If you want to swap the default icons for your own personal pictures or images, then you can do so with relative ease in Windows 8. We'll take you through the steps needed to create and change the desktop and Modern UI icons in Windows 8 in next to no time. See all Windows tips and tutorials.
As Windows 8 is split across two different desktops we have done tutorials for both. Scroll down past the changing icons in the traditional desktop tutorial, for how to change icons in Windows 8's Modern UI. See also How to reinstall Windows 8
How to change icons in Windows 8 - traditional desktop
In order to change the icon in Windows 8's traditional desktop mode, first make sure the new image you want to set as your icon is saved in the correct file format. The best way to do this is to find the image you want and save it as a .ico file.
To do this we recommend using this website. From here you simply upload your picture, set the file format and then convert and download the new .ico file.
Now that you have your .ico file the rest is very easy. Simply right click on the icon you wish to change and select properties. Here we're changing the Google Chrome icon. Click on the Shortcut tab and click the Change Icon… button.
The next thing you need to do is locate and select the .ico file you have just created/saved and click the Open button. Now you need to click OK in the Change Icon window and then Apply back on the Google Chrome Properties window.
That's it, you have changed the icon in the traditional desktop mode of Windows 8.
How to change icons in Windows 8's Modern UI / Metro screen
Changing the icons in Windows 8's Modern UI (Metro) is a little trickier as you first have to download a third-party program in order to create bespoke tiles for the interface. However once you've done this it is very easy.
Download the program OblyTile from our US sister title: PC World.
Once you have downloaded OblyTile, launch it and fill in each of the blank fields, then press Create Tile.
Note: On most computers, programs are located in C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86)
Once you've created the new tile, it will automatically appear on your Windows 8 Modern UI screen. All you need to do now is unpin the original Windows 8 tile/icon shortcut from the Modern UI and replace it with the new tile/icon that OblyTile will have created on your Modern UI.