As part of Windows customization, you can change the start button icon to anything you want. Follow the steps to add a new start button icon.
In Windows 10, the default Start button icon is the regular old Windows logo. Unlike the old start button icon, the new start icon just changes color when you click on it. If you don't like how the new start button icon looks and don't mind going the extra mile in customizing how Windows looks, you can change the start button icon and add your own custom icon.
To do that, follow the below steps.
Important Note: Before making any changes, I recommend you create a restore point or a full Windows backup. If something goes wrong, you can use that restore point or the backup to restore the system to its known good state.
How do I Change Start Button Icon
To change the start button icon, you should follow the below steps.
1. First, download this software and install it like any other application. After installing, launch it by searching for it in the start menu.
2. After launching the software, go to the "Appearance" tab and select the "Windows 10" start menu style and then select the start button orb icon of your choice. By default, the application comes with three different start button icons. Select the one you like. In my case, I'm selecting the Windows 7 style start button icon.
3. Click on the "Apply" and "Ok" buttons to save changes.
As soon as you do that, you should see the modified start button icon on the taskbar.
Add Custom Icon
If you want to add your own custom icon to the start button then you have to go through some hoops. I tried to find some app that makes the whole process easy but couldn't find one that works in Windows 10. So, you have to manually create the start button icon.
Basically, you have to create a custom start orb image that contains icons for three start button states. i.e, default state, hover state and pressed state.
1. To start off, if you haven't already, download the icon of your choice. In my case, I've downloaded a rocket icon from Flaticon.
Note: If you want three different icons for three different states, then download three icons. As for me, I will slightly change the one icon to represent different states.
2. Once you have the icon, open the image editing software of your choice. In my case, I'm using Photoshop.
3. Now, create a new transparent image exactly in the below dimensions depending on your DPI settings (Settings app → System → Display → Scale and Layout).
- 100% DPI - use 54 x 162 px
- 125% DPI - use 66 x 198 px
- 150% DPI - use 81 x 243 px
3. After creating the blank image, use the built-in ruler to divide the image into three equal parts vertically. The top, middle, and bottom parts represent default, hover, and pressed states.
4. Now, drag and drop your icon(s) into those three divided sections. Make sure they are exactly centered in their own section.
5. After doing that, save the image in PNG format and close the image editing application. In my case, this is the start image orb I created. I'm not that creative so please pardon the horrible icon.
6. Once you have to custom image, open StartIsBack application and click on the little "+" add icon.
7. In the browse window, select the icon you just created and click "Open".
8. This will add the custom start button icon to the application. Select it and click on the "Apply" and "Ok" buttons to save changes.
If everything goes well, you will see your own custom start button icon in action.
StartIsBack is a paid software that costs $3.99 (one-time fee). The reason I chose this software over other free software like Classic Shell is that they are either not supported any longer, don't work properly in the latest Windows 10 versions, or way too cumbersome in terms of functionality and usability. Trust me, I tried three different software and none worked better.
If you don't want to pay for software then you can try Open-Shell, an open-source fork of Classic Shell. This good thing is, you can follow the basic gist of this article to change the start button icon. Then again, do keep in mind that OpenShell adds a lot of functionality to both the Start Menu and File Explorer out of the box. It also completely changes how the start menu looks. You have a spend a fair bit of time tinkering with the settings to disable all those unnecessary features and make it work as you want.
Simply put, if you really want to change the start button icon and don't want to deal with cumbersome options, spending a few bucks does no harm. If you don't might exploring and configuring a bunch of options the go with OpenShell.
That is it. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.