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Change the icon for a running application's TaskBar button?

Felecha

Golden Member
Sep 24, 2000
1,434
0
0
I like to play with things like this.

I recently upgraded my Opera browser to 10.0, and it's got some improvements, but damn, the new icon for desktop buttons is yucky. I know how to change the icon for a desktop button, but the running application button, whatever you call it - the button that appears on the TaskBar when a program launches, so you can minimize it or close it, etc.
Is there any way to set THAT icon?
 

Felecha

Golden Member
Sep 24, 2000
1,434
0
0
that works for a desktop icon, what I'm talking about is the button along the taskbar that appears WHEN THE APP LAUNCHES - not the square button on the Quick Launch toolbar either, but the rectangular one with right click menu
Restore
Move
Size
Minimum
Maximum
Close

Thanks

 

Rhonda the Sly

Senior member
Nov 22, 2007
818
3
76
that works for a desktop icon, what I'm talking about is the button along the taskbar that appears WHEN THE APP LAUNCHES - not the square button on the Quick Launch toolbar either, but the rectangular one with right
So am I. I realize my error is that I'm using Windows 7 and you might not be...

...I suppose you could always switch to 7. :)
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,243
5
76
You may not be able to change it if the program is using an icon encoded in its resource file. Those are actually embedded in the exe.

It can be changed but you need a program to do it and have to be careful because you can break the exe.
http://www.restuner.com/

You would open the exe , replace the file with a pic of your own then save it out. Careful what you edit.
 

bruceb

Diamond Member
Aug 20, 2004
8,875
111
106
The program is PS Tray Factory .. I downloaded and tried it. It does work, but I do admit my link is broken
Correct link is here: http://www.pssoftlab.com/

PS Tray Factory
The system tray icons management utility
Current version: 3.0
OS: Windows 7/Vista/XP/2K/9X/NT (32 and 64 bit)
License: Try-before-you-buy
Cost: $24.95

PS Tray Factory is a powerful and handy tool meant to flexibly control ALL the other icons in the system tray of the taskbar. PS Tray Factory will help you to manage all the applications that place their icons in the taskbar tray. When you have installed PS Tray Factory, you will forget about the problem of lack of space in the system tray, and will also get an easy, fast and handy tool to handle those applications. In short, ALL Windows users will get this handy and powerful tool at their disposal, whereas only Windows XP users have an idea of it. For the latter, we have made a nice surprise, as the features of PS Tray Factory exceed the standard built-in ones of this OS. With PS Tray Factory you can quickly hide system tray icons and easy manage them.

PS Tray Factory allows you to:

* restore system tray icons after Explorer.exe crash
* change original tray icons with your own icons, more...
* move low-activity icons from the system tray into the special menu,
* quickly access hidden icons,
* change the order of icons in the system tray (sort tray), more...,
* hide seldom used system tray icons ,
* protect the tray menu with password,
* minimize any application to the system tray.
 

bruceb

Diamond Member
Aug 20, 2004
8,875
111
106
If he means by the Start button, then the program I suggested may not do that. It may not even be doable.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,243
5
76
Originally posted by: bruceb
If he means by the Start button, then the program I suggested may not do that. It may not even be doable.
You can do it, just takes a bit of work.
If you download the program I listed above and open an exe file with it, then in the drop down it will show all the icons. You can then change them to whatever you like, but they have to be the same dimensions and color depth, then save the exe back out.

It just takes a lot of time to resize all the icons. Never been worth the time for me.
 

Felecha

Golden Member
Sep 24, 2000
1,434
0
0

Well, there are LOTS of folks with interest in the question. I only meant to see if there was some way of doing it within Windows XP, something like the way I can change the icon for a simple button. I dont think I will play around with the exe, although I know I could just download Opera again. But I have lots of configuration stuff with it and several times over the years things got messed up where I lost all my bookmarks and settings for Opera, and even if it would be cool to play with, I think I will keep my 10-foot pole out there.

