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I'd like to customize not just desktop icons but the icons that appear in the taskbar, is this possible?

And no, I'm not asking how to customize icons pinned to the taskbar, but rather the icons of active programs - specifically Chrome

There's not a single resource within the exe that contains the default icon, yet it continues to use the default icon

Chrome icon

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Can you specify what version of windows. – user88311 Jun 30 '13 at 15:31… – user88311 Jun 30 '13 at 15:38
Note that you can only change the icon on shortcuts, unless you manually edit the executable, which could cause signature checks to fail, and some programs may fail to elevate correctly. Not a good idea. – Frank Thomas Jun 30 '13 at 21:32
Hah, the funniest part is: chrome uses some hacks to add additional marks to icons: try creating second profile, and see what happens to icon (note: Use small taskbar buttons option have to be disabled) – Szymon Szydełko Jul 1 '13 at 12:51
Like there: Note: it's Comodo Dragon, treat it like custom chrome. – Szymon Szydełko Jul 1 '13 at 12:56
up vote 6 down vote accepted
  1. Download and install ResHacker.
  2. Open ResHacker as administrator and click File > Open and choose the exe file.
  3. Click on the icon folder then on one of the subfolders there and then on a file inside the subfolder
  4. Right click on it and choose Replace Resource...
  5. A dialog will appear, choose the icon you want to replace from the list on the right.
  6. Click Open file with new icon and choose the icon you want.
  7. Click Replace.
  8. Click File > Save.

    • It has to be as administrator so it could write changes to files inside program files.
    • Note that ResHacker also renames the original file to filename_original.
    • If for some reason you can't write to Program Files, Just do a Save As..., save the exe file somewhere else and replace it later.

Edit: To summarize all the comments below - sometimes the application uses the resources of external dll (and theoratically, exe) file. So, if you change the icons in the exe and it's not working, check the application dll files and replace the icon there too.

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My question has nothing to do with the quicklaunch or how to change the icons of pinned programs. My question is in regard to the icons of active programs that appear in the taskbar. – Gabardine Jun 30 '13 at 18:58
@Gabardine, I think that perhaps you should clarify your request. perhaps an image. – Frank Thomas Jun 30 '13 at 21:14
Ah, sorry, I didn't realize that. Anyways, it is not possible to change the program's (exe file) icon using Windows, since the icon is embedded in the exe file itself. You will need a tool like ResEdit to actually changes the file's resources. ResEdit is free, check it out. – matan129 Jun 30 '13 at 21:16
I've edited my answer. Check it out! – matan129 Jun 30 '13 at 21:34
Finally I found it. Chrome doesn't use the resources of the exe, but rather the resources of the chrome.dll in the [versionnumber] folder. So I replaced the resources of the .dll and now it works – Gabardine Jul 1 '13 at 16:33

It is pretty easy:

  1. Make a shortcut of the file on your desktop eg myfile.txt .
  2. Then drag myfile.txt onto the taskbar where all the other little icons are.

You might already have to many so you can press the arrow next to the icons, find the myfile.txt icon and drag it back onto the toolbar.

Hope this helps.

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Your answer doesn't help me since it only covers pinned icons. I have nothing pinned to my taskbar and wish to keep it that way. – Gabardine Jun 30 '13 at 19:00

I have wrote a tutorial on how to do this:

I hope this is what you need.

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Again, this is just how to change shortcut icons. – Gabardine Jul 1 '13 at 12:37

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