How to Rename Android Apps and Change their Icons

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Renaming a file and changing its icon is a child’s play on Windows and other such operating systems meant for a personal computer. However, have you ever thought about renaming and changing the icon of the applications installed on your Android? Might be fun, right?

Well, I thought about it one day and then started researching on how it can be done.  As of now, there doesn’t appear to be an app on the Play Store which can rename an installed app, not even for a rooted device. But then I came across a tool for Windows called APK Editor on XDA Forum.

Using APK Editor once can easily rename an Android application and change its default icon even for a non-rooted android phone. So let’s see how it’s done.

Rename and Change Android Apps Icon

Step 1: First of all, we will need the APK package of the app you want to rename and change the icon for. If you don’t have the APK with you, but the app is installed on your phone, you can easily compile its APK using the Astro file manager. We have already discussed how you can make APK files of the installed apps while talking about transferring the installed apps from one device to another over Bluetooth.

Step 2: Download and extract APK Edit v0.4 to a folder in your computer. As APK Edit v0.4 needs Java to work, please install it if you don’t already have it.

Step 3: Now that you have both – the APK file and the APK editor – let’s start with the editing. Launch APK Edit.exe that you extracted in the previous step and load the APK file you want to edit.

apkedit.exe

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Step 4: The tool will now read the file and display the app icon and name under the General tab. You can edit the name text field directly and click on the icon image to search for a new icon. Please make sure that the icon file is in PNG format and is a perfect square in dimensions.

initial apk

modded apk

Step 5: After you are done with the editing, click on the Apply button to save the changes.

Although the app gives you an option to directly push the apps to the device using a data cable, I would suggest you to transfer the modified APK file to your internal hard disk using Wi-Fi or data cable and then install it on the device.

Renamed Android File  (2)Renamed Android File  (1)

Even while installing the file you will see the changes in the file name and the app icon. After the app’s installed, you will see the app with the user defined icon and name.

Conclusion

You can use this trick to mask your secure applications on android. But do remember that the trick is only meant for personal use. Don’t try to change the name and icon of the app and publish it as your own work.

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  • Ray Reelo

    please help me im getting this error message below when i try using this application

    See the end of this message for details on invoking
    just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

    ************** Exception Text **************
    System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot be null.
    Parameter name: source
    at System.Linq.Enumerable.Contains[TSource](IEnumerable`1 source, TSource value, IEqualityComparer`1 comparer)
    at System.Linq.Enumerable.Contains[TSource](IEnumerable`1 source, TSource value)
    at APK_Edit.frmMain.bwDecompile_RunWorkerCompleted(Object sender, RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs e)
    at System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker.OnRunWorkerCompleted(RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs e)
    at System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker.AsyncOperationCompleted(Object arg)

    ************** Loaded Assemblies **************
    mscorlib
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3634 (GDR.050727-3600)
    CodeBase: file:///c:/WINDOWS/Microsoft.NET/Framework/v2.0.50727/mscorlib.dll
    —————————————-
    APK Edit
    Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/William%20Scott%20%26%20Co/My%20Documents/Downloads/APK%20Edit%20v0.4e/APK%20Edit.exe
    —————————————-
    Aapt
    Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/William%20Scott%20%26%20Co/My%20Documents/Downloads/APK%20Edit%20v0.4e/Aapt.DLL
    —————————————-
    System.Drawing
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3639 (GDR.050727-3600)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Drawing/2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Drawing.dll
    —————————————-
    System
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3634 (GDR.050727-3600)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.dll
    —————————————-
    Common
    Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/William%20Scott%20%26%20Co/My%20Documents/Downloads/APK%20Edit%20v0.4e/Common.DLL
    —————————————-
    System.Windows.Forms
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3637 (GDR.050727-3600)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Windows.Forms/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Windows.Forms.dll
    —————————————-
    System.Xml
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3082 (QFE.050727-3000)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Xml/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Xml.dll
    —————————————-
    log4net
    Assembly Version: 1.2.10.0
    Win32 Version: 1.2.10.0
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/William%20Scott%20%26%20Co/My%20Documents/Downloads/APK%20Edit%20v0.4e/log4net.DLL
    —————————————-
    Zip
    Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/William%20Scott%20%26%20Co/My%20Documents/Downloads/APK%20Edit%20v0.4e/Zip.DLL
    —————————————-
    System.Configuration
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Configuration/2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Configuration.dll
    —————————————-
    System.Core
    Assembly Version: 3.5.0.0
    Win32 Version: 3.5.30729.1 built by: SP
    CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Core/3.5.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Core.dll
    —————————————-
    ApkTool
    Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/William%20Scott%20%26%20Co/My%20Documents/Downloads/APK%20Edit%20v0.4e/ApkTool.DLL
    —————————————-
    SignApk
    Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/William%20Scott%20%26%20Co/My%20Documents/Downloads/APK%20Edit%20v0.4e/SignApk.DLL
    —————————————-

    ************** JIT Debugging **************
    To enable just-in-time (JIT) debugging, the .config file for this
    application or computer (machine.config) must have the
    jitDebugging value set in the system.windows.forms section.
    The application must also be compiled with debugging
    enabled.

