How to Change File Icon

Surely you too, using your computer, have exclaimed at least once: “Of course the icon of that file is really ugly! How I would like to change it! ". In fact, not all icons are beautiful in the same way and then, let's face it, even the most successful icons in the long run can tire. What do you say, then, if now we take a few minutes of free time and try to discover, together, how to change file icon?

Before you can get alarmed and think about who knows what very complicated procedure to follow, I want to reassure you about one thing: changing the icon of a file or folder, regardless of the operating system used, is a very simple operation. You can do it without any kind of problem even if you are new to the computer world.

To change the icons on Windows, macOS and Ubuntu (the three operating systems I will deal with today) only a minimum of attention and patience are required. If you are therefore willing to continue and find out what needs to be done to change the icons on your desktop, get comfortable, concentrate on reading this guide and try to put into practice the instructions I am about to give you. You will see that in the end you will be able to say that you are very satisfied with the result obtained and you will have a much more pleasant desktop to see and use. Happy reading and have fun!

Where to Find Icons for Files

Before getting into the tutorial and finding out what you need to do for change file icon on Windows, macOS and Linux, I want to point out some resources through which you can find the icons to apply on your computer.

To get the icons to use on your PC you basically have three ways at your disposal: you can take advantage of the system icons, then draw on the files already present in the operating system (eg the Windows DLL libraries); you can create aoriginal icon following the directions you find in my tutorial on how to create custom icons, or you can download ready-to-use icons from sites like IconArchive, IconFinder or deviantART.

If you want to download ready-to-use icons from the Internet and want more information on how sites like the ones I just pointed out work, read my tutorial on how to download free icons. If you are using a Windows system, you will need icons in ICO o ICL or, alternatively, executables EXE or libraries DLL from which to extrapolate the icons.

Change File Icon on Windows

Let's start by talking about Windows. If you want to change the icon associated with a certain type of file on the Microsoft operating system, you have to get FileTypesMan: a free program compatible with all versions of Windows that allows you to manage the various types of files, their associations and - what that is primarily of interest to you right now - their icons.

To download FileTypesMan on your PC, connected to its official website, scroll the page to the bottom and click on the item Download FileTypesMan for x64 a 64 bit operating system was used oppure sulla voce Download FileTypesMan if you are using a 32-bit operating system.

When the download is complete, open the zip package that contains FileTypesMan (eg. filetypesman-x64.zip), extract the contents to any folder and run the executable FileTypesMan.exe.

Nella finestra che si apre, click on your button Yes, wait a few moments for the list to load with all the customizable file extensions and click on the icon magnifying glass which is located at the top left. At this point, type the file extension (eg. mp3) for which you want to change the icon, press the button Successive Trova and get to the extension of your interest in the main window of FileTypesMan (eg. .mp3 per i file mp3).

Now, right click on the extension you want to change the icon for (ex. .mp3) and select the item Edit Selected File Type from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, click on the button [...] placed next to the item Default Icon, pigia sul pulsating Shop by Department and select the icon you want to associate with the selected extension. You can choose files ICO, ICL, EXE e DLL.

To conclude, click on your button OK for two consecutive times and the icon change will become effective.

If you change your mind, you can restore the old extension icon you changed by following the same procedure, i.e. by starting FileTypesManby selecting the extension and changing its icon through it.

Change a Folder Icon

Do you want change a folder icon and not that of a type of file? No problem. In this case, the first thing you need to do is click on the element you want to act on with the right mouse button. From the menu that will subsequently be shown to you, click on the item Property then presses on the card Customizeattached to the window that is shown to you.

Now press the button with it written Change icon ... then select the icon you intend to use to replace the current one by choosing one of the many available "standard". If you prefer to change the file icon using a custom icon, press the button Sfoglia ..., indicate the position on the computer where the icon you want to use is present to replace the current one and then select it with the mouse cursor from the window visible on the screen. Then click on OK.

To complete the procedure for changing the file icon and applying the changes, click on Apply.

In case you think about it again and if you want to restore the usual icon for the file or folder on which you have chosen to make changes, just click on it again with the right mouse button, choose the item Property from the displayed menu, click on the tab Customize, press on Change icon ... and click Restore. Then confirm the changes made by clicking on the button first OK and then Apply.

Change Icon to Links

If you are going to change a link icon (eg the icon of a program on the desktop), locate it and click on it with the right mouse button. From the menu that will be shown to you then select the item Property and by clicking on the button Change icon ... attached to the window that is shown to you.

