How to change Xiaomi's MIUI icons without alternative launchers

xiaomi miui change icons

You have a smartphone Xiaomi, personalization MIUI it fits you tight and you want change icons of apps? Despite the many appreciations received, Xiaomi's UI is not the most flexible when it comes to graphic customization. To tell the truth, there are very few UIs that allow a profound modification of the icons of the installed apps. At most it is possible to change its shape and size and if it is okay it is also possible to install a third-party icon pack. But if I told you that you can change the icons, changing its image even with own photos, renaming them, removing its name and use icon pack third party? And all without the aid of alternative launchers, but by taking advantage of the possibilities granted by some specific apps.

You can customize the icons of Xiaomi's MIUI (and not only): I'll reveal the trick

Why an alternative launcher is not the ideal choice

If one wanted to be able to customize the icons, why not install an alternative launcher? Especially when there are acclaimed choices like Nova and POCO Launchers that allow you to do a bit of everything I mentioned. The problem derives from the incompatibility between MIUI 12 and these launchers, since the gestures introduced with Android 10 are only compatible with the MIUI launcher. If you don't use gestures, then you can safely rely on these launchers, with all the benefits of the case. But if not, then read on.

Changing icons is possible with these apps

Fortunately for you, the method I want to explain does not involve any modding operation, therefore no unlocking the bootloader, root or Magisk permissions. However, I already tell you that this is an imperfect method and that it has some trade-offs (you will soon understand).

The app you need is called Awesome Icons and you can find it for free on the Play Store. It's not a particularly recent app and doesn't have an exciting UI, but it's for us. Once downloaded, the first thing to do is to enable full support for it, otherwise it won't work as it should. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Go to "Settings / App / Permissions / Other permissions”And click on Awesome Icons
  2. Enable the item "Home screen shortcuts"

This permission is required for the app to create shortcuts for the apps we are interested in having a different icon. Yes, because obviously MIUI (as well as any proprietary UI) does not allow you to act on the original icon. But with Awesome Icons we can create a shortcut that points to that app, therefore first remove the original icon from the home (so that it is present only in the drawer).

Now open Awesome Icons and the list of apps you have installed on your Xiaomi smartphone will appear in front of you. In addition to the ones you installed manually, you also have access to system apps such as Themes, Settings, Camera, Calculator and so on. For each of them you have a row with various icons: the first is that standard, while from the second on there are icons compatible with icon pack that you have installed. Finally, the penultimate and last option concern the possibility of take a picture or draw one photo from the Gallery to use as an icon.

Once you have chosen the option you are interested in, on the next screen you can select which app should start, change the icon (if you want to change it) and above all the item "Label". Here you can modify the icon name, even inserting emojis or - why not - not putting anything. By leaving the space blank you will get an unnamed icon with a minimal look.

What are the drawbacks?

Like all unofficial methods, using an app like Awesome Icons means not having a 100% optimal result. As you may notice, using some icon packs you may get a white border around the central icon. Also, the notification badge counter may not work completely if you use it. These are the compromises I mentioned a few paragraphs above.

There is another alternative for the less imaginative

Some of you may have the sole desire to remove the name of the icons from Xiaomi's MIUI, without changing the icon. In this way, the notification badge may not work but at least you are sure that you will not have the white border around the icon. In this case, the app you need is another, that is Activity Launcher, always free and on the Play Store. Also in this case, you will have to allow the same permission I told you about in the paragraph dedicated to Awesome Icons, otherwise it will not be able to create shortcuts.

Once this is done, open the app and choose from the list the app whose icon you want to have changed. Clicking on it will open a pop-up list of the various activities linked to that particular app. What interests us is that of the start-up, usually marked with the words "LaunchActivity"Or"StartActivity". Once located, press and hold on this item and select the option "Edit shortcut".

In the window that opens, you can also choose the app icon by clicking on the image, but a messy list will open up that is not easy to consult. Apart from that, to change the name of the icon you have to click on "Your name“, Then write what you want. Also in this case you can leave the space blank, as long as you put at least one space (otherwise it won't create it), thus obtaining a more minimal icon.

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