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Changing the icons on the desktop

Changing the icons on the desktop
The new icons that come with Windows XP provide a much-needed change from the boring low-resolution icons of previous Windows versions. The new icons have started a whole breed of icons, known as the XP-style icons. There are now hundreds of Web sites started by artists where you can download their personal XP-style icon creations. My favorite site is www.foood .net, which offers hundreds of very well-designed XP icons for free. Now that there are so many cool XP icons floating around on the Web, why not replace your desktop icons for a fresh new look?

Changing the desktop icons is very simple in Windows XP. The most difficult part of the process is finding good XP icons.To help you out on your hunt for cool XP icons, I have created the following list of some of my favorite icon Web sites:

_ Iconica:
_ I heart NY:
_ WBC Icons:
_ Foood’s Icons:
_ I-cons:
_ xIcons:

Now that you have a few good sites to start your search, it is time to actually change the icons on the desktop. As already noted, changing the icons is easy. But if you want to change the icon of one of the system shortcuts, such as the My Computer, My Documents, and My Network Places icons, as well as the Internet Explorer and Recycle Bin icons, then you have to follow a special procedure. Follow these steps to change any of the system icons:

1. Right-click the Desktop and select Properties.

2. When Display Properties loads, click the Desktop tab and click the Customize Desktop button at the bottom of the window.

3. Just click the icon that you want to change, and then click the Change Icon button.

4. When the change icon screen shows up, click the Browse button and navigate to the icon that you want to use.

5. Once you have selected the icon that you want to use, just click OK and your icon should change in the preview box.

6. When you are finished changing all of the icons, click OK to save your icon modifications and return to the Display Properties window.

7. Now, just click OK once more to save your changes.

Changing the system icons is pretty simple, but changing other icons on your desktop, such as program shortcuts and folders, is even easier. Just follow these steps:

1. Right-click the item for which you want to change the icon and select Properties.

2. If you right-clicked an application shortcut, then you will see the Change Icon button at the bottom of the window. If you are trying to change the icon of a folder on your desktop, you will have to click the Customize tab first and then you will see the Change Icon button at the bottom of the window as well.

3. Once you are finished changing the icon, click OK to save your changes.

Tip: If you want to change other system icons, such as the Internet Explorer icon, Drive icons, or the Folder icons, you will have to use a special utility. Many programs on the Web will allow you to do so, but the two that I like to use are called Microangelo ( and Icon Packager ( Now you will be able to benefit from all of the cool icons that are available for free on the Web. Because you have now finished customizing the look of your desktop icons, let’s move on to customizing the desktop.

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