How do you change your app icons

Being inquisitive is a boon, right? Let us begin our discussion today on how you change your app icons with a lot of questions and answers. This not only helps understand a concept better but is easy to remember as well. This article covers end-to-end details of the topic and is very easy to understand to cater to a wide spectrum of audiences. At the end of the article, there will be something to learn for everyone. And hey! You also get to personalize your phone’s home screen and make it captivating at the same time. So, let’s dig deeper at once and answer what, why, and how.

How do you change your app icons
How do you change your app icons?

What are app icons?

An icon is an image used to identify an application on any device. So, this article is about how to change that unique identifying image called an app icon on any android device. It is always recommended to have distinguishing images for different applications so that it is easier to navigate and even saves time as we subconsciously identify it by the image and don’t even have to read the name of the app. Icons not only identify an application but are also the decorative element on the screen. They can be of different shapes, sizes, and colors as per one’s liking. This brings us to our next question below.

Why do we have to change the app icons?

Every person is unique and has different choices. Some people might like a clean and simple interface whereas others might like a lot of bling on their phone screen. Some prefer large icons whereas others might like smaller ones. Therefore, following the principle of to each their own and catering to each individual need of a user, the option of changing app icons is made available. Moreover, customizing and having a personalized touch on our phone screen gives a more wholesome feeling while using it. Imagine, clicking on a picture of your favorite dog to open the gallery. Fun, right?

Moving on to the most important part of this article and to answer how to in fact do this customization we are talking about, keep reading!

How do you change your app icons?

There are multiple ways to go about it and achieve the end goal of changing your app icons. We will be discussing each one in depth below.

Changing app icons using Icon Packs

Let us begin by understanding the meaning of icon packs. As the name suggests, they are a set of alternate icons which can be used on any device. They are usually built by third-party vendors and are readily available and easy to use. There are several other advantages of using icon packs like we can change icons of all apps at once, and maintain uniformity for a better look and feel. You can explore the huge list of icon packs available but some of the most popular ones are Candycons, Whicons, Delta, Minima, etc.

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Below are the steps to follow:

  • Go to google play store and search “icon pack”. Explore the wide range of options and select an icon pack you love
  • Just like any other application, click on Install to download and install the icon pack.
  • Once downloaded, click on the app to launch it.
  • The icon pack app might take you on a tour of different options available. Click OK and proceed.
  • Select the preferred app icon theme and hit Apply. Your app icons will change instantly on successful completion.

Changing app icons using Launchers

This is the second method to change app icons, and this involves downloading a third-party launcher application. A launcher is basically software that replaces the home screen of the android device. All devices have a default system launcher. However, if you want to change the default user interface appearance then you can download a custom launcher. Some of the most popular launchers are Nova launcher, Microsoft launcher, Smart launcher, etc.

I personally loved Nova Launcher and will consider that as an example for the below steps to follow. More or less all launchers work the same way.

  •  Go to google play store and search “launcher”. Go through the ratings and reviews and select any one launcher application.
  • Click on Install to download and install the launcher.
  • Once installed, click on the launcher and you will see a new screen and on top, you will see “nova settings”.
  • Click on nova settings and make it your default launcher.
  • To change the UI, click on “Look & feel” and then select “Icon style”.
  • Now, you can select or even customize the shape of an icon. To apply an icon pack, click on “icon theme” and then select any of the downloaded icon packs.
  • Furthermore, if you wish to change the app icon for a single application then long-press on the desired icon and click “edit”
  • Once a new pop-up window opens, you can change the app label. In the same window, click on the existing app icon to change the unique image.
  • Here, you will see multiple options like Built-in which includes the existing app icons, Gallery apps which allows you to select an image from your gallery and you get options to select any downloaded icon pack or download new ones too.
  • Once you click on a new image or app icon, it will automatically reflect immediately.

Changing app icons using other apps

Moving forward, changing the launcher application is like changing some system settings, moving away from the default system setting to another one. If you are not confident and feel uncomfortable doing that then another way is to use external apps which run on top of the existing default launcher. There are multiple applications in the market, the most popular ones being X Icon changer, Pure Icon changer etc. These apps create a shortcut to the original app and changes are allowed to be made on this shortcut. Once the process completes there are two icons visible for the same app so the user can delete the old one.

