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How to change your app icons

Add some tweaks to your home screen by changing your app's icons. Here's how to do it.

We know that Android is almost infinitely customisable. You can change how it looks almost completely through installing custom ROMs or adding third party launchers that support themes. If you don’t want to make significant changes to your device’s UI, but would nonetheless like to a few subtle tweaks to give it its own look, then a simple tweak you can make is to change some of the icons on your home screen.

To do this you will need to install a custom launcher – we’re using Apex Launcher here, due to the way it maintains the classic Ice Cream Sandwich look – and also an icon pack, such as the free Metrostation, with its flat monochrome icons. There are lots of icon packs in the Google Play Store across a huge variety of different themes, and can be used to give your home screen a more individual style. All the changes can also be reversed with ease.

  1. Download the goods

    You’ll need to use a third party launcher, we’re using the excellent free Apex Launcher, as well as an icon pack. Download these from the Play Store and install them. Set up the launcher with your apps and widgets if you’re installing it for the first time.

  2. Editing icons

    Tap and hold your finger on one of the app icons on your home screen. A small window opens with several options, one of which is Edit. Select this. You can now edit the shortcut or change its text label. By tapping on the icon you can choose a new icon.

  3. Icon source

    You will now be presented with another list of options, this time asking you to locate the type of icon you want to use. You can use a picture if you want, although we don’t recommend that. Instead choose Select from icon packs and pick the pack, in our case Metrostation.

  4. Choose an icon

    Now you will see all the icons available to you within the icon pack. Pick one that best represents the app you are assigning it to. A good icon pack will have options for all common functions as well as the most popular third party apps so you should have plenty of choice.

  5. Choose a colour

    Tap on the icon and then choose a colour if you want one. We’re leaving ours white, but if you do go for the colourful approach make a note of the colour code at the top of the window so that you can use the same colour again for each of your icons.

  6. Reverse the changes

    Your icon will now be put in position. Repeat the process for the other icons you wish to change. To reverse the process simply repeat steps 2 and 3 but choose Use default icon instead of choosing your Icon pack. You will need to do this for all your icons.