I think we’ve pretty much established the fact that Windows can be customized, albeit only via some extreme measures. Considering how easy it is though it is rather confusing why Microsoft won’t add support for third-party themes and icon packs. Until they do, we’re all dependent on third-party support to customize Windows which can often result in breaking the system completely. Meaning to say it is risky. This is why we recommend creating a system restore point often, and every time before installing a theme, icon pack or anything else. We’ve seen how you can install third-party themes on Windows, installing icon packs is a bit easier. Here are some awesome free icon packs for Windows you should try.
How to install and uninstall
The icon packs mentioned in this article all come with an iPack installer. It is a tool that makes changes to the necessary system files so that you won’t have to. Thus, it makes the experience a breeze. Most of the times you’ll get the installer as assumediconpackname.ee or some variation that prevents it from being a .exe. All you’ll then have to do is rename the assumediconpackname.ee (or whatever) to assumediconpackname.exe and then double-click to run the installer. You can find specific installation instructions on the respective Deviant Art pages of these icon packs.
To uninstall, simply run the installer again and select to restore default Windows icons.
Keep in mind these are still replacing system files. I’d advise not to go an installing spree like you’re probably used to on your Android device or Linux. It’d rather be a good practice to first uninstall any previous icon pack. After that, reboot the system and see if things are working. That said, I have actually installed icon packs over icon packs and haven’t run into trouble, might I add, yet. Just make sure you create a restore point before messing anything up.
You won’t be able to use your PC while the icon pack is being installed since explorer and all related processes need to be closed.
If you’re more or less satisfied with the way your Windows PC looks but don’t like those yellow folders, WinRemix iPack by unisira will be perfect for you. It’s compatible with Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and even Windows 10. All it basically does is give the folder icons on your Windows PC a much nicer green color. And it does look pretty amazing because I have used it personally. It also installs a few folder icons for folders like Documents, Music, Videos, etc. These icons are based on the folder icons in Flat-Remix, an icon theme for GNOME (Linux).
Deepin icon pack is based on an icon pack of the same name for Linux systems. That, in turn, is based on Papirus icon pack which is based on Paper icon theme. You don’t have to worry about those though because Deepin is the one available on Windows. Well, Paper icon pack is available for Windows as well and both of these have been brought to us by niivu. I’m a fan of the Paper icon pack on Linux but it just doesn’t look that great on Windows. Deepin, on the other hand, is great and it comes with four folder colors. These include blue, green, brown, and slate.
Apart from folder icons it even changes some of the default Windows icons including the icons on the side panel in Windows Explorer. Furthermore, you can use it regardless of whether you have a light or dark theme installed on your PC. Deepin also has two variants just for that scenario. It is compatible with Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.
This icon pack by BluPaper simply modifies the default Windows folder icons while changing a few others. It hasn’t been my favorite because it still uses Yellow folder icons like the default Windows folders. Turqiouse though, is more flat, and more cartoonish, in a good way with clear outlines. Like Deepin it changes the folder icons as well as the drive icons, PC icon, network icon, and the icons on the side panel among others.
Arc has been one of the most, some might say the best themes available for Linux systems and it was only a couple of years ago that Linux got an official Arc Icon theme. Arc iPack by niivu (once again), brings the beauty of the Arc icon theme to your Windows PC. It makes heavy use of simple, clean colors, thin crisp lines and follows the trending flat design. The use of obvious and straight-forward glyphs gives this theme a modern yet recognizable look. If you fancy it, there’s even an Arc theme available for Windows by the same guy. I currently don’t use either but I have used the theme as well as the icons for a long time.
There are many more icon packs for Windows that you can find on the Internet but these were some of the better ones that you should try. Once again, do remember to create restore points and be very careful while installing icon packs from other sources. These are likely to carry adware or even malware or viruses. You should be safe from those as long as you stick to trusted sites such as DeviantArt.