While Microsoft Windows offers dozens of customization options for a variety of features and programs, you can often use your own images or artwork to customize your computer’s appearance. Windows icons in particular are a relatively easy way to personalize your desktop. You can also create your own icons with Microsoft Paint, which is a free application included in Windows.
Navigate to the “Start” menu, then select “All Programs,” “Accessories” and “Paint” to open Paint.
Create or import the image that you want to use as a Windows icon. Resize the image to ensure that the size is 48-by-48, which is a standard size for Windows icons. To do this in Windows 7, click on “Resize” from the home tab. In the “Resize and Skew” window, select to resize by pixel and then enter 48 in both boxes. If using Windows Vista, click on the "Attributes" button under the "Image" button on the toolbar.
Save your icon to your desktop. Click on “Save As” from the “File” tab and then select “24-bit Bitmap” from the “Save As Type” drop-down box. In the “File Name” box, enter the name of your icon with a “.ico” extension.
Right-click on your desktop and select “New,” then “Folder” to create a new folder. Right-click on the new folder and select “Properties,” then click on the “Customize” tab. Click “Change Icon.” In the “Change Icon” window, click “Browse.” Locate your newly created icon, select it and click “OK.” This will change the icon on the new folder. Alternatively, you can select one of Windows' many icon options to use as your folder’s icon.
- Under the “Customize” tab, you can also change the type of folder you want, such as a documents or music folder. These folder types are pre-set to use relevant labels for the data types, which is especially useful for sorting data.
- Changing the icon from the default Windows icon will disable the preview within the folder, which allows you to view the type of files contained within. For example, a folder containing PDF files will typically display a PDF image on the Windows default icon. This won't be the case if you use a custom icon.
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