After I create a shortcut link, how do I give it an icon?

For programs, there may be one “built-into” the exe file.  If so can use that.  Some programs with have an associated “*.ico” file to use. 
One great FREE source for icons is (TIP- when saving, also save the gif picture, useful if you create documentation or email about the new shortcut).  I will save the icons to a local folder on the computer, example c:\programs files\icons.  I found that if save to server, like in W:, sometimes the icons won’t show.  Also do NOT put into C:\windows as a 2000 computer will have Winnt instead and who knows what they call it in Vista .

You can also Create Your Own icons.  There are many software programs to do this 1 but I find the easiest is the free graphics program Irfanview

You can load any photo, crop, add effects or whatever, and when you save change to .ICON Window icon which creates a small file.  Be sure to check as sometimes the resizing makes the picture look poor.  Also crop the image into a square for better results.

Another technique I use is Print Screen to copy and paste into IrfanView.


Example: Icon for shortcut to Weekly Reader site. When you go to 2 you notice the logo loads as two images so you can not just save picture. You can use the Print Screen key to capture the desktop or minimize to the area you want and use Alt and Print Screen keys together to capture just that area this is active.

Now open IrfanView and paste the capture from the clipboard. 

Crop to 3  and save as ICO- Windows Icon for a perfect icon for a desktop shortcut.


To Assign an Icon to a Shortcut

Right click on the desktop shortcut.  Depending on the type two different yet similar boxes open.

From a Program


From an Internet Shortcut


Under the tabs in these two you find a button for

Change Icon

Click them for the next requester.

It will be the same, except for paths, for both.

7 Just use the Browse button to go to the folder where you saved the icon.  Ok them Apply or Ok at the previous box.

Note that for shortcuts, especially the one sending

out through rips, the icon file has to be where you

told it to browse to, like on the local hard drive in a folder common to all computers.