How to Customize the Apps Images on Your Facebook Fan Page

Note: This post was updated January 15, 2014 to reflect Facebook’s latest interface.

In Part 1 of this series, you learned what you can and can’t do with Facebook’s timeline cover photo for brand pages. Today you’ll learn how to customize the images that display directly below the cover, called “apps boxes.”

What Apps Boxes Do

These clickable images link directly to various apps you’ve installed on your page. you can customize and rearrange the icons for most apps with a 111 by 74-pixel image and a short title.

The apps boxes you will not be able to customize are Facebook’s proprietary apps:

  1. Photos (which always displays as the first app on your page, and always displays your most recently uploaded image)
  2. Notes
  3. Map
  4. Videos

Need to Know

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to customize these images, here are a few things you need to know:

You can display a total of 12 apps, but only four of them (including “Photos,” which is always listed first) are visible on your timeline’s front page.

To see #s 5-12, you must click the arrow to the right of box #4, which opens a dropdown menu that displays the remainder of the apps you’ve added to this area. (If you don’t have 12 apps installed, you’ll see blank boxes.)

Since most users won’t click the arrow to view your hidden tabs, you must rearrange them based on their importance.

How to Rearrange Apps Boxes

Click the arrow to the right of your four apps to display all the apps.

Rearranging Apps Boxes

Hover over each app box, and a pencil icon will appear. Click the pencil icon in the upper righthand corner of any apps box.

Under “Swap Position With,” click the title of the app you want to do a switcheroo with. Continue swapping until your tabs are in the order you want them to display.

How to Customize an Apps Box Image

If you upload an image that’s the wrong size for the app box, Facebook will automatically scale it. And that might not look good.

To make the image fit perfectly, first use image-editing software or an online image editor to create images for each tab that are 111 x 74 pixels.

Next, you’ll need to edit the settings of each apps box (except Photos, which you can’t edit).

Again, click the the arrow to the right of your four apps to display all the apps, and then click the pencil icon in the upper righthand corner of the apps box you plan to edit.

Click “Edit Settings.”

You can now edit both the title of your app box (custom tab) and customize the image associated with it.

Type in a short name for your tab and click “Save.” I suggest creating a call-to-action, such as “Read our Blog” or “Download Freebie.”

Now it’s time to customize the image. Next to the Custom Tab Image, click “Change.”

Upload a JPG, GIF, or PNG file of 111 x 74px from your hard drive.

When you’re done, click “Okay.”

Snazzy Sample

Here’s Coca-Cola’s apps boxes. I like the way they use their signature bright red theme throughout.

Facebook Page Cover Photo Samples

We’ve been busy designing and installing custom timeline cover photos for our clients.

Here’s one we created for best-selling novelist, Davis Bunn:


And here’s one we designed for one of Davis’s book campaigns:

FB Cover Photo Unlimited

We designed this one for author Judith Ingram. Visit her website and see how her Facebook cover photo, apps boxes, and website coordinate (we also created her website).

Judith Ingram Facebook Page

We created a photo collage for Spane Buildings:


Here’s a different style of collage we designed for Winery on Wheels (better known as WOW). Note how it also matches the look an feel of their website:


I love the cover photo we designed for Dr. Teri Byrd, owner of VetPetConnect (which also matches her website that we created):

VetPetConnect Facebook Cover

Need a cover photo and apps boxes designed?

Contact us for a no-obligation estimate. To create your cover image package, we’ll need the following from you:

  1. A description and/or rough sketch of what you’re looking for (the more specifics you provide, the better).
    1. Do you want one large picture on the cover?
    2. A series of smaller images? If so, how do you want the images laid out?
    3. Will your cover include your logo? A photo of you and/or your staff? Your products?
  2. Attach the photo you will you be using for your profile picture (the square image that’s overlaid in the lower lefthand area of the cover). Think about how that photo will complement (or clash with) your cover photo.
  3. What is the exact text you will display on your cover (text is not required). Where do you want the text to appear?
  4. What colors do you want (for text, or overall color scheme)
  5. Please attach all image files you wish to include in your cover. If you do not own the copyright to the image, explain who owns the copyright, and include the necessary permissions for you to use the photo. If you are using stock photos, include a link to the exact web page from which you purchased the photo, or to the creative commons page from which you downloaded the photo.

 Also in this Series

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  • Carrie Schmeck

    Laura, I can’t for the life of me figure out how to “get” apps into my page. All I’m getting are options for photos and videos. What am I missing?

