Customize Your Computer with Cool Icons in Windows XP

Tina Sieber 28-03-2010

Customize Your Computer with Cool Icons in Windows XP Icons04Day in, day out; you browse folders, open programs and files. Each and every time you, see the same boring icons that everyone sees on their computers.


Why be the same as everyone else when it’s not difficult to be unique? You can easily personalize your computer and set it apart from the masses.

Folders that you open frequently deserve a dedicated icon. The same goes for programs you use a lot. There are many fresh icons out there that look a lot cooler than the default ones you see everywhere. It’s just a matter of finding and using them. I’ll help you with both.

How To Change An Icon in Windows XP?

First, you will want to know how to change to cool icons in Windows XP. It works differently for different types of icons. Below are the instructions for the most common ones.

Change Folder Icon

Right-click folder, select > Properties, switch to > Customize tab. Under Folder icons click > Change Icon… and > Browse… for the desired icon. Hit > OK on all windows to save your changes.


customize icon

Change Program Icon

You will change the icon of the shortcut you’re using to open the program.

Right-click shortcut, select > Properties, switch to > Shortcut tab. At the bottom click the > Change Icon… button. You’ll be able to choose from a few standard icons or > Browse… for a custom icon on your computer. Click > OK on all windows to save your changes.

The icon in the Start menu won’t change until you reboot the computer.


cool icons windows xp

Change Drive Icon

Right-click drive icon, select > Change Icon from the menu, > Browse… for a suitable icon, and click > OK to save changes.

Change My Computer / My Documents / Networkplaces / Recycle Bin Icons

For some system icons, changing the icon works a little different.

Right-click on desktop, go go > Properties, open > Desktop tab, and click the > Customize Desktop… button in the bottom left. Select the icon you would like to change, click > Change Icon, > Browse… for the new icon and click > OK on all windows to save changes.


change desktop icons

Where To Find Cool Icons?

Now that you know how to change various icons, let’s look at some resources for stylish digital accessories where you can get some cool icons for Windows XP. is an icon search engine if you will. When you enter a keyword, for example a program’s name or an icon color or style; the search bar will suggest words. When you hit Enter, you can browse all available icons. Also note the most viewed, most downloaded, most rated and most searched categories to discover icons.

download icon


To download an icon, click it, and download the ICO file.

free icon download


At IconsPedia, you can download entire icon packs. This saves you a lot of searching for single icons of the same style.

free icons

The left-hand menu contains several categories, which in turn contain icon packs. You can also search this site by keywords and find icons and related packs. Overall, you will find that IconsPedia has one of the largest and most diverse collections available.

Find Icons

Find Icons is another search engine style icons page, which serves both single icons and packs.

icon search engine

What sets this one apart from the others is the side menu next to the results, which lets you refine your search. You can search within the results, define the size range with a handy slider, filter by color, select styles, and sort icons by different criteria.

custom icons

Icon packs do not come up in the results. However, when you click an icon, you will see a link to its icon pack. To browse all icon packs click the > Browse button in the top menu. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to download the entire pack.

Furthermore, Find Icons provides a file converter. You can upload your .jpg or .png image files and convert them to .ico files.

Do you already have great icons, but they don’t work because it’s the wrong file type? Maybe iConvert can help. Karl explains how to use it in his article iConvert converts Windows Icons to Mac and Vice Versa Online.

If you would like to change your icons more comfortably, try one of the 3 Free Icon Changer Programs to Customize Your Folders 3 Free Icon Changer Programs to Customize Your Folders Read More that Saikat described.

Image credits: agthabrown

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  1. Hairgel_Addict
    March 31, 2010 at 1:50 am

    "Super Turbo Tango Patcher" FTW! But it's more of an "icon theme" - changes all boring default icons to 1 of 4 "icon themes".