How to mod desktop icons

By link590o ยท 24 replies
Dec 12, 2007
  1. I was effin around with stuff, and I found out I could change a few desktop icons based off of what was saved in my system32\shell32.dll files.

    I was wondering if there was a way to get/make/download icons and replace certain desktop icons.

    For instance, I found a Portal logo, and I wanted to change Mozilla's icon to that icon. But it claims that there are no Icon files in it.

    What can I do to sorta...force my way?
  2. maxbb1

    maxbb1 TS Rookie Posts: 51


    right click on the shortcut>properties>change icon. if you didn't know

    and there are many programs around the internet that will change a regular image into a .ico icon file.

    i'm too lazy for making icons though... so i just changed everything to firefox's icon haha.. then back because it got difficult...
  3. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    lol. nothing but firefox icons...thats so win.

    yeah i knew about that. i just wasn't sure how to make or find an icon file. i didn't even know the prefix....if i had known it was '.ico' i could've figured it out from there probably..

    well, now i know.

    thanks for the reply. been waiting quite a while for one. :3
  4. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    SEXINESS! it worked!

    i'm using irfanview right now. i've heard of it because my brother uses it. i didn't know it could make ICO files though.

    that's really cool. my mozilla icon is now a blue portal. lawl. thats so amazing.

    thanks :3
  5. pdyckman@comcas

    pdyckman@comcas TS Rookie Posts: 527

    If you want some decent looking desktop icons: try the 'Icon X' program. It will work on 32 bit apps.
  6. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    I have hundreds

    Be glad to send you my collection.Need email address.
    But you can only change shortcut and web link icons.Not the Recycle Bin for example.
  7. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    You can also set .bmp files as the icon.

    You can change things like the recycle bin in the desktop properties menu, right click desktop > properties > can't remember what tab it's but the one where you turn My Computer/Recycle Bin/My Documents etc on/off, you can change the icons for all of them in there :)
  8. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Name your OS

    I used to do all this
    "before XP"
    I even had the Recycle Bin sound like a
    Toilet Flush.I have tried everything with XP.No Go for system icons.
    Icons can only be so big and shortcuts.
    As i said i have hundreds.
  9. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    I did all sorts of stuff like this on Win 98 as well, but I think you can change the system's icons in the display properties, I'm not running XP so I can't check unfortunately.
  10. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Just had another read

    Glad you found irfanview.It will make bmp and jpg into ico's
    But there is a size limit where their used.
    So what else is it "You can't Do" ?
    Dave I use Windows Classic for my XP system.;)
  11. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    A program called Paint.Net can also make .ico files

    Just thought i'd throw that out there ;)
  12. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    yeah i meanwhile figured out that shortcuts and weblinks only part. a friend of mine was just as enthusiastic about the new icon i had made, and wanted it for himself. so i sent it to him and he said he had problems using it, and i pretty quickly figured out why. after creating a shortcut for his program, he was able to use my new icon.

    the size thing i didn't know about though. what's the largest size...and or smallest size you can make an ico or bmp file?

    and zip, i may take you up on that about a week or so hopefully. the reason being that i've amassed a sizable sum of cash and at christmas, i'll hopefully be getting a boost. it will give me hopefully enough to buy the system i've been wanting to build for a while now. and when i have that setup, i'll take you up on the icons offer.

    no real point in sending them to this machine if i'm just going to be getting a brand new one a short time later after all.
  13. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Posts: 103

    i once used a Photoshop plugin that enabled me to export and image to an icon file. Although i found that these icons did not work on a MAC, but were fine on my PC.

    "The plugin can create 32-bit icons with 8-bit alpha transparency" - Taken from help file

    It can be downloaded for free from here!
  14. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    correct me if i'm wrong...but don't i need photoshop to be able to use the plugin? because that's certainly one program that's absent from my system. i once had a copy, but i had to reformat a few times since, and i never got the copy back.
  15. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Posts: 103

    Unfortunately you are wrong. You need photoshop as the file is a plugin for photoshop as opposed to a stand alone program. Sorry mate. good luck.


