It's easier than you might guess to customize your PC's icons with IconPackager. As the name suggests, IconPackager packages icons together so you can replace them all at once instead of the usual way, one by one. It's shareware that you can try for free for 30 days. The trial version only comes with a few icon packages, but more are available to registered users.
IconPackager's unique interface combines some of the look of the Appearance and Personalization tool in Windows with browser-like touches such as tabs. IconPackager sorts its main features by function into tabs labeled Look & Feel, with submenus for Icon Packages, Preview, Colors, and Live Folders (disabled in the trial); Icons & Cursors; Settings; and so on. While IconPackager limits the number of packages you can apply, it comes with enough samples to see what the program does and how its icons look and perform, including the default Microsoft Windows icons, in case you need to restore them. You can also add icon packages from your disk or a Web site. The provided packages have names like Flash Live and Junior; we chose Plastic Fantastic (there's a random option, too). We clicked Apply Icon Package. A pop-up advised us that our desktop and taskbar would restart to apply the icons, but we didn't have to close any programs or windows and didn't lose anything when the icons changed. The new icons were nice enough -- not really dramatically different from the stock set -- but wilder and stranger variations are available online. The Icons & Cursors tool lets you change individual icons and cursors more easily than through Windows. This program has a considerable number of options and settings, even in the free edition. For example, there's a slider to fine-tune the interface color. A Package Builder lets you create your own packages to use and share.
Even with its trial limits, IconPackager showed us what it can do. But the full version costs less than $10, which is not a lot for a whole new wardrobe of quick-changing icons and cursors for your Windows PC.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of IconPackager 5.1.
IconPackager is a desktop-enhancement utility that lets you change all the common icons used by Windows at once by applying "packages" of icons to them. You can download these packages at Web sites such as WinCustomize.com or create your own by replacing the icons of individual items on your computer one by one, then saving them as an icon package. It's very easy to use and has thousands of icons available in packages on the Net.
What's new in this version:
Version 5.1 includes support for Windows 7 Homegroup and shield overlays, additional preview options.