Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Creating a shortcut is easy and there's an interface for changing the icon. Though not obvious, there's a large selection of icons to choose from.
I created a shortcut for the "Safely Remove Hardware" utility, but now I want to use a different icon for it. How?
Changing the icon for a desktop shortcut is really easy. Where most people trip up is finding an icon to choose from. The good news is that there's a huge collection of icons already in Windows ready for your use, if you know where to look.
That would be the default icon for the shortcut.
To change the icon of this or almost any desktop shortcut, right click on the shortcut and click on Properties:
Click on Change Icon...:
This is where things get interesting. You'll see that exactly one icon is presented for you to choose from. That icon is actually extracted from the shortcut target, in this case rundll.exe. But using the Browse... button we can select a different file to get the shortcut from:
Note that I've selected shell32.dll, or more completely "C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll". Press OK, and the Change Icon dialog suddenly has many icons to choose from:
On my system I have something like 234 icons to choose from. After selecting one and OKing my way out, my desktop shortcut now looks like this:
Naturally you can select other files containing icons including most .exe and .dll files, as well as .ico icon files. However with 200+ icons to choose from in shell32.dll it's rare that I need to look anywhere else for something appropriate.