How to Turn Your Personal Pictures into Windows Icons the Really Quick and Easy Way

Do you have some favorite pictures that you have been wishing could be used to create icons for your PC? Well, wait no longer. There is a very simple way to create a whole album of icons.  Why should your desktop look just like all the other desktops? This tip will show how to convert your favorite JPG, PNG, and GIF files into your own personalized icons.

The beauty of the method is that there is nothing to install and no program to learn how to use. It is an online Flash app that converts picture files into the special sizes and format necessary for icons.  All you have to do is go on the web and click a few buttons. The one catch is that you must have Adobe Flash enabled on your browser. Here are the details:

  1. Go to the site where you will see the simple small window shown below:
    Convert icon
  2. Click the button “Get Started”
  3. A Windows file dialog on your own PC will open where you can select the picture you want converted to an icon
  4. Select the picture, click “Open” and a window like the one shown below will open:
    Create icon
  5. If you don’t like the picture you chose, click the button “Browse “and choose another picture. Otherwise, click the button “Export” to open the next window shown below:
    Icon sizes
  6. Choose the size for your icon. Note that Windows XP uses different size settings compared to Windows Vista/7. 
  7. For Windows XP, it is best to choose the three sizes 16x16, 32x32, and 48x48, as shown in the graphic above. Check the buttons by all three sizes and choose the format “Icon”. All three sizes will be incorporated into a single file with extension ico. Note that choosing multiple sizes does not work for Windows 7 icons.
  8. For Windows Vista/7, it is best to choose the single size 256x256 for the ico file.
  9. Click “Save as” and in the file dialog that opens choose a convenient name and place for the icon.
  10. To continue creating icons, click the “Browse” button, select another picture file and repeat the process to your satisfaction

Note that icons are given square dimensions whereas most pictures are rectangular. The Flash app takes care of this automatically by filling in blank space where required to make things square. You don't have to worry about getting the dimensions right.

And there you have it. Icons that couldn’t be much easier to create.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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by prav rayat on 27. December 2012 - 5:07  (104009)

Sorry sir, it can't work in window 7. I tried it many times but fail to change the icon as there is same result always i.e. there is no icon in the selected file.

by v.laurie on 27. December 2012 - 13:07  (104022)

It works just fine for a lot of other people. You probably are trying the wrong size or are blocking Flash.

by MilesAhead on 24. December 2012 - 21:38  (103952)

If you search you can still find IcoFX free version 1.64. It does a great job. Save a graphic such as .png to your desktop. When the app opens, it has a list of all graphics files found on the desktop. Click to load it. Then open Icon Menu to Create Windows Icon from Image. You can choose the sizes. For system tray utilities I always include the 24 pixel size.

by mauries on 27. December 2012 - 7:46  (104011)

I agree with mileshead
ICOfx is easier to use and a generally better program. It certainly has an enormous list of options

by bkthedj on 21. December 2012 - 1:46  (103814)

This is a gem. It just works, no ads to wade through or registration. Best of all, it couldn't be simpler. Kudos to the guys at Punk Labs!

by cybersun on 20. December 2012 - 2:47  (103778)

Use : Greenfish Icon Editor Pro 3.0
Freeware and works fine.

by ssoundman on 13. December 2012 - 19:52  (103605)

Worked great for me on 64bit Win7. Thanks, Vic!

by Roberteh on 13. December 2012 - 14:45  (103586)

I have tried many of these icon making devices, including this suggested ConvertIcon where after saving and I attempt to used the said/saved image as an icon, Windows says the ico file I selected to use "contains no icons." Additionally with other similar devices I have used, they fail generally in clarity. You can't ask me why but the image is of course made small but renders slightly out or focus.

[Content related to commercial product edited out]

by v.laurie on 13. December 2012 - 17:00  (103592)

Windows says the ico file I selected to use "contains no icons."

Did you try to use multiple sizes for a Windows 7 icon? As the tip says, that does not work. You have to choose a single size and 256x256 is best for Windows 7.

by Roberteh on 13. December 2012 - 19:04  (103603)

You are ConvertIcon working....the highest size works well and quick & easy. The lower setting I could not imagine finding any use for.

by Roberteh on 13. December 2012 - 18:37  (103601)

Yes I did choose a single (different) size re: icons, multiple times. I was surprised it didn't really seemed so easy. I will give it another go later.

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