How to change icons of games

April 29, 2015 at 14:10:09
Specs: Win 7
I installed a game from way back in the days of Windows 95. It has an
icon in the .exe, but the icon does not show up in Explorer. However, it
DOES show up in the Properties box for the .exe. A shortcut to the .exe
in the Games menu also does NOT show the icon. I'm guessing that
that may be because the icon doesn't meet Windows 7 requirements.

Right-clicking a shortcut on the left side of the Start Menu brings up
a menu with "Properties" at the bottom. Clicking that brings up the
properties box. On the "Shortcut" tab is a "Change Icon" button.

Right-clicking shortcuts to games in the "Games" menu on the right
side of the Start Menu brings up a different menu, which does NOT
include "Properties".

How can I change the icon of a game, as I can for other shortcuts?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#1
April 29, 2015 at 17:36:46
If you create a shortcut to the game exe is there a Change Icon option in Properties?
I re-read your post and came away not quite sure about that particular situation.

If the option is there you could redirect it to an ico file, saved somewhere, either downloaded or created in Paint from a capture of the icon in the exe properties box. The size is usually 32 x 32 pixels.
EDIT: See also this, untried: http://www.instructables.com/id/Mak...

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#2
April 29, 2015 at 18:00:09
Well!

I should have thought of trying to create a shortcut somewhere besides
in the Games menu. The icon doesn't show up on the shortcut, but like
the .exe itself, it shows up in the Shortcut Properties, and a Change Icon
button, too! Maybe I can change the icon and then move the shortcut to
the Games menu. Or find the Games folder in Explorer and do it there.
The Browse button doesn't take me directly to a mess of icons. I'll do a
Google search to find out where Windows 7 stores them.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#3
April 29, 2015 at 18:25:19
I once had a little freebie program that searched the system for icons. There are actually 1000s of them, especially if you include third party programs. Not all are easy to find but software can certainly do it. You can get stacks from the net too, just save them in a folder and point shorcuts to them in the Change Icon field.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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Related Solutions

#4
April 29, 2015 at 19:20:34
Click the exe icon as the one you want to use. It does not create a shortcut it just uses the icon. Do this as Derek suggests in #1

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#5
April 29, 2015 at 20:12:07
Maybe an aside but I have found that in odd cases when you use the Change Icon feature it doesn't stick. In those cases if you double click the shown icon, it then sticks. Quirky but it has often got me out of trouble.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#6
April 29, 2015 at 22:29:25
That may have happened when I tried doing what Ewen suggested.
I had to do it twice. But the first time I may have simply not clicked on
the icon (Ewen's first words!) and just clicked on Okay because I
assumed the icon was already selected. The second time I clicked
on the icon before clicking Okay.

However, I still can't get it to show up in the Games menu. I thought
I found the folder for that menu, so I put a shortcut to the game in it,
but it doesn't show up in the menu. Not just no icon-- no shortcut.

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Games\

Is that not the right folder?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#7
April 30, 2015 at 08:40:40
You need to find the exe for the particular game then make a shortcut to that. Presumably you have one you use to start the game, unless you just double click the exe file to run it. If that shortcut has a Change Icon in Properties then that is the place to try a few tricks. If you get it sorted, the shortcut can then be put wherever you wish, in the Games folder by the sound of it.

Apart from a few Windows icon choices, most icons are taken from program exe files. If you create a store of your own then using ico files means that the files are very small and not related to any particular program unless they are used in the icon target.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#8
April 30, 2015 at 11:00:34
Derek,

What you described is what I did, but it didn't work.

The icon does not show on the .exe in Explorer. I made a shortcut to it,
went into the shortcut properties, and the icon shows there. I clicked on
Change Icon, clicked on the icon itself, clicked Apply, and clicked Okay.
No change, so I did it again, and it worked the second time through.
The shortcut now shows the icon.

I try to move the shortcut to the Games menu. Whether I right-click drag
it to the word "Games" on the Start Menu or the Games window itself, the
only option given is to "Create link in Games". I can't Move the shortcut,
just create a copy of it. The shortcut created in the Games window does
not show the icon. Right-clicking the shortcut does not give a Properties
option.

When I use Explorer to put a shortcut in the folder that looks like it must
be the folder which controls the content of the Games window, it does
not show up in the Games window at all. Again, that folder is:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Games\

I just now created a new folder in that one, and moved the shortcut with the
visible icon into it. The new folder doesn't show up in the Games window.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#9
April 30, 2015 at 11:42:15
Sorry, I've been editing this post so it might have changed a time or two.

I've started up my Win 7 and been doing some delving. It seems that path to Games is a special Microsoft area so you can't put your own Games shortcuts in there and expect them to show in Startup. I got the same results as you did.

You need to use the shortcut which now shows the correct icon. If you have other non-MS games then maybe the best way forward is to put all their shortcuts in a folder in Windows Explorer somewhere called "My Games", or whatever, then make a shortcut to that.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#10
April 30, 2015 at 12:12:02
I haven't tried anything yet, but I'm pretty sure I've found the problem,
and the solution.

The folder has a "desktop.ini" file which gives the path to each game's icon.
I should be able to put a shortcut to my game in the Games window, then
edit desktop.ini to give the path to the game executable, using the other
entries as a guide. Apparently, if a thing isn't in desktop.ini, it won't show
up in the Games window, even if it's a folder. desktop.ini itself doesn't
show up!

