Everyone enjoys personalizing their electronic devices. It really makes you happy to see what you’ve changed on your screen in the way you wanted it. If you have a Windows device, you can enjoy a ton of different personalization options, and one of them includes being able to change the icons on your desktop.

Icons are the small little pictures that you see on the desktop to mark the apps that you have installed. Although they usually have a default icon, you can make a new one that’s more fitting or that fits into your aesthetic. One of the easiest ways that you can make an icon is by using Paint.

What File Extension is Used to Create an Icon

You’re probably familiar with the three letters at the end of a file. These three letters tell you two things, but the most important one is how the file is encoded. JPG and BMP are popular file extensions for graphics, which are what your icons will be made of. These extensions store the image the way you need it to be stored. This means you can specify the pixels and size of the image, which is necessary since the icon needs to be at the appropriate size.

Size is Important

One thing that you’ll need to know is the most common sizes of the Windows icons. You can use 16 by 16, 32 by 32 and 256 by 256 pixels. You should start out with 256 pixels by 256 pixels since they are the common size for the current Windows systems. You’ll want to start larger since you can always decrease the size without much lowering in quality. In regards to quality, you’ll want to have a design that’s clear and concise so that even when you change it from it’s default, you’ll recognize what it’s for.

Using Paint to Create an Icon

1. Open the Paint app on your Windows device. You can use the search box in your task bar to search for it in your computer if you don’t have it on your desktop.

2. Once Paint is opened, click the View tab in the upper left corner of the window. The ribbon at the top of the screen will change.

3. Now that the ribbon at the top of the screen changes, select the box next to the word “Gridlines” to make it easier to make your icon.

4. Click the “Home” tab to the left of the “View” tab to get back to the main screen.

5. On the main ribbon, select Resize and a menu will appear.

6. On the menu, click on the box labeled “Pixels” and the numbers in the text boxes will change.

7. Then, uncheck the box that’s titled “Maintain Aspect Ratio” so that you can have a canvas that’s the same length on each side.

8. Click on the text boxes and type in the size that you want. 256 by 256 or 32 by 32 is the suggested size. When you’re done, hit “OK.”

9. Zoom in by using your touchpad or the scale in the bottom right corner of the screen.

10. Now, you can begin to draw the icon. Use the colors are the top of the screen by clicking on them. You can also change the brush size by selecting the “Size” icon to the of the color options.

11. When you’re done, you’ll need to save it. Click the “File” option in the upper left corner of the Paint app.

12. Hover over “Save As” and select the way that you want to save the image.

13. Use ICO to convert the image you created into an icon for free.

14. Download the image once it’s created.

15. Once you download the icon, you can assign it as a shortcut. Right click on your desktop and the menu where you can do so will appear.

You’ll now be able to create all the icons that you want.