How to Create an Icon File From JPGby John Ruiz ; Updated September 28, 2017
ICO files can be used to change the default icon of a Windows folder or shortcut. Since Windows does not let you use other file types such as JPG to assign icons, you must convert the image into the ICO format. Once you convert the image, you can instantly see what the icon looks like even if you do not open it.
Using iConvert Icons
Head to the iConvert Icons website (see Resources). Click the "Click to browse" link to bring up the file selection dialog.
Open the JPG file you wish to convert using the file selection dialog. To see a thumbnail of the JPG file, right-click an empty space, go to "View" and select "Large Icons." The conversion process should take a few seconds depending on your connection speed.
Click the "ICO" button to download the converted icon file if you are satisfied with the previews of the various icon sizes below.
Using Free Ico Converter
Download and install Free Ico Converter (see Resources) and launch the app afterwards. Click the "Select File(s)" button to bring up the Open dialog.
Browse to the location of the JPG file you want to convert and double-click it.
Click the "Select" button to open the Save As dialog. Browse to the destination where you want to save the ICO file. Give the ICO file a file name in the corresponding text box and click "Save" to close the dialog. Click the "Convert" button to finish the process.
Download and install GIMP (see Resources). Open GIMP, click the "File" on the menu bar and go to "Open."
Open the JPG file you would like to convert using the Open Image dialog. Make any edits to the image if necessary using the various GIMP tools.
Click "File" and go to "Export As..." Enter a name for the icon and end it with ".ico". Pick a location where you want to export the icon and click "Export."
Choose the quality of the icon from the drop-down box and click "Export" to complete the conversion.