How to Change App Icons on Android

Last Updated: July 19, 2017

Most of us install a ton of apps on our Android smartphones and you must have noticed that unlike iOS, the apps icons on Android aren’t very uniform. Some apps have a circular icon, some have a round icon, and some feature a squircle icon, which makes up for a very uneven look in the app drawer and the home screen. While things are supposed to be changed, with Android O bringing adaptive icons, most of us won’t be getting the Android O update soon. However, Android, being highly customizable, allows you to change the app icons to whatever you want on any device. So without further ado, here are some ways to change app icons on Android:

Change App Icons Using Third-Party Launchers

If you are using the custom launcher that came with your phone, you might not have the option to change the icon pack. However, most third-party launchers can give you the option to apply whatever icon pack you may like.

For demonstration, I’ll change the icon pack on my device using one of the most popular launchers – Nova Launcher. The ability to change the icon pack is available in the free version of Nova Launcher. So, after you have installed the Nova Launcher on your phone and set it as your default launcher, follow the steps to change the icons:

  1. Download any icon pack that you may like. On my phone, I have downloaded the Pixel Icon Pack. After you have downloaded an icon pack, go to Nova Settings –> Look & feel –> Icon theme.

Icon Theme

2. In the list that pops up, you should see the icon pack that you have installed. Tap on it to apply it.

Apply Theme

Now when you go to your phone’s home screen or the app drawer, you will see the new icon pack all throughout your phone.

Pixel Icon Pack

If you’d like to change the icons of a few particular apps, Nova Launcher lets you do that as well. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Drag an app to the home screen to create its shortcut. Here, long press on the icon to see the shortcut’s menu and tap on “Edit”.

Shortcut Menu

2. From the Edit Shortcut pop-up, tap on the app icon to change it. From this screen, you can choose an image from any of the icon packs installed or even choose an image from your gallery.

Shortcut Pop-up

You will now have a custom icon set for this app’s shortcut on the home screen. Note that this does not change the icon in the app drawer. It is only the shortcut that gets altered.

Change App Icons Using Third-Party Apps

Sometimes, you might not want to download a new launcher just to change the icon pack. If this is your case, then you can download a third-party icon changer app. With these apps, you might not be able to change the app icons on your system, but you can add an app shortcut to your desktop with any icon of your choice. And, if you want, you can even select an image from your gallery. Cool, right?

Below are few of the apps that let you add customized shortcuts for apps. The last screenshots in each case will have both the icons – the app icon from the icon changer app and the native app icon.

1. Awesome Icons

Awesome Icons lets you customize your home screen icons with both icon packs and your own pictures. You don’t need root access in order to use this app. Here are the steps for using the app:

  • Download Awesome icons (free with in-app purchases) from the Play Store. Once it is installed, scroll down to the app for which you want to create the shortcut.
  • Tap on the icon, and you will be taken to its shortcut’s settings.

Shortcut Settings

  • Now tap on the icon under “Icon” and choose your desired icon from any of the locations available. If you want, you can even change the name label for the shortcut.

Changed Icon

  • Tap on “OK” to create the shortcut.

Beebom Icon Changed

2. Icon Swap

Icon Swap allows you to customize any shortcut in your launcher, without root access. Below are the steps to use the app.

  • Download Icon Swap (free) from the Play Store. In the app, tap anywhere on the screen to choose an app for creating the shortcut. I’ll do it for the Calendar app.

Icon Swap

  • Under “Shortcut Properties”, you can change the shortcut title. To change the icon for the shortcut, tap on “Browse”. After selecting an image, tap on “Create Shortcut”.

Change Icon Calendar

Calendar Icon Changed

3. Icon Changer free

Like the other apps mentioned above, Icon Changer free allows you to create a shortcut of an app on the home screen with a custom icon. Here are the steps to use the app:

  • Download Icon Changer free (free) from the Play Store. In the app, tap on the two Androids to select an app for which you want to create the shortcut. This time, I’ll do it for the Phone app.

Icon Changer free

  • Tap on your app and then you’ll get the option to either change it, decorate it, or add a filter to it. You can even change the shortcut’s title if you want.

Change Icon Phone

  • Once done, tap on “OK” to create the shortcut on the desktop.

Phone Icon Changed

SEE ALSO: How to Customize Navigation Bar on Android

Change Apps Icon on Android for a more personalized look

One of the biggest advantages of owning an Android phone is the customization that you get. Once you download third-party launchers or apps, you can change the icons to whatever you feel like. Whether it is a single app or all the apps, you have complete control. So what launcher or icon changer apps are you using? For which apps did you change the icons? Do let me know in the comments section below.

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