Resource Editor

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How to change the icons embedded in EXE files

When changing icons, make certain that the replacement sources are the same size and have the same number of colors as the item to be replaced (e.g. a 16x16 4-bit icon cannot be replaced with a 32x32 8-bit icon). If you keep getting a mismatch error when trying to change out an icon that looks the same size and bits, it only means the source icon is not the same color depth (24-bit and 32-bit icons look very much alike).

Why is it so important? Because the icon size and color depth in the EXE file is not optional, and there are more than just one icon inside any Windows executable file. When Windows prepares to display a main application icon, a desktop shortcut for example, it chooses an icon based on specific criteria rather than the first one available. Carelessly swapping out the icon sizes may result in visual artifacts.

Steps to Change Icons with Resource Tuner

1. Open your EXE or DLL file in Resource Tuner and expand the Icon folder.

2
. Select the icon to be replaced in the Resource Tree.

Change icons with Resource Editor

If you already have an icon ready, skip the steps #3 and #4. Otherwise:

3. With this icon resource, select the 'Save Resource As...' button from the button bar (first button from left) and save the .ICO file to your desktop.

4. Use any of your favourite icon editing programs to edit this icon (.ICO) image. Make sure that your new image is no bigger than the image it is replacing.

Now we are changing the icon:

5. Select the icon to be replaced as shown in step #2 and doubleclick it. Or click on the Resource Editor button on the button bar (the third button from left). You will see the following dialog:

Change icon

6. Select the Open Source File button (Ctrl+O) from the button bar as illustrated above and select your edited source ICO file.

AGAIN: please make certain that the replacement sources are the same size and have the same number of colors as the item to be replaced (e.g. a 16x16 4-bit icon cannot be replaced with a 32x32 8-bit icon).

7. Press OK to close the Resource Editor and select 'File' -> 'Save File As ...' to save the changes you've just made to the target file. If warned that the image size has changed, click "Yes" from the next dialog box to update the file size.

 

 

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Resource Tuner runs on all versions of Windows from 2000 through XP, Vista, 7 and 8.

Minimum hardware requirements:
Intel Pentium® or AMD K5 processor with 166 MHz
16 MB RAM