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CNET Membership newsletter July 23, 2004 

The 5 that matter

Dear CNET members:
I missed you folks last week, and it's great to be back on track, tackling one technical problem at a time each week. This week, instead of one winner, we have two. Thanks to Julie F. and Matthew J., we can now swap out those XP and Mac icons with the ones we prefer. Be sure to check out the honorable mentions for additional tips and advice. If any of you would like to discuss this topic further, you're welcome to join us by clicking here.

1In Windows XP, is there a way to change the icons for my favorite programs into my own icon designs?

As a bonus, I added the Mac OS to the above question.

--Submitted by: Laura S. of Sparks, Nevada

For Windows XP: In Windows XP, some application or file icons cannot be customized without the use of special software. You can however, customize shortcut icons, which are typically what you use from your desktop, start menu, and quick-launch menu. The instructions below assume that you have customized icons stored in a folder on your hard drive.

To change a shortcut icon:
1.Right-click the icon and select Properties.
2.Click the Short Cut tab and click the Change Icon button.
3.In the section "Look for icons in file," click the Browse button and navigate to the folder that you have your customized icons stored in.
4.Open the folder and look for the icon that you want associated with the program and double-click it.
5.Click the Apply button and OK.
(Note: If you want to simply change an icon that is preloaded in XP, go to step 3 and instead of clicking the Browse button, copy and paste this line in the "Look for icons in file" field: %SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll and hit the Return key. This will display all the icons native to Windows XP, and you can choose any of them to replace your current icon.)

--Submitted by: Julie F. of Thousand Oaks, California

For Macs:
1. Locate the custom icon you wish to use for your favorite program. This can be any icon in any folder of your hard drive or one that you made yourself..
2. Highlight the icon and choose Get Info from the File menu in the Finder or (Command+I).
3. In the Get Info window, click the icon that is displayed under General.
4. Choose Copy from the Edit menu or (Command+C).
5. Close the Get Info window and locate the icon of the program you wish to customize.
6. Highlight the program icon, choose Get Info from the File menu again (Command+I), and highlight the program icon under General.
7. Choose Paste from the Edit menu (Command+V), and your program's icon is changed to the one you copied to the clipboard.
8. Close the Get Info window.
9. If you change your mind and wish to revert the program's icon back to what it was originally, choose Get Info from the File menu, highlight the icon under General and press the Delete key. Your icon is restored.

--Submitted by: Matthew J.

(Please click here for Julie's and Matthew's complete answers and don't forget to read the honorable mentions, which include a lot of great additional tips.)

For their efforts, we’re sending Julie and Matthew their choice of any Learning CD.

Check out next week's question:

Help! Somebody's using my e-mail address to send viruses all over the country. And people are sending *me* e-mail saying "You sent me a virus!" I don't want everyone to think I'm sending out viruses. Is there any way for me to stop them and clear my name?

--Submitted by: James C. of Dallas, Texas

(This week's question is interesting, and while there probably isn't a black-and-white solution to it, given so many circumstances, I hope that we can guide James C. to the right approach, so do your best to help him out.)

We feature a new question every Friday. If you have the answer, e-mail us at If we choose your response, you'll get a free CD. Click here for Q&A submission guidelines

Best regards and enjoy!

Lee Koo
CNET Community
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