Below are the steps to follow:

  • Go to google play store and search “icon changer”. Select any application based on its reviews and ratings.
  • Click on install to download and install the application.
  • Once installed, launch the app and you will see all installed applications on your phone.
  • Select any one application for which you want to change the app icon.
  • On the next screen, you will see options to select app icons from a wide range of icons.
  • Select the icon to change to and hit ok.
  • It will create and add the changed app icon shortcut on the home screen.
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Changing app icons using in-built themes

Many devices come with in-built themes to select from and change app icons. For example, Samsung comes with an in-built app called Galaxy themes using which one can easily change the app icons. This method is the safest option as it is certified by the phone manufacturer and comes as a default so we can be sure that this will not open our phone to any external bugs. I will consider Samsung as an example for screenshots because well, I own one!

Below are the steps to follow:

  • Click on the Galaxy Themes app on your phone to launch the application.
  • Click on the “Icons” option at the bottom.
  • Explore the entire list of icons and choose the one you like.
  • Some themes might be free, and some might incur a cost. However, the chargeable ones are also available for a free trial.
  • Click on the Download option at the bottom. It might take some time to finish the download.
  • Once downloaded, click on “Apply” and the changes will reflect immediately.

Changing app icons in Android Studio

This is a very technical method and should be used if you are a tech enthusiast and are interested to learn a thing or two about coding and working on Android studio. The basic prerequisite to starting with this method is to have knowledge about the basic files of an android project and to be able to install an android app from the android studio on the emulator or any device. You will require a computer or a laptop with android studio installed and enough system resources to support app building. Using this method, you can build an android app with any app icon image downloaded from the internet or change the app icon of an existing app as well.

This can be a separate topic on its own. Therefore, I will not dig deeper into it in this article as it requires a good amount of coding knowledge and skills which might not be suitable for the wider audience. However, I will mention the high-level steps needed to change the app icon in Android Studio for those of you who are interested in exploring this.

  • Open Android Studio and create a project of type Android.
  • Navigate to the app directory and select the “mipmap” folder.
  • Open any browser and download an image you would like to use as the new app icon.
  • Copy the path of the downloaded image.
  • Right-click on the mipmap directory, click “new” and select “Image Asset”.
  • Once a new window opens, paste the copied image path in the “path” variable under the source asset section.
  • Once the image is available, we can resize it using the resize option or change the color by using the background layer option.
  • Click on “Next” and then “Finish” to complete the process.
  • Open the android app in the emulator or on a device and you can see the changed app icon.
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Rooting the device

I would also like to strongly emphasize that rooting the phone is also a way to customize anything on your device without any restrictions, but it is not advisable. Rooting opens the doors for malware to corrupt your phone, someone can unethically break into your phone and access personal information. Nobody wants that, right? Not only this, rooting your phone voids the warranty so if anything happens to the phone you are on your own! Therefore, we will not just avoid talking about this method here but strongly recommend not to use it.

Beware of Frauds!

Now that we have an in-depth knowledge of how we can change our app launcher icon. It is of utmost importance to note and be aware of the risks this might have. There is nothing to worry about, but one just needs to be alert and careful while downloading or changing anything on the device. It is always a best practice to check the app ratings and reviews before downloading it. These ratings and reviews are provided by end users like you and me to help other users as well as to help the application team enhance their product. So, if an app has a higher rating and good reviews, we can conclude that it is safer to use.

Another parameter to consider is the number of downloads an application has. Sometimes, it is possible that an app has a 5-star rating but if you check further, you may find that the number of downloads is just 5 which could very well be just the team of developers. This clearly does not authenticate the security of the app, right? So be careful. If you download a malicious app, it can cause immense damage. Not only to the device but cause emotional and mental distress. Applications usually ask for permissions to be able to view images, contacts, and so on. If these details land in the wrong hands it can cause long-term repercussions.


Finally, to wrap it up I would like to mention that it was a pleasure to present this whole article on how you change your app icon. I hope that it was insightful, and everyone got something new to learn because honestly, I did. It is always fun and exciting to add your own touch and customize your device. But never forget to be watchful of what you are doing and be secure to enjoy a personalized experience without any complications.