  • Laura Christianson

    Carrie, Try this and see if it works. Click on “Admin Panel” in Timeline. Then click “Edit Page” then “Apps.” Scroll through all your installed apps and to add one to the timeline, click “Edit Settings.” Where it says “Available,” click “Add” and then “Okay.” That should add it to one of the apps boxes.

  • David Sundin

    I’m having the same problem as Carrie. For me, the question is how to add new apps – like blog, Twitter, etc. When I go through the steps you list above, it only asks if I wan’t to add “sweepstakes.” I don’t.

    Actually, this is Sarah Sundin. I don’t know why it posted my husband’s name :)

  • Renee Quistorf

    I am having the same problem. I can’t figure out how you got the blogger app on your page. I’ve been searching for how to add it for three days.

  • Laura Christianson

    Sarah – It appears I need to write a post about how to find and install apps! I will do that in the near future.

  • Laura Christianson

    Renee – The app I installed to import my blog’s feed is called Static HTML from Woobox. I’ll write a blog post soon about how to find and install apps.

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  • Andreamanning

    I can’t edit any of my apps tabs for example, notes – would like to change the name of it – is that possible?  Also, why do I not have the option to add the map tab on a public page?

  • Laura Christianson

    You can’t edit the title or image in Photos, Notes, Map, Videos, or Likes. There may be others, but pretty much, you can’t edit the apps that come standard with Facebook. Depending on what type of category you put your page in, the Map option may or may not show up. (For example, it displays for Local Businesses, which makes sense, considering customers will want to find your store).

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  • Bethany Macklin

    Thanks for another great post. It certainly got me working on my Facebook Page! After many hours of trying to get the tabs on my Facebook page to actually work correctly, I came across a great app for creating the custom tabs I wanted. It’s called WOOBOX and it was really easy to use. Here’s the link:

  • Bethany Macklin

    @Laura Yeah…woobox…looks like I should have scrolled through all the comments before posting. Lol!

  • Leyla Movahedi

    Thank you very much for the helpful post. I just created a page for my business and wanted to add twitter and pinterest apps to my boxes, however it keeps giving me this message
    To access this page, you’ll need to switch from using Facebook as your page to using Facebook as yourself. Can you please help me?

  • Laura Christianson

    Leyla – Go ahead and use Facebook as yourself when it prompts you to. It will then give you an additional prompt which asks you which page you want to activate the app on. You can then choose the correct page that you admin and it will add it to that page. It’s a strange way for FB to set up adding apps, but it does work; I’ve added apps to dozens of my clients’ pages (once I got over my initial fear of it adding it to my profile).

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  • Alex

    My app won’t view to anyone but me, I can see the app on my page, but none admins can’t, how do I change this?

  • Laura Christianson

    Not sure what you’re getting at here. Try logging out and viewing your app while you’re logged out of FB. Often, apps you install on a page look different to the page admin than they do to the public.

  • Sujata Vadlamudy

    Hi there, glad I found your page. I was trying to change an event picture (it automatically puts my profile picture-but don’t want that) but when I do clic on the pencil icon, I have only 3 choices and none is EDIT. Any ideas on what I am doing wrong? Actually I have only 3 options.

  • Laura Christianson

    Sujata – To change the picture for an Event, you have to edit the actual Event. Click on the “Events” app, then hover over the Event you want to edit. The “Edit” button will appear. You can then hover over the spot where the default event image displays, and you’ll see “Change Event Photo.” You can then upload your own photo from your hard drive. I do this all the time and it works great.

  • angela

    can you change the icon image for Notes???

  • Laura Christianson

    Angela – For the apps that come “built in” with Facebook, such as Photos, Notes, Likes, and Map, you cannot change the standard icons. But you can change the icon for the “Events” app.

  • Sarah

    Can I create active links in individual apps like Burts Bees fan page apps?
    Thank you.

  • Laura Christianson

    Sarah, Yes you can, if you install an app that allows you to manipulate the HTML. With those apps, you can custom-design and link to almost anything. Burt’s Bees looks to have invested heavily in high-quality app development. They are quite attractive. And functional!

  • Sarah

    Thank you.

  • Catherine Wagner

    Your solution for changing icons works for some of the pages I manage but not all. Edit settings on two of my pages don’t offer the custom tab image and name choice. I want to edit the event icon in the favorites but it doesn’t give me the option.

  • Laura Christianson

    Catherine – To edit the Events app icon is a bit tricky. You have to actually create an event (or edit an existing event). When you do that, click on the default “Events” icon that displays in the upper lefthand corner of your screen and click “Change Event Photo.” You can then upload a photo for that event, and when you save you event, Facebook will display the photo you just uploaded as the “Events” app image.