Here's our Windows XP Tip for.. October 20, 2004
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Change Icons
If you'd like to expand your icon library, Windows can use existing BMP files as icons. You can even design your own if you like.

Let's say you have a shortcut to Windows Explorer on your desktop. To change the icon, right-click the shortcut and choose Properties. When the Properties dialog box opens, click the Customize tab. Now, click Change Icon.

When the Change Icon dialog box opens, select from one of the offered icons, or click Browse to locate a BMP file to use as an icon.

Clicking Browse opens another dialog box also named Change Icon. You can use this dialog box to search for those BMP files. First, though, you need to click the arrow at the right side of the Files of Type list box to open the list. Choose All Files from the list. Now, locate a BMP file to use as a test icon. Select the file and click Open. Back in the first Change Icon dialog box, click OK to continue. In the Properties dialog box, click OK to close the box and apply your change.

You'll find that the lighter and less crowded BMP files look best as icons.