Create Original Icons for Windows 7  Step by Step Guide ▷ 2020

All computers include the option to customize desktop themes, which includes changes to colors, sounds and even folder icons and shortcuts.

Thus, the user can have a view of their equipment adapted 100% to their tastes or needs. In case the settings included in your OS are not enough or you do not like them at all, you can resort to design your own icons and configure them on your PC.

In this sense, keep reading so that you learn how to create custom icons for your folders and shortcuts in Windows 7 step by step. In addition, we show you what programs you can take advantage of and the necessary dimensions in your designs.

What are the correct dimensions and format for the Windows 7 desktop icons?

What are the correct dimensions and format for the Windows 7 desktop icons?

Before starting to carry out any type of design, it is important to be clear about the dimensions and formats that they must have to be compatible with what you are looking for. In the case of windows 7 desktop icons, there are certain aspects that you must consider in order to personalize them.

Regarding size, there are four types you can work with:

  • Very small: 16 x 16 px.
  • Little: 24 x 24 px.
  • Medium: 32 x 32 px.
  • Big: 48 x 48 px.

For its part, when it comes to the supported format for the icons for a color screen, it is recommended to use that of X pixel map (XPM), whose name usually has the suffix “.p.m”. For all other cases, use files in the X bitmap (XBM) which have the suffix “.Bmp”.

Learn step by step how to create a custom icon for your folders and shortcuts in W7

If you don’t like the default Windows icons and you want to have much more personalized ones, you should know that you can achieve it with the help of design tools. On the one hand we will teach you how to create it with Paint, which is the easiest way to achieve it.

Apart from that, we will also show you below how you can do it with the help of slightly more advanced editing programs:

In Paint

Create custom icons in Paint for Windows 7

Choice of create icons by using Paint it is very effective, especially for people who do not have much experience with slightly more advanced programs. The most interesting of Paint, is that you can even draw it and get an attractive result in a few minutes.

In this sense, the step by step to create icons for your folders and shortcuts in Windows 7 with Paint, is the following:

  • Open a new file in Paint.
  • We recommend that it be from 256 x 256 pixels. However, you can make it bigger but you should know that the icons must be exact squares, so both the width and the length will always be the same.
  • The next step is show grid so that everything stays in symmetry. Go to the tab See and check the checkbox in the section Grid.
  • Choose the pencil, brush or pen tool and start drawing your icon. Likewise, you can choose the color you prefer for your strokes and even add textures.
  • Once the drawing is ready, you can put text If you prefer. To do this, select Text on the toolbar. Keep in mind not to overload the text icon, because visually it can look bad.
  • When you are satisfied with your design, save it in the original size because this helps you cut it down in the future and not lose quality. The format to save is that of “.Bmp”. Then reduce the size to 32 x 32, which is the default for all icons in Windows.
  • After reduce size and set format, you must enter “Save as type” and write the name followed by the suffix “.Ico”. Specifically in these cases, you have to write the whole name together, such as “menuinicio.ico”.

In Photoshop

Create custom icons in Photoshop

Create an icon for Windows 7 in Photoshop it’s a very simple procedure, so you don’t need to be a professional editor to do it. The steps to follow are similar to those you apply with Paint, so pay attention to each step to achieve a unique custom icon for your desktop.

Let’s see below the steps to follow:

  • Enter Photoshop.
  • Tap on Archive and, later, in New.
  • When the pop-up window is displayed, you should make sure that place the 256 x 256 measurements pixels for the worksheet. It is recommended to work with those dimensions, to avoid distortions in case you have to cut it.
  • After entering the measurements, click To accept.
  • On the left side of Photoshop, the toolbar you can work with. We recommend using the tools of He drew to create the shapes, Filling for colors and if you want to add text, in the button Text.
  • When you’re done, you must save the original icon coming into Archive and then in Save as.
  • Next, it’s time to adjust the size of your icon according to the dimensions you are going to use. To do this, click Edit and then in Change image size.
  • Within that section, place the new dimension that you would like to use in terms of pixels. Use equal measurements in both width and height, to avoid distortion. For example, measurements of 256 x 256px in images are reduced in the middle at 128 x 128 px, 64 x 64, 32 x 32 and 16 x 16 px.
  • Finally, save the icon with its new dimensions entering Archive Y Save as. Remember to change the name of the icon to be able to identify that it has a different size from the original. This makes sure you don’t delete the base design.
  • Save the image in BMP format and with the extension “.Ico” for what Windows recognize it as an icon.

In case you want to create a file with the “.ico” format you must open an image of 32 x 32 pixels. Then select File and Export As in the menu bar located in the upper left corner. Proceed to save the file in “.GIF” format and close the image. To complete the procedure, open the Windows Explorer and modifies the image extension of “.GIF” to “.ico”.

Steps to set a custom icon in a folder or shortcut in Windows 7

Once you know how design your custom icon for your folders or shortcuts in Windows 7, the next step is to set that layout for each folder.

It is a very simple procedure, and we will explain it to you below:

  • Right click on the folder to which you want to change the icon. Then go to Properties and enter there.
  • Go to the tab Personalize and, within the section Folder icons click on the option Change icon.
  • Automatically, a window with the available icons is displayed. In this case to choose the one you created you must search for it by clicking on Examine.
  • When you get it, select it and tap on To accept.

That’s how easy you can change the icon of your folders in W7. However, keep in mind that the image must be BMP with the extension “.ico”. This way you avoid any kind of compatibility problems.

List of the best programs and tools to create custom icons

Apart from Photoshop and Paint, there are other types of very effective programs and tools that help you create custom icons for your computer.

Here are the 3 most popular in the field:


Create custom icons for Windows 7 in Illustrator

Illustrator is a much more advanced option for folder icon design and shortcuts in W7. It is a program of Adobe, with which you can make all kinds of designs according to your tastes and needs. Inside it, you have access to brushes, pencils, lines and many other alternatives to make attractive icons. To obtain your 7-day trial you must enter “” and when you complete your data, your trial will begin.

Corel Draw

Create custom icons for Windows 7 with Corel Draw

This program is one of the most widely used illustration creation software in the world. Thanks to it, you have a wide variety of pencils and brushes with which you can design your icon from scratch. Once that’s done, you can add filters and other cool visual effects to it. Added to that, allows you to create even images with 3D effects so that your desktop is much more original. Remember that when saving your design, you must use the format BMP.

Download Corel Draw Windows


Create custom icons for Windows 7 with Simplylcon

It is a practical software of very good quality with which you can make your icons without problems to personalize your desktop. This means that you can create different designs in “.ico” format to be compatible with W7.

An interesting fact is that no installation required to be able to function. In this sense, you should only download it on your PC and when the program window is displayed on the screen, you must drag it over the image you want to convert into an icon. Simplylcon will generate an icon from this and save it in the photo’s source folder.

Download SimplyIcon Windows

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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