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#11
April 30, 2015 at 12:36:43
If you want desktop ini files to show up you will probably have to temporarily show protected files (Control Panel > Folder Options > View). You might well be right - not an area I have messed with, so let us know how you get on. Best save a security copy of the original desktop.ini file somewhere first. Note that you will probably see others desktop.ini on the desktop, if so leave them be. Hide protected files again when finished.

Alternatively do as suggested in #9, which is quite safe and does not involve attacking the system.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#12
April 30, 2015 at 19:33:55
What I thought would work, didn't.

A few minutes ago I realized why.

I was right about why it didn't work, but I tried again based on the new
understanding, and it *still* didn't work.

I realized that the folder I referenced above is just for Microsoft games,
as you said in post #9, so there must be another folder for games from
other sources. After putting a shortcut to my game in the Games menu,
I searched with Explorer for the name of the game. It was in:

C:\Users\Me\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Games

(Although "Me" isn't really my user name.)

I tried opening the folder directly from the Find list, but doing that opened it
as the Games menu. Browsing with Explorer got me to the folder with only
the shortcut to my game in it. I accessed the Properties to change the icon,
and it worked on the first try. But ...

I then opened the Games menu from the Start Menu, and there still was no
icon on my game's shortcut. I forgot about the desktop.ini file! But THERE
IS NO desktop.ini file in the folder where the shortcut is! I see two possible
solutions. Either create a desktop.ini file for my personal game folder --
which shouldn't be necessary, Microsoft should have done that -- or edit
the existing desktop.ini file in the folder with Microsoft's games, which also
shouldn't be necessary, for the same reason. Either way, I'll have to figure
out what the data format is. I suppose I could find it online. I may even have
looked it up years ago, found it, and saved it on this computer...

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#13
April 30, 2015 at 19:52:56
Derek wrote:

> If you want desktop ini files to show up you will probably have to
> temporarily show protected files

Showing hidden and protected files is the second thing on my list
of things to do after installing Windows and SP1. The first is to
increase the size of the screen font. In both cases the purpose is
to make it so I can see what I'm doing.

A later step is to delete the two desktop.ini files that are actually
on the desktop, so they don't detract from my pretty wallpaper.
That is a mixed metaphore, isn't it? Hmm. I thought of putting a
pretty picture on my *real* (physical) desktop, like a map of the
world or the night sky, but there is too much junk on it-- it wouldn't
be visible enough. My virtual desktop is the opposite of my real
desktop: There are usually no links at all! So nothing for the
desktop.ini files to act on.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#14
May 1, 2015 at 11:09:48
I doubt your game exe file is in this location unless you put it there yourself:
"C:\Users\Me\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Games"
Is that what it shows in the target of the working shortcut for your own game?. As far as I know that is just be a location for the start menu games "shortcuts", not the games exe files themselves. Your game must have an exe file somewhere.

Best not to keep "protected" files unhidden permanently, which is why desktop.ini files appear on the desktop. Showing hidden files is fine, just not the protected ones.

I don't rightly know the nitty gritty technicalities of that MS Games location - seems they have tried hard to keep it to themselves. I do know that if I put a working shortcut to one of my own Win7 games in that location it still does not show up in the start menu. That is why I've avoided it and made my own folder for games I've added.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#15
May 1, 2015 at 13:52:49
Derek wrote:

> I doubt your game exe file is in this location ...

No, that's where Windows put the shortcut that I created in the Games menu.
The .exe is in Program Files (x86). The icon doesn't show up on the .exe, even
though it is *in* the .exe. After creating the shortcut by right-button dragging the
.exe to the Games menu, I found it (the shortcut) in the folder whose path you
quoted. I then right-clicked on it, chose "Properties", and clicked the "Change
icon" button to point to the icon in the .exe. But the icon still doesn't show up
in the Games menu, probably because it isn't referenced in a desktop.ini file.
The shortcut *does* show up, just not the icon.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#16
May 1, 2015 at 15:03:49
I tend not to use "right click exe drag" to create shortcuts because it is not always consistent. For example, right now I went to my CCleaner in Program Files. There were two exe's, one called CCleaner.exe the other called CCleaner64.exe. With CCleaner.exe it offered to create a shortcut where I dragged it to. With CCleaner64.exe it wanted to "move the file itself". My approach therefore is to right click the exe then use Create a shortcut from the menu. If the exe is in a system area, such as Program Files, it then says it will put it on the desktop instead. Fine because I can then move it to wherever I like. Maybe this is worth trying just to see if it makes any difference.

Try this:
Go to the Change Icon button in your shortcut. Does the correct icon now show in the little Window? If so double click that icon, then use Apply/OK on the larger Window that arrives afterwards. I have found many times that this variation in procedure makes obstinate icons stick. A trick worth knowing even if it doesn't help your issue.

Odd that the exe shows the correct icon yet you still have trouble with the shortcut. The only way I know to get around that is to use an icon extracting program which produces a small ico file from an exe. I then file that away somewhere and point Change Icon to this saved ico file. This is something I haven't done since XP, although freebie programs are probably still out there.

Note that I am now on Win 8.1 so sometimes it is necessary to start up a Win 7 computer to make a proper comparison or check things out (as I did in #9).

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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