Then select the icon you want to use to replace the current one by choosing one of the many available "standard". If you prefer to change the file icon using a custom icon, press the button Sfoglia ..., indicate the position on the computer where the icon you want to use is present to replace the current one and then select it with the mouse cursor from the window visible on the screen. Then click on OK. To complete the procedure for changing the file icon and applying the changes, click on Apply.

Change the Default Icons on the Desktop

Know that in addition to changing the file icon, you can also customize the icons of the default elements on the desktop, such as the Trash can or le Computer resources. To do this, just click with the right mouse button anywhere on the desktop and choose the item Customize give the menu that comes mostrato.

In the window that will open at this point, select the item Change desktop icons located in the left sidebar then choose which icon to change and click the button Change icon to select the file you want to replace the default Windows icon with. If you are using one of the latest versions of Windows to change the icon after clicking on the item Customize presses on the voice Temi attached to the left sidebar, click on Desktop Icon Settings, choose which icon to change and then click the button Change icon to select the file you want to replace the default icon with.

Change File Icon on Mac

If you have a Mac and your desire is to change the file icon, the procedure you need to carry out to succeed is different from the one you need to do on Windows but just as simple.

To change the file icon on Mac, you need to double-click the icon you downloaded from the Internet or that you created using one of the programs I suggested in the previous lines and wait for Preview, the program available "standard" on macOS thanks to which view and edit photos and images, start. Next, select the entire image you see using the key combination cmd + a and then copy it using the key combination cmd + c.

Proceed now going to select the folder, file or application to which you want to change the icon, click on it with the right mouse button and choose the item Get information give the menu that comes mostrato.

In the window that will open at this point, click on the thumbnail of the icon currently in use which is located at the bottom under the item Preview: and press the key combination cmd + v. Once this is done, the icon previously used for the selected folder or application will be immediately replaced by you chosen.

To confirm the changes made and therefore your desire to change the file icon, all you have to do is close the window containing the information on the folder or application by pressing the red button located in the upper assisted part of the open window.

The above procedure can also be applied to applications (to be selected from the Applications macOS). However, system applications, such as Safari o Preview, which are protected by a system called SIP and cannot be changed (except by deactivating this protection, which however would be absurd and unnecessarily risky just to change icons!).

In case of second thoughts, to restore the default icon of a file, folder or application, all you have to do is access the properties of the latter (cmd+i), click on the icon in the window that opens and press the button backspace of the keyboard.

As for the file icons, as you have surely noticed, changes affect individual files and not, as on Windows, all files that have the same extension. This is because macOS is structured differently from Windows and the icons are managed by the individual applications to which the various types of files are associated.

To change the icon of an entire type of file (eg all videos in AVI format) you should go to the folder Applications macOS change the icons included in the application associated with the files you wish to change the icon (eg VLC). To be more precise, you should enter the application folder (by right clicking on the icon of the latter and selecting the entry Show package contents from the menu that appears), after which you should go to /Contents/Resources and replace the file ICNS of the icon you want to change (with another file of the same type downloaded from the Internet or created from scratch).

When the operation is completed, then, you should restart the Mac and the icon, in this way, should be changed. In short, it is a rather complex and boring procedure to complete, but I wanted to let you know!

Change File Icon on Ubuntu

If you want to change the icons on Ubuntu, you can avail some themes which can be found free online. The themes in question must be installed via Terminal (giving very simple commands, nothing impossible) and must be applied with applications such as Unity Tweak Tool, which allows you to fully customize the look of Ubuntu.

To get Unity Tweak Tool you need to open the terminal Ubuntu (find it with a simple search in the Dash) and give the following command.

  • sudo apt install unity-tweak-tool you will be prompted to type admin password.

Once installation is complete, get an icon theme (for example from sites like Gnome Look) and download it to your computer via the terminal using the commands provided by the theme distributor. Generally the commands are as follows.

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa: [repository] to add the theme repository to Ubuntu.
  • sudo apt-get update to update the Ubuntu repository list.
  • sudo apt-get install [theme] to install the theme.

When installation is complete, start Unity Tweak Tool calling it from the Dash, click on the button Icons and select the icon theme you prefer among those installed on your computer.

The changes will be applied instantly to application icons, folders and files, so you don't even have to restart your PC to appreciate the changes.

In case of second thoughts - needless to say - you can restore the default Ubuntu icons by reopening Unity Tweak Tool, by going to the section Icons and selecting the default Ubuntu theme (or another theme of your preference).