A Windows Icon is a graphical representation of any file or folder on Windows Operating systems. For example the small little picture of a computer on your desktop which opens the Computer window on clicking is an icon for Computer. It itself is not the Computer but is just representing the existence of the link of Computer on the desktop. Icons come in various shapes and designs but have a fixed width and height which gets applied on your computer depending upon the theme you have. Windows Vista has many inbuilt themes in it which defines which icon should like what but if you wish you can change the icons and put the icon of your choice on the desktop.

If you search for Windows Vista Icons on the internet you will find hundreds of websites providing you the same. Even Microsoft is providing various icon sets and they can be downloaded before they can be used on your computer. So the first step to change or install new icons on your computer is to download them on your hard drive. Icons are small files and have an extension of .ico. if you are downloading many icons or an icon set then you will get it bundled in a compressed packaged which normally is a .rar or .zip file. After downloading the package, extract all the icons in it in a folder so that they change to their original .ico format and can be used. Once you extract all the icons in a folder just remember the folder location because you will need this location for changing the icons.

Let us change the icons now and to do this we will first open the control panel by clicking on Start and then on Control Panel. In Control Panel click on Personalization option and then click on Change Desktop Icons in the left pane. Here you will get a list of icons which you can change. Select the one that you wish to change and then click on Browse. In the Browse box go to the folder where you have your extracted icons and there select the one which you want to be applied. After selecting it click on Open. And once you are back to the change icon screen click on Apply. This action will replace the old Windows Vista themed icon with the new icon that you downloaded. Repeat the same step for the icons which you want to change.

In Windows Vista you can change the icons for the following: Computer, Office, Network, Recycle Bin(full), Recycle Bin(empty). In the same Desktop Icon Settings Windows you can also define which icons should be displayed on your desktop or not. In the top half of this screen there are 5 check boxes against the 5 object like Computer, Recycle Bin etc which can be unchecked or checked for letting them appear on the Desktop. In the same Window there is a Button for restoring the actual Windows Vista Themed icons for these objects. The button is titled “Restore Defaults”.