Microsoft is changing even more Windows 10 icons as part of your latest Insider Preview Build 21343. The company have already redesigned the icons of your built-in apps and some more, such as Windows Security, Narrator, and Notepad. And back in 2018, Microsoft gave its Office icons a total overhaul. There were even more changes in 2020. (To be honest, I still haven’t gotten used to the Office icon changes, although I have accepted it.)
This latest round of changes, which should eventually be rolled out to all Windows 10 computers, they are as dramatic as the Office icon changes. But is it just me or are Windows 10 icons starting to look more and more like macOS icons as time goes on?
Let’s start with the Drive and Recycle Bin icons. Instead of a three-quarter view, they are now both facing forward and looking similar to the same icons in macOS. Annex A:
Notice how the green dot on the drive icon has now shifted, from the right side to the left side. The drive icon on macOS Big Sur and Catalina (the icon that appears when you insert a flash drive into the USB port) are also in front.facing, but the The green dot is on the right side, which is where the dot is on the current Windows 10 drive icon. The new Windows drive icon has less slope, but looks more like a Mac nonetheless.
The new Windows recycle bit’s also more Mac-like than before. It is also straight ahead and a little higher. The macOS garbage The icon is circular, not rectangular, but it is also partially transparent with almost overflowing papers at the top. The paper is to a little more colorful than the Windows version, but still.
As if those macOS-like icons weren’t bad enough, Microsoft is completely redesigning the icons for the Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Music, and Videos folders. Annex B:
Microsoft says it’s remaking these icons to do it “It’s easier to tell them apart at a glance.” I would say that the current icons are already easy to tell apart, given that each icon already contains a musical note, an arrow, etc., but those fragments of the icons hang around an open manila folder instead of being embedded in the center like the new icons in the image above. You know what else has icons like that? subwayacOS.
They aren’t that colorful, as Apple opted to make all of its folders a single shade of blue. But they all have different icons in the center to distinguish one from the other. The new Windows 10 Pictures and Desktop icons in particular also have different shades of blue, like macOS, but the rest of the new icons are more colorful, as is the colorful macOS icon bar on the desktop.
For Big Sur in particular, Apple wanted its icons seems more consistent with iOS. Microsoft is trying to do the same with these new Windows 10 icons.
“Several changes, such as the orientation of the default file type icons and folder icons, have been made to achieve greater consistency across Microsoft products that display files,” Microsoft said on its recent Windows Insider blog.
That’s all well and good, but it seems to be related to a greater tendency to simplify icons as much as possible. If you compare the icon changes from macOS Catalina to Big Sur, for instance, You’ll see noticeable changes to the icons for Calculator, Calendar, and Mail in particular. (Not everyone was a fan of those, either.)
When we look back when Microsoft started changing more Windows 10 icons in 2020, It even said it wanted to keep a consistent look and feel across Android, iOS, and macOS. Having more Mac-like icons definitely helps with that mission, although it seems to do Windows 10 itself looks more Mac instead of standing out. Maybe I just hate the change, but these new icons are a no from me.