    For example:

    When JIT debugging is enabled, any unhandled exception
    will be sent to the JIT debugger registered on the computer
    rather than be handled by this dialog box.

    • Jader13254

      +1

    • Cogra147

      Install .NET Framework 3.5

      • Vishesh

        Hi, I have .Net Framework 4. Its still throwing same error :(

        • Cogra147

          Have the latest java?

  • Arjun

    thnx

  • yogs

    thnx a lot, gr8 job

  • http://www.facebook.com/edwin.tiesen Edwin Tiesen

    I use AutoAppOrganizer for that. Store my apps in nice folders and rename them, change icon if needed. Maybe not exactly what you wanted, but much easier then the here described way of working.

  • Marc

    When you rename the app, how do you make it wrap the text on two lines if it’s too long?

  • AMAN

    I changed the icon,but apk is not renamed (((

  • dj

    thanx

  • Lokesk

    I also wanted do this, but I found here. Nice

  • vinod

    please help.. when i open apk.edit.. it asks for java.. what should i do?? java is already installed on my pc

    • Rub Me Up

      Point it at your java folder and Java file inside it.

    • Delhi ka don

      Local disk c — java — jre7—- bin — java done

  • Ignotus

    This program worked for one of my apk files, but I tried two other apk files and they wouldn’t open. One just sat on “opening” for 5 minutes or so and I cancelled it. The other gave an error message when trying to open the apk.

  • Nameless

    Fuuuuuuck that. Way too complicated. Fix it, Google!

  • izzuddin

    Why I can’t edit kingoffice with apk edit?

  • Nick

    I may be slow, but how do you change the icon? I click the button and it just google searches the app.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ammar.presswala Ammar Presswala

    its soooo simple thnx alot

    • Guest

      exact same problem :(

  • anon

    worked like a charm

  • Rub Me Up

    This doesn’t work for me.

  • Telephone Man

    It doesn’t work.

  • Cindy C

    I have tried to do this on my own but i can not, i need to change the name and icon of the app “the vault” so my bf cant delete it off my settings app drawer on my xperia s. We all should be allowed privacy. can someone change the name to “xperia backup” and to some kind of icon please and send me the app in apk or something so i can install it on my phone., pls pls pls. ill love you forever!

  • roy

    I think that we could change androrid system icons like file explorer, settings and other application.but thank you good job

  • Emmanuel Espinosa

    i couldnt backup the app i wanted… so i copied it using file explorer and then i transfer the .apk file to my pc and open it with apkedit… everything was like the pictures… but i can not change anything… it shows as a gray area… plz help…

  • Xuyên

    It doesn’t work. Scam!

  • Liketh

    How do you compile an apk with astro file manager?
    Will this work for system apps such as a native internet browser or device software keyboard?

  • BJ

    Worked like a gem. Took a while to figure it out..but the instructions in this forum helped tonnes. Thanks a ton Ashish

  • Rajesh Patel

    old n dead

  • 0racle

    Does the name and icon stands still when the app updates?

  • Talha Khan

    Thank you so much, works perfect :)

  • muhammadrafik.my

    Thats problem, and i don’t understand how its work… :(
    please reply… rafiqueniihara@gmail.com

  • Moksh Jawa

    does this change the name of the app or the package name because if it doesn’t change the package name nobody can claim it as their’s anyway

  • Vishesh

    I am getting the same error as listed “Unhandled exception …”. Can anyone help on this? I am trying to rename Nexus Gallery.

  • Zaheer Abbas Qureshi

    This progrma doesn’t work at my end even for a single app!!! Everytime I got the error “Sorry, I can’t decompile this: error: The specified executable is not a valid Win32 application.” The screenshot of error I got is enclosed here too. Please help me!
    Reply me directly at onlyzaheer@live.com

  • Nancy

    I have followed all your instructions but I only get prompted with this
    Please guide me!

  • Nancy

    I reinstalled it and it didn’t give the error but now it’s just “opening” and nothing else :(

  • AzureNinja99

    Sorry for the dumb question, but would this void the warrenty?

  • Pravin S

    Easier method is to root the device, install xposed installer, download a mod named xrenamer in modules. Reboot …Viola!!! You can change the app name just like changing a contact’s name.. For icon changing, try “icon changer ” (nonroot) and Unicon for rooted devices.. Enjoy

  • Darius

    Thank you very much, worked well.

  • sagar

    its not working