My home is not a place, it is people.
Cordelia's Corner for the Complete Newb: Part 5
Published on January 7, 2005 By Cordelia In OS Customization

Today, class, we are going to talk about changing your Icons.


You know on your desktop there is a little thing that looks like a trash can, and you use it to delete files you don’t want, and sometimes files you later realize you needed quite badly? That trash can is a graphic representation  - or icon - of the program that deletes your files. Your “My Documents” folder is an icon. When you click on to open the Word program, you are clicking on an icon. Some icons represent programs, and some represent ways to navigate through your computer, some represent religious beliefs. We will not be covering that last one here today.


For more information go to


Ha ha! Fooled you! That website takes you to the "Official Site for the World's Leading Footballers".


I was forced to learn about icons because my husband Mormegil decided a long time ago that he would use his graphic design powers for good and not evil. His desire for desktop customization took him on a long journey in search of the perfect desktop. It's a journey that hasn't ended, and I'm just beginning to realize it never will. He began spending much of his spare time with his new object of adoration: the icon.

Here is the standard Windows Trash Can icon (I'm running XP)

Here is a FauxS-X Trash Can icon.

(You can download it for free here)


You see the difference? There are hundreds of different packages to choose from, so if this one isn't to your liking then something else will be. I have to use his icons or risk a battle that would threaten the very foundations of the Earth. Heh, artists.


Why bother to change these things? They are so small they hardly matter, right? Wrong. Having been left out alone and shivering in the cold world of the non-customized computer, I finally realized I was going to have to get involved. If you are going to go about desktop customization at all, then you've got to change the icons too. If you don't, then you know what people call you? "Rookie". And that, my friends, is a real tragedy. Not to mention the fact that your computer looks weird without them. It's a fashion no-no, like wearing colored stockings with a sleeveless dress - it's just plain wrong.


I use IconPackager to change my icons, which you can get for free here, and it comes with some cool standard icons. There are also hundreds of icons packs to choose from in the gallery, so there are a lots of choices and you can change icons with each skin if you want to. When you open it it looks like this:



Let's say you've got IconPackager installed and you have already downloaded some icons you'd like to use. Click on Install New Package and browse to where you have the newly downloaded icon pack saved.



Click on open and IconPackager will add that icon pack to the library. You can then select it and click load.



Oddly enough after you've clicked "Load" you still have to click "Apply" to apply the icons to your system. 


That's all there is! I mean, that's really all there is. I've been trying to keep this series funny but let's face it folks, there's just nothing funny about icons.


Daily Hint for the Noob: If you have IconPackager installed then you can right click on any file icon and go to "Properties". Click on the "Icon" tab. You can now change the icon for that file type to any other icon you have in your library. Confuse your friends and baffle your enemies! Make all your Word documents use the Internet Explorer icon!


Monday's Article: Changing your wallpaper. Much funnier than you might think.


Share your jokes about icons here and win a free donkey!!!

(Offer not valid for those who live locally or globally)


Today I'm running the "Azar" skin by Apocalypse_67. Get it here!

Comments (Page 1)
on Jan 07, 2005
You should put these lessons on CD and sell them thru the Site Store. I'd buy a whole set for my wife.
on Jan 07, 2005
At the very least, they should be pinned so that "Newbies" would readily see them. I am certainly not "new", but I am enjoying your articles very much.

Great job.
on Jan 07, 2005
Another fine article
on Jan 07, 2005
Wow, that's very kind of you! Thanks Lantec.
on Jan 07, 2005
I use IconPackager to change my icons, which you can get for free here,

Just a note that the program is only free for 30 days, after that you need to buy it. Good program though.
on Jan 08, 2005

So your husband made you become a skinner??

Now if I can get my girlfriend into this stuff then maybe I'll marry her.
on Jan 08, 2005
Thank you joeKnow.....I'll be sure and pass on "kudos" to you for the idea of my 1st suite....and book....and movie....

""""Married for the Skinning of It""""

Could even be Gloria Alred's next big California divorce strategy..."His Skins Just Weren't Compatable." or "Her Icons Overshadowed My Widget."
on Jan 08, 2005
Thank you joeKnow.....I'll be sure and pass on "kudos" to you for the idea of my 1st suite....and book....and movie....

""""Married for the Skinning of It""""

Could even be Gloria Alred's next big California divorce strategy..."His Skins Just Weren't Compatable." or "Her Icons Overshadowed My Widget."

on Jan 11, 2005
Thanks for the "Icons Tutorial". I have a problem however...when I right click on an icon to try to change it, it prompts me to browse for icon files...I CANT FIND ANY!! Have looked in all the files available...I must be doing something wrong. HELP!
on Jan 14, 2005
Aaaagggghhhhh! Sorry velveeta, I just saw your post. I'm checking into this right now, I'll try and have an answer for you soon. You probably already guessed this but...maybe a little smaller font in your post next time? Thanks.
on Jan 17, 2005
I downloaded Iconpackager and when I went to install it, a window popped up and said "could not inialize installation Expected return size #### return size ###"
what's up with that?
Oh by the way, other than that little problem on my end of things, you got great articles. I also like the fact that you make a newb like me very comfortable here and not afraid to ask a question. Thank you
on Jan 17, 2005
Hi Everyone
Sometimes when I change my Icons some of them end up in a new place and I have to put them back where they belong. Is there something I can do to keep this from happening? It only happens once and awhile. Thanks
on Jan 17, 2005

Sorry it took me a while to get back to everyone. Let me know if this helps, please!

Velveeta: Remember you can only change file icons (not program icons). Right click on the icon, click on "properties" and click on the "icon" tab. Click on "Change Icon" and in the new window click on "Browse". Browse to C: - Programs - Stardock - ObjectDesktop - IconPackager - Themes and each theme you've downloaded (or each miscellaneous icon) may have it's own folder. Just find the one you want and click on that.

Acroyear: That sounds like a bad download. Uninstall Iconpackager from your computer and try re-downloading. If that doesn't help you may have to e-mail

clwoods: I need more information. What OS are you running? Does this problem only happen with particular suites? Do the icons get moved around on the desktop or does something else happen? Any information you can provide will be helpful. Thanks!

on Jan 17, 2005
Hi Cornelia, I run windowsxp home sp2. I have not related it happening from a paticular suite. It has happened with a few different ones. I will look into it closer to see if it is a paticular suite or suites. Thanks for helping me.
on Jan 18, 2005
i realy lovo the icons,and i love the people how makes them!
keep going ! and sorry for my english (i'm not to god)

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