But hey, thanks for the suggestions

F
 

ilkhan

Golden Member
Jul 21, 2006
1,120
1
0
right click pinned item
right click on name of program
properties
change icon

should do it.

Wait, not on 7? who cares? GET SEVEN.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

guiambros

Junior Member
Mar 21, 2014
1
0
0
Bumping this old thread, as it is still #1 on Google for "change the icon of a running program". And it's so full of wrong information.

First, to all the folks who suggested PSSoftLab, or upgrading to Win7, or changing the icon via Properties... well, either you didn't understand the original question, or have no idea what you are talking about.

Yes, the icon on the taskbar is the one associated with the shortcut, so you can easily change it via Properties/Change Icon. But that was not the question.

The icon that shows up when you're running the program is the image compiled within the executable as a resource. The only option is to open the .exe with a resource editor, and replace the icon(s). @Modelworks' comment above was right, but Restuner is old, commercial, and does not open x64 executables.

A better option is to use Resource Hacker. It is also old, but it's freeware and works fine with both 32 and 64-bit executables. Just open the .exe, find the icon you want to replace, and select Action/Replace Icon. You must have a .ico file with the exact same dimensions of the icon you're replacing (note that you'll need 3 files: 16x16, 32x32, 48x48).

A good option to generate individual icons from images is the web service ConvertIcon, but there are several other options too.

Just save the .exe file, you're all set. Don't forget to make a backup before overwriting the original binary, in the case it doesn't work.
 

andrewyan

Junior Member
Nov 9, 2014
3
0
0
Hello guiambros,

I tried to download Resource Hacker but couldn't get past saving the .exe file. It prompts me to save the file elsewhere.

Any other suggestions / advice?

Andrew
 

andrewyan

Junior Member
Nov 9, 2014
3
0
0
UPDATE:

I've managed to save the exe file and I can see the icon has been updated in the Mainframe. However, it running application is still using the old icon. :(

Any advice?

Andrew
 

andrewyan

Junior Member
Nov 9, 2014
3
0
0
Hi Denise,

Thanks for your input.

I used Resource Hacker to changed the original icon as suggested by guiambros above and even managed to save the exe file. However, the old google chrome icon is still showing when google chrome is running. That's what I am unable to change, I can changed everything else.
 

Morbus

Senior member
Apr 10, 2009
998
0
0
If anyone is interested in the answer (didn't read the thread), all you have to do is right click the taskbar icon, THEN rightclick the corresponding item in the access menu (as in, right click the steam icon, then right click the steam entry in the menu that pops up), go into properties and do the whole business of changing the icon.

Hope it helps.

I just recently found out about this myself.
 

Mr_Sandman

Junior Member
Jun 23, 2015
1
0
0
Update just released, current version is now 4.2
for the ResourceHacker application noted above.
.
It DOES do what the OP requested, for those of you wanting the same.
.
There is a bit of learning curve, as well as figuring out what to do first.
You must also determine 'which' executable is actually the one you need to edit (sometimes the one with the icon embedded in resources of the executable is NOT the one you launch with) and where it may be located, as well as finding and preparing, if necessary the icons needed in all three of the typical resolutions needed, so you can reliably perform the function desired.
.
When finished, if there are no compressed-exe or other problems needing some troubleshooting, you should be able to successfully run your target program and see your new selected/customized icon appear (on your running tasks bar), instead of whatever was originally there.
.
Anyone walking by your PC and viewing your Taskbar would see only the icons you have chosen to display, regardless of which programs you actually have running in the background.
.
Also, note that it is possible to use a screen-grab piece of your task bar to create your own icons in each resolution, so that when running the icon IS THERE but APPEARS invisible. Or nearly so. Until you mouse-over or right-click on it.
.
Various simple free apps using the Print Screen button, such as Gadwin, help grab the source piece for you.
Various free graphic editors, such as open-source GIMP, can help create the icon file.
Have fun!
I know I did :p
http://gimp-tutorials.net/How-to-make-an-icon-from-a-picture
 

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