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Changing Metro App Icons for Windows 8.1 RT Start Screen

Posted on 2014-01-17
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Last Modified: 2016-06-02
Hi.

New Microsoft Surface RT for Christmas.  Like it a lot after thinking I would have to return it.  Now trying to customize icons for the start menu that has an icon on every tile for Metro Apps like Music.  Can't find the app for music anywhere, so thought it must be in firmware.  Found various instructions on internet, none matched my version of OS exactly.  I guess in W8 you can select tile-properties-change icon.  Not in W8.1RT that I can see.  


Someone posted to put your path to your .ico file in the music library reference  file replacing "imageres.dll, -108" with your .ico path.  But the post did not mention it was really a desktop.ini file, which mine is.  It doesn't feel correct.  Went to libraries\music and found two files with the same "desktop.ini" filename.  How can that be?  
And when opening the files in notepad.exe they are definitely different.  Anyway, opened the first one, desktop.ini,  with notepad and found ...

[.ShellClassInfo]
LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21790
InfoTip=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-12689
IconResource=%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-108
IconFile=%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll
IconIndex=-237

Then changed the path in the desktop.ini file on IconResource to my .ico file and rebooted, no change.  No errors.  Then put it back, put my path to .ico on the IconFile line and rebooted and no change, and no errors on reboot.

So I put everything back the way it was, rebooted, and still wonder how to change my icons.  I thought maybe they were in firmware with the OS and cannot be changed.  Can anyone help?

Thanks very much.
Chris
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Question by:Christopher Jay Wolff
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5 Comments
 
LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39789737
What I think you are trying to change is the library icon for the music library which contains 2 folders c:\users\public\music  c:\users\username\music and what you changed was one of the folder icons desktop.ini
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by:Christopher Jay Wolff
ID: 39789914
Hello.  Thanks for responding.

I don't think that's what I'm trying to do, but I'll listen.  If you've got Windows 8, then you know about the tiles that show up on screen w.hen you boot up.  They're called tiles and hold the icon ( if not designated as live tile) for whatever Metro App you may have.  Metro apps are written for the Microsoft Surface tablets.  It is based on the Metro Design Language.  So when I boot up I have a tile for my Music Metro App that shows on boot up.  If I touch it, I can select music to play.  The icon in that tile is a pair of headphones that look a lot like noise protectors they wear at airports on the tarmac.  I have some musical notes in an .ico file that I prefer and cannot find how to change from the standard headphone icon to my notes icon.

I'm sure I read the wrong thing about changing icons that I listed above, where the person said to change to .dll file to your path. First,  I still think I need to confirm that the icons are on the disk, not in firmware.

I hope that is more clearly explained.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39789933
You are referring to the xbox music app and it is hard coded into the app
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Accepted Solution

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Christopher Jay Wolff earned 0 total points
ID: 39790269
Hi again.

While you were posting above I was on live chat with Microsoft and they said you cannot alter the icons for Metro Apps.  I asked if it was because they are in the firmware and he said yes.  This does not appear to be correct, thank goodness.

 Turns out if your view is set to show hidden files and folders you'll see the WindowsApps folder inside the ProgramFiles folder.   it looks like the icons are different than an ico file in that they appear to be black and white Metro symbols that I guess allow transparency and therefore palette manipulation for custom colors. Too tired to prove it right now.

 For the headphone icon on the music tile I go to ProgramFiles\WindowsApps\Microsoft.ZuneMusic_2.2.41.0_neutral_resources.scale-140_8wekyb3d8bbwe\images\...

And in the images folder are five PNG files of the headphone icon in different sizes and transparancies  The first filename is
ico_74x_GenericMusic.scale-140_contrast-black.png

I will eventually try to create my own PNG files to replace these being careful to match transparencies where necessary and it might work.   I quickly discovered I had to change all my permissions from ProgramFiles folder all the way down to each of the five PNG files in order to edit them.  Maybe I'll find a program that creates these PNG files for me.

More later.
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