Export icon from EXE or DLL file in Windows 10

EXE and DLL files contain in binary format images of icons that serve as desktop shortcut icons. See how you can find and save them on your computer.

resource hacker

The format of the icons is * .ICO. An ICO file contains one or more images in many sizes and color depths so that they can be viewed well with different screen resolutions and scaling. Traditionally, executable files include an icon in ICO format, which they use and then appear in the Start menu and Desktop as shortcut icons.

In Windows 10 there are many beautiful icons in the following files:
C: \ Windows \ system32 \ shell32.dll
C: \ Windows \ system32 \ imageres.dll
C: \ Windows \ system32 \ moricons.dll
C: \ Windows \ explorer.exe

To extract an icon from a file, you must use a third-party tool. There are many tools available for this purpose, such as Resource Hacker, IconViewer, IcoFX etc.

Try Resource Hacker which is a small portable program, ie it does not require installation. As this works more or less the rest work the same.

  1. Download it Resource Hacker in zip format.
  2. Unzip the application to a folder of your own.
  3. Start the application by clicking ResourceHacker.exe.
  4. In the application, go to the File> Open menu to search for the file from which you want to extract an icon (for example c: \ windows \ explorer.exe).
  5. In the left pane, expand the icon group (Icon and Icon group) and scroll to the icon you want (use the preview area on the right).
  6. From the menu, select Action> Save * .ico resource. Browse the folder to save the ICO file and give it a name. Then click Save.

Resource Hacker is a 32-bit application. If you run it in Windows 10 64-bit, some system files may not open. In this case you can copy them to another directory, e.g. You can copy the c: \ windows \ system32 \ shell32.dll file to c: \ data and open the c: \ data \ shell32.dll file.

By saving individual icons from the Icon group, you receive an ICO file with a single icon size inside. This may not be convenient, depending on what you are trying to do with the icon. To get an ICO file with all the available icon sizes, go to the Icon group in the left pane, expand it, and then repeat step 6.

If Resource Hacker seems a bit complicated again, give it a try IconViewer and IcoFX, which will also allow you to save icons to other image formats, including PNG and BMP.



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