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How to Change the iTunes Desktop Icon

written by: goaskdebbie•edited by: Aaron R.•updated: 1/13/2011

Windows allows users to personalize every aspect of their computer. The options range from unique backgrounds, color schemes or wallpaper. Why not do the same thing with iTunes? Personalization of your desktop icons allows users to get away from the generic musical note icon setup by iTunes.

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    Selecting a Desktop Icon Using Windows Files

    The iTunes default icon is a musical note within a blue circle. You can personalize the iTunes icon by selecting an .ico file you prefer. Images that are used for desktop icons are saved as .ico file types. These files may be created or you may use one of the many already located within the Windows system files.

    To change the iTunes desktop icon, follow these simple steps.

    Right-click on the current iTunes desktop icon and select the "Properties" menu item.

    Ensure that the "Shortcut" tab is selected and click on the "Change Icon" button.

    The "iTunes Properties" window shows icons available within the iTunes software. If you would like to use one of these, simply scroll through the list and highlight the icon you want. Click on the "OK" button to return to the iTunes Properties window. Click on the "OK" button to save the icon as your new iTunes desktop icon.

    iTunes Change Icon Window 

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    Selecting a New Icon

    Once selected, the new icon appears as the iTunes desktop icon.

    If you prefer to use another image, you may change the browsing location to select from another list of icons.

    To do so, follow the steps above. Once in the "Change Icon" window, click on the "Browse" button to change the location of your search.

    The "Change Icon" window will open to allow searching for folders and files located on your computer. Use the folders on the left side of the window to search for the folder containing the .ico file types you wish to use.

    In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, the location of the .ico files is "c:\windows\system32\imageres.dll."

    In Windows XP, the location of the .ico files is "c:\windows\system32\shell.dll."

    In both Windows Vista and XP, you may also find .ico files in the "c:\windows\system32\shell32.dll" file.

    Double-click on one of these files according to your operating system and a window of .ico files will open.

    Scroll through the available list to find an icon you like. Select the icon you want by clicking on it. Notice there are quite a few icons that look like or include something musical. To remind you that the iTunes desktop icon is your music folder, you may want to select one of these or something else that tells you this is for music.

    Click on the "OK" button twice to return to the desktop and exit the "Properties" window.

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    Admnistrative Access Needed

    Depending on your computer, you may receive a message telling you "Access Denied. You will need administrator permission to change these settings." If your login already has administrator privileges, simply press the "Continue" button and the icon should change. If you do not have administrator privileges, you will need to speak with the person that is the administrator to either change the icon for you or grant administrator privileges to perform this function.

    There are downloads available for purchase or users may decide to create their own .ico files to be used as desktop icons. However, since there are hundreds of icons already setup within the Windows folders, using them to change the iTunes desktop icon is quick and easy.