How to Make Your Own Folder Icons for Windows 7

By Christina Shaffer

Each time you create a new folder in Microsoft Windows 7, the operating system displays a generic folder icon. If you want to customize your folders, however, Windows 7 allows you to change the icon that is displayed on your screen. To make a new folder icon, you must create an ICO file. ICO is the standard icon format in Windows and can be created in Microsoft Paint. Depending on your preference, you can create a new icon file from an existing picture on your computer or create a new icon image from scratch.

Create an Icon

Step 1

Open Microsoft Paint, located in the Windows "Accessories" folder.

Step 2

Click the "Paint" tab, select "Open" and import the image you want to use for your icon. If you want to create a new design, use the brushes, color palette and shapes to create a design on the blank canvas.

Step 3

Click the "Paint" tab after you import your image or create your new custom design, highlight the "Save As" option and select "BMP picture."

Step 4

Enter a new name for your image and type ".ico" at the end. Your new file should appear as "youriconname.ico."

Step 5

Select the folder you want to use to store your new icon image, and then click the "Save" button.

Set the Folder Icon

Step 1

Right-click the folder you want to customize with your new icon, and then select the "Properties" option from the context menu.

Step 2

Click the "Customize" tab in the "Properties" window.

Step 3

Click the "Change Icon" button, which is located in the "Folder icons" section at the bottom of the window.

Step 4

Click the "Browse" button and navigate to the folder that contains your new icon image. Select the file and click "Open." A preview of your icon will appear in the "Change Icon" list.

Step 5

Select the icon and click "OK."

Step 6

Click "Apply" in the "Properties" window to set your new folder icon.