How to Create a Custom Desktop Icon

By Faith Alessio

Creating your own personalized icons can make your desktop colorful and enjoyable. Whether you're getting bored of the same old "My Computer" and "Recycle Bin" icons, or just want to make your computer desktop unique, making your own icons is simple. With a program such as Microsoft Paint, you can make icons that will add some fun and personality to your desktop.

Things You'll Need

  • Image manipulation software
  • Internet connection

Step 1

Create your own image in any image manipulation program that can save files with a .PNG file extension. Most image programs can do this. You can also use a pre-made image file in your imaging program by clicking "File" on the toolbar at the top of the program window. In the File drop-down menu, click "Open." Browse through the files on your computer until you locate the one that you wish to use and then click "Open" on the bottom right of the Browse window.

Step 2

Save your image as a .PNG file by clicking the menu option labeled "Save As" in the "File" drop-down menu. In the Save As window, find the folder that you want to save your image to and open it. In the "File name" text box, type the name that you wish your image to have. Click on the box labeled "Save as type" and select "PNG" or "Portable Network Graphic" in the drop-down menu that appears.

Step 3

Go to a website that is made to convert image files into an .ICO file type. There are several websites available where you can do this conversion for free very simply. Often used websites include, and (see References). Click "Browse" and then, in the Browse window that appears, find the .PNG image file that you just created. Select it and click "Open."

Step 4

Click the "Convert" button. The website will then save the .PNG image file as a file with a .ICO file extension. Some icon conversion websites upload the file to the Internet first in order to convert it. When using a website that works this way, the website will prompt you to download the newly-converted .ICO back onto your computer. You will have to do this before using it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Images with a .ICO file extension cannot be edited in most image manipulation programs. Because of this, make sure that your image is the correct size and resolution before you convert to .ICO.