    Im not sure if adobe offers a FREE trial for photoshop... if they do the plugin might work on that.


    oh and i just realized that you made a mistake zipperman... you can change recycle bin icon, through Display Properties, Desktop, Customize Desktop.
  16. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    "Unfortunately you are wrong."

    what do you mean i'm wrong? i was saying "don't i need photoshop if i want to use that?"

    i'm right. i DO need photoshop...

    but anyway....perhaps someone else in my family has a copy. my sister usually has stuff like this lying around on a cd or on her computer or something...

    if i can't get it, oh well. whatever. i'll use whatever i can get regardless of the limitations. i'm not sure exactly how many icons i'm going to make in the first place. that Portal icon i made has satisfied my lust for a custom icon for the moment. perhaps if another game comes out that is worthy have having it's own special icon, then i may turn to it again and have some fun.

    in the meanwhile, if i feel like tinkering around with it, i might. right now i desperately need something entertaining to do. all of my friends are out of town for x-mas and new years, and i'm stuck here alone with no new games or a good computer, or anything to do....

    and the forums have been kinda quiet lately. anyone else notice that?
  17. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Posts: 103

    ahhh yes my mistake haha sorry.

    legally speaking you are not allowed to use your sisters copy so just be careful where ya say it haha.

    good luck.
  18. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    i don't condone piracy or anything like that. i don't help people steal stuff, and i dislike pirating things. if i like it that much, i'd rather give my thanks for a great product by paying for it.

    but i don't have money. and i can't get it off the net for free without pirating. and besides. people steal crap like this all the time. i guarantee that almost 90% of the computer user base has stolen something at some point. doesn't matter what it was, but i guarantee a lot of people have stolen things.

    but what it boils down to is, i don't really want photoshop anyhow. i was never good at using it. i got too confused and i could never tell what all the functions did or what to use them for.

    i'm not even going to bother.
  19. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Posts: 103

    look i didnt mean to offend. honestly i dont care if you pir ate ALL your software. For the most part software is overly priced and of course i've owned illegal software... but like you i'd rather give thank and purchase.

    And you're right most ppl do pir ate software... i was just trying to point out that using someone elses software is classified as pirating, just incase you did not know.

    im sorry that i clearly upset you but don't give up on it.

    if you wanted to continue... GIMP is a freeware photo editing program that may help
  20. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    WHOA! hey. that was not a flame at all.

    that sounded far more malicious than it was meant. :O

    if it sounded mean, i apologize. i was just sort of...explaining myself.

    forgive me...i'm tired. i'm up way later than i should be anyhow. it's like...3:30 am here for me.
  21. God Of Mana

    God Of Mana TechSpot Paladin Posts: 493

    Yeah, GIMP 2 owns (and its free!)
  22. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

  23. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    But it ain't free.
  24. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

    I didn't recall you asking about that in this thread. Which post did you mention it in?

    Anyway I used WindowBlinds when I was still using XP and it's a good program with it's own support forum (in case you run into issues modifying your system, maybe?).
  25. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    You don't need any special icon program. Just get your image, and open it in paint. Save it as a 24bit BMP file but append the name with the .ico tag, as in newlogo.ico. The icons other than shell32. Right click on desktop hit properties to open display properties window. Go to desktop tab and hit customize desktop. It can change the my docs my computer and full and empty trash bin. If you want to get creative open notepad (assuming you're in XP here) and copy and paste this in

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


    Save it as a .reg file. After you save it double click it and enter the info into the registry. Now when you right click on the trash can you will see an option to rename it anything you want. Desktop icons should just have a right click, then properties then change icons. Some are more involved. If for instance you want to change the logo on the my programs folder, it doesn't give you the option to change it. Just go to another partition and create a new folder named program files. Use properties to change it to anything you want. Then move the folder into the C drive. It will ask if you want to confirm the folder replacement. Say yes and now you have a logo on the program files logo. Now right click and send to desktop and its on the desktop with the new logo. Or on the start menu.

    EDIT: be_patient...Thanks for the link to the icon program! I have photoshop CS but use paintshop pro8.0 It's a bit more user friendly for graphics noobs like me. Some of the photoshop plugins work in paintshop pro as well.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...