Change file and shortcut icons in Windows XP

May 27, 2020
Est. Reading: 2 mins

Changing icons in Windows XP is a very simple process that takes just a few clicks of your mouse. We will cover two methods of changing icons: changing the icons of individual shortcuts on your desktop, and changing the icon for every file of a certain type.

Changing individual desktop icons

This method will allow you to change the icon(s) for each individual item on your desktop, one by one.

  1. With your mouse, right-click on the desktop icon that you want to change.
  2. Click on “properties”.
  3. A new window will open, showing various information about the shortcut. Locate and click on the “change icon” button.
  4. A new window will open, showing you your choices for the new icon. Select your desired icon and click “ok”.
  5. You should be looking at the Properties window again. Click “ok”.
  6. The selected shortcut’s icon will be changed.

Change the icon for all files of a certain type

This method will allow you to change the icon for every file of a certain type (for example, all .txt files). Once you save your changes, every file of the type that you change will use the new icon that you select.

  1. Click the “Start” button.
  2. Click on “My Computer”.
  3. Along the type of the screen, after “File”, “Edit”, etc…, click on “Tools”.
  4. Click on “Folder Options”.
  5. A new window with numerous tabs along the top will open. Click on the “File Types” tab.
  6. You’ll see a list of all the different kinds of files on your computer. Click once on the type of files whose icon you wish to change.
  7. Click the “Advanced” button at the bottom of the window (above “Ok” and “Cancel”).
  8. A new window will open up. Click on your desired icon, and press “Ok”.
  9. Click “Ok” again, to close the Folder Options window and save your changes.
  10. All files of the type that you selected will now use the new icon.

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