How do I change an application's icon?


I’d like to set a different icon, consistent with the icon set I like using, for an application I use a lot. At the moment, its default icon sticks out like a sore thumb.

This is something I’ve been trying to find out for ages. I’ve never found a satisfactory explanation of how icon sets work. Web searches tend to give me how-tos for very old versions of Gnome or just Windows or Mac.

I’d appreciate any help.

1 Like

In my experience, there are certain icons you cannot change, but the way it works in general is that every icon set comes with a set of symbolic links with certain generic names that are the same between the icon sets.

When installing/activating a particular icon set, it then retrieves the icon for that application by the name of the symbolic link for the application, but you should be able to manually change the icon to something else by right-clicking any application’s launcher and choosing “Properties”.

You can then click on the icon button in that applet and explicitly pick a different icon by its filename, rather than by the name of the symlink — symlinks are shown in the file manager with their name in an italic font, so they are easily recognizable. However, the icon will then no longer change when switching to a different icon theme. And additionally, you cannot change the icon of an application as it appears in the system tray, because those are hard-coded in the application itself.


Excellent, Aragorn. Thank you. I’ve just found (or refound - my membership is apparently 14 years old) the KDE store, part of I’ve made a request to the maintainer of my icon set to include the application. However, by following your explanation, I’ve found the properties trick and it’s worked beautifully. I attach a screenshot: the modified icon is the little pen. The application is manuskript. Thanks again, very much.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 2 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.