pixels, 32 by 32 pixels, 48 by 48 pixels and 256 by 256 pixels. You must choose a Windows compatible standard icon size, such as 32 by 32 pixels, for it to display properly. Choose a size that is most appropriate for the location where you intend to use the size. For example, if you use the Extra Large Icons view in File Explorer, choose the 256 by 256 pixel size to display your icon in high resolution.
Click the Apply button and then click OK to change the icon.
To restore a default icon, select the current icon on the Desktop Icon Settings window and then click the Restore Default button.
Change A Folder Icon
Browse to the folder icon that you want to change and then right-click the item.
Select Properties from the pop-up menu to open the Folder Properties dialog box.
Click the Customize tab and then click Change Icon to open the Change Icon for Folder dialog box.
Select the icon you want to display and click OK. Click the Browse button to browse to an icon in a different location.
Click Apply and then OK to set the new icon.
To change a folder or program's shortcut icon, right-click the shortcut and select Properties from the menu to open the Shortcut Properties dialog window. Click the Shortcut tab and then click the Change Icon button. Select the new icon from the Change Icon dialog box and click OK. On the Shortcut Properties dialog window, click Apply and then OK to complete the process.