Modifying the icon of applications that are pinned to your Windows 7 taskbar is fairly easy in most cases however there are various scenarios where it can be a bit more complicated. I noticed that one of my applications appeared to have a default Windows icon of some sort so I wanted to modify it so I would know what the application was. In my case I have pinned all of the applications that I use on a daily basis to the Windows 7 taskbar. This is one of the features I love of Windows 7 as it makes it really easy for me to not only launch applications but also to manage applications that are currently running. I am a huge fan of only a little icon displaying and when you hover over it you can see how many windows are open and more detail about those windows. Below I describe how to modify the icon of applications pinned to the Windows 7 taskbar and some hints of what to do if you are unable to modify those icons easily such as if the Change Icon button in the shortcut properties is greyed out or inactive.
Modify Application Icon Pinned To Windows 7 Taskbar:
All of the items pinned to your Windows 7 taskbar are located in a folder of manually pinned application shortcuts. The location of that folder is listed below.
Windows 7 Taskbar Pinned Application Shortcuts Folder Path:
C:Users<username>AppDataRoamingMicrosoftInternet ExplorerQuick LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar
The above path should have the <username> modified to the proper username. From that list you can right click on the shortcut and select properties from the menu that appears to display the shortcut properties window as displayed below.
Shortcut Menu Properties Window:
Now from the Properties window make sure that you click on the Shortcut tab and you will see the Change Icon button located near the bottom in the middle of the row of three buttons. Click on this button to modify the icon of the shortcut that is pinned to the Windows 7 taskbar. Shortcut icons can be created using Photoshop and saving image files as .ICO (icon) files.
Shortcut Properties Change Icon Greyed Out:
If the Change Icon button is greyed out it could be a couple different issues. My suggestion would be to unpin the application from the Windows taskbar, navigate to the application folder, and generate your own shortcut. Modify the new shortcut icon and then launch the application using the new shortcut. Once launched pin the open application to the taskbar and the new shortcut icon should display.