How To Change The Colors Of Your Apps On Android

Personalizing our phones is as important to some folk as personalizing our homes. You put wallpapers up in both, after all! Changing the colors of your apps on Android isn’t quite as straightforward as it might seem, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

To learn how to change the colors of Android apps, follow our step-by-step tutorials below. For all other information, see our FAQ section at the end of this article.

Note: It is not possible to change the style, color, or base appearance of apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Just Eat, eBay, Uber, and so on. Only Google/Android/basic phone apps will be altered. Also, you must have the most up-to-date OS installed.

How to change the icon style of Google/Android apps

  1. On your Android device, go to the Settings app
  2. In Settings, tap on ‘Wallpaper & style’ and then ‘Themed icons’

  3. You’ll be taken to a store where you can purchase or download free icon packs to customize your phone with. Some of these are minimalist, others highly stylized. Some by Google, others by independent artists.
    1. Search through the store for an icon pack with the look and colors you want for your Android apps
    2. Download the icon pack you like best
    3. At the top of the store window, tap ‘My Stuff’, then scroll along to ‘Icons’
    4. Select the icon pack you wish to apply to your Android, then tap ‘Apply’ and wait for the icon pack to be applied
  4. You have successfully changed the colors and looks of your Android app icons!

How to change the colors of customized app icons on Android

Certain app icon packs also allow you to adjust their basic colors.

  1. On your Android device, go to the Settings app
  2. In Settings, tap on ‘Wallpaper & style’ and then ‘Basic colors’
  3. From this next settings menu, set the basic color style(s) for your phone’s wallpaper. If applicable, this will also alter the basic color palette of the new app icons you installed above, by applying a downloaded pack
  4. You have successfully changed the colors and looks of your Android app icons!

And there you have it! Everything you need to know in order to change the basic look, style, and sometimes color of your Google-provided apps on Android. For all other information, or if you have further questions needing answered, please head to our FAQ section down below.


What does it look like when you change the colors of your Android apps?

Well, the answer to this really depends on what you elect to change your Android apps to. As we explain above, the methods for changing the colors of your Android apps rely more on altering your device’s Appearance theme, rather than physically altering the color (and only the color) of the apps themselves.

Thus, your app icons could end up looking lots of different ways, depending on the themes you choose. Some icon themes style the apps very similarly to their basic appearance, but with a few minimalist changes (which can then sometimes also be altered by color in a later step). 

Other icon packs, however, completely change the look of your smartphone’s apps, perhaps styling them as cats, or as balloons, or in any one of a thousand other designs. However, if its color you’re most concerned with, good news is you can still usually alter this by choosing your preferred ‘Basic Colors’ scheme from the Wallpapers settings menu on your device.

Why would I want to change the colors of my apps on Android?

Our phones rarely, if ever leave our hands, pockets, bedside tables these days. Now, whether you think that’s a good thing or bad, the truth is that it remains a fact. Since we spend so much time on our devices, it’s only natural that we should want to personalize them by changing the look of the apps we spend so much time looking at!

Of course, part of changing the look means changing the color. You might want to change the color of individual apps so as to codify them in your mind (red for business, blue for play) for example. Perhaps you wish to change the color of all of them at once to your favorite color, or to a color you think works best with your chosen phone wallpaper(s).

Whatever your reasons for wanting to change the colors of your Android apps, we’re here to help. Simply follow our step-by-step tutorials above to learn how.

Can I change the colors of my Android apps back to normal/default?

Of course! The beauty of modern technology is that it tends to be highly and frequently customizable, meaning that even if you change your mind ten times a day, you can always act on those changes by customizing the settings of your smartphone.

To change the colors of your Android apps back to normal, just head to Settings > Wallpaper & style > Themed icons, and from there select the ‘Default’ icon pack which came with your phone.

Can you change the appearance of all apps on an Android device?

No. Only Android & Google apps, such as YouTube, Google Chrome, Play Store, etc., including default phone apps such as Contacts, Gallery, Messages, and so on, can be altered. You can select any number of different colored and stylised iconography for these apps.

Unfortunately, the same does not apply to the appearance of independent apps from other app makers. For example, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, eBay, Uber Eats – these apps dictate how their app icon should look, and will not allow you or your phone to make any alterations to their color or basic appearance. Icon packs you purchase or download from the Themed Icon Android store will not affect the look of these types of apps.

Does this technique also work for changing iOS app colors?

No. The technique for changing the colors of your apps on Android does not also work for changing the colors of iOS apps. The method for changing the colors of iOS apps is actually arguably easier than on Android, but may still take a tutorial to get used to. Thankfully, we’ve written just such a tutorial for you!