There are many ways to change and customize your icons in Windows Vista: changing some of them manually in the registry, directly edit the icon libraries and changing icons using a freeware or shareware application that lets you do it easily.
Let's Start Changing them the way that you want for Free.
Changing Desktop Icons
Right-Click > Personalize > Change Desktop Icons
Pros: No Software needed
Changing Folder Icons
Most of the us are changing folder icons to easily find or recognize and memorize the location of the files.
Right-Click to the folder > Customize Tab
Tips and Tricks
Using WinBubble Icon Changer, Customizing Desktop Shortcuts and Removal of Shortcut Overlay Icons
Some of the Applications and Softwares like Internet Explorer will not let you change it's icons easily.
TIP: Just create a shortcut on desktop, Change the Icons and Remove the Shortcut Overlay Arrow Icon.
a. Create a Desktop shortcut of the application and change the icon
a.1) Go the the Application directory (e.g. \Program Files\AppName) Right-Click and Send To Desktop (Create Shortcut)
a.2) Go to the Desktop Shotcut > Right-Click > Properties > Shortcut > Change icon... Button
b.) Remove the Shortcut Overlay icons using WinBubble
b.1) Download and Open WinBubble
b.2) At the General Tab > Click the "Remove the Shortcut Arrow" Option and Press "ALT-A" or just click the Apply Button.
Customizing and Restoring Icons with WinBubble:
WinBubble can customize some Windows Icons as shown above. Originally, the software was designed to Restore your icons in Windows Vista Not Changing the icons. But As I developed the program, some ideas came to me and Now you can easily Change your Drive icons to High-Resolution without downloading from the web.
Whether your just getting started or not. It let's you explore all the hidden high-resolution icons in Windows Vista. Easily...
To put them back to it's original settings or default just click the Restore all to default Button. That's it!
Customizing your Shortcut Overlay Arrow Icon
WinBubble will let you change the Big Shortcut Arrow Overlay icons in Windows Vista. There's an existing icons included in the app like Heart, Star and Windows logo. You can also download from the web or create icons by yourself and set it up using WinBubble. Enjoy!
Read more: Changing Shortcut Overlay Arrow Icons
Changing Windows Vista File-Type Icons
I remember one user asked something about removing Context Menu for a certain file type. As I explore the registry, I learned how to remove entries in Context Menu and how to change the icon for a certain file type like .txt, .zip, .rar, .doc and others.