I have an app that I like very much, I use it everyday, but I dislike its desktop icon.

How can I change the desktop icon of this app ? Should I do it directly by opening the .apk file (with which tool?) ?

2 Answers 2


You can try apk edit.

  1. Launch apk edit.exe and load the apk file you need to change icon
  2. The exe will display the app icon and name under General tab
  3. You can change the icon and load the apk back to the phone

Note : This process will cause problem on update of the app.

When google play notifies the update, you can uninstall the app, install the app again and change the icon.

  • Doesn't this approach cause you problems with app updates?
    – Dan Hulme
    Jun 17, 2014 at 9:26
  • @DanHulme Ya you are rite, it will create problem on update because of signature change.When update come uninstall and then change icon again. I updated the answer.
    – samnaction
    Jun 17, 2014 at 9:45
  • I tried this software, but where do I have to click in order to swap the icon ? dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83031018/3.jpg I don't see the icon replacement button ? If I click on the underlined text "Icons", it automatically goes to Google Images, but doesn't allow to swap the icon.
    – Basj
    Jun 17, 2014 at 10:52
  • Click on the icon image and make sure the icon is in png format. Click apply.
    – samnaction
    Jun 17, 2014 at 10:57
  • I retried, and it doesn't work. Probably because some "unhandled exception" happened while loading the .apk file : dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83031018/4.jpg
    – Basj
    Jun 17, 2014 at 11:15

Most third-party launchers (home screen apps) let you replace an app's icon with one of your choose, and they feature downloadable icon packs: often with co-ordinated icons for common apps, so you can have all your app icons matching, or just change one you don't like. The exact method depends on which launcher you choose, so check out that launcher's help, or post a new question with the launcher you're using.

If you're mainly interested in changing the icon of a shortcut (not the icon in the app drawer), then you don't need to go to the hassle of installing and setting up a new launcher. Some apps let you create a home screen shortcut using any picture or icon of your choice, and choose what app to launch from this icon. For example, my app Showr (free download from Google Play) is a home screen widget with this feature. You can use a fixed icon that you pick from your phone or download, or you can even have the picture update from the web at set intervals (e.g. create a shortcut to the Facebook app with the latest photo from your timeline).

If you choose to do it this way, the steps are as follows.

  1. Install Showr from Google Play
  2. Add the widget to your home screen: from the app drawer, go to the list of Widgets, find Showr (there might be several pages), and drag it to the right place on your screen.
  3. Choose the image, icon, or photo you want from the Gallery or another app, or if you want to download an image or RSS feed, choose Web address and paste the address.
  4. Now the widget's created, click on it and choose Settings from the menu.
  5. In the Widget settings, change When you click the widget to Launch an app, and then click App to launch to choose which app.
  6. Don't forget to rate/review Showr, to help other Android users find it.

You can change the size of the shortcut in the usual way, by long-tapping it and then dragging the handles that appear.

  • Thanks for your answer. Can you give the main steps in order to do it ? (I use Android 2.3.6). I haven't found where I can change the icon of the shortcut.
    – Basj
    Jun 17, 2014 at 10:57
  • I've updated my answer, but if you're only on 2.3.6, Showr isn't an option for you: it only supports Honeycomb (3.2) and newer. It'll severely restrict your choice of custom launchers too. That's why it's best to include Android version information in your question.
    – Dan Hulme
    Jun 17, 2014 at 11:42
  • Thanks for the updated answer. Unfortunately, with Android 2.3.6, I won't be able to use it. Do you have any other idea in mind for 2.3.6 @DanHulme ?
    – Basj
    Jun 17, 2014 at 12:05
  • I don't know of another app that does this: if I did, I wouldn't have bothered making one! I don't know which launchers still work with old Android versions, but I expect there's at least one if you search the Play Store. If you wait a while, someone more familiar with Gingerbread might be able to suggest one.
    – Dan Hulme
    Jun 17, 2014 at 14:27

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