Convert pictures to ICO icon format for free, online
The previous tutorial explained how to customize folder icons in Windows XP or Windows Vista. The problem is that Windows will only accept image files in
ICO format, or "icon files": fortunately, it is easy (and free) to convert pictures you like into
ICO format to use them as custom icon for folders or Windows shortcuts (or even as website icon). In this tutorial, we will use a free and user-friendly image conversion service we found online, but you can use any of the dozens of similar services.
Convert a picture to Windows icons in ICO format
First, go to the CoolUtils website that provides free online image conversion: while the service is free, it is limited to convert only smaller images (under 100 kilobytes, or about the size of a 100x100 pixels PNG file inside Microsoft Paint - type mspaint in the Start Menu to open the Paint program that ships with Windows). If needed, use Microsoft Paint to resize your image.
Under File to convert, click the Browse button to pick an image from your computer that you want to use as folder icon. Then, click on the Convert to ICO link: either the website will tell you that the image is too large (resize it down with Microsoft Paint if needed), or present you with a File Download dialog - if so, your picture was small enough and successfully converted to an
ICO icon for Windows:
Save the file on your desktop or other folder of your choice: you are now ready to see how to use your icon file as custom folder icon in our previous tutorial.up ↑