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How to extract a stock Windows 10 icon

Windows 10 icons are part of its system files. You can browse them when you want to change the icon for a certain type of file but, if you want to simply use an icon, you’ll find that getting the actual file is a bit tedious. To make things simpler, download an app called IconsExtract. It can scan a given folder for icons and same them in ICO format.

Get stock Windows 10 icon

Download and run IconsExtract. By default, it is set to look under c:\windows\system32\shell32.dll and you will find most icons there, however, if you want it to scan for every single Windows 10 icon, it’s better to change the scan location to the following.

C:\Windows\system32

When the app finishes searching for icons, you can browse through the ones it has found. To save an icon select it, or if you want to save multiple icons, hold down the Ctrl key and select them. Click the save button and then pick where you want to save the icon files to.

The icon will be saved and you can use it wherever you like though, we should warn you that you don’t own these icon. They definitely come with restricted rights so using them in your personal projects e.g., an app you’re developing is likely illegal.

IconsExtract lets you select the size of the icon file that it searches for. Icons are rarely just made up of one image. They have multiple sizes that allow Windows to use the same icon but in different places.

IconsExtract can also find cursor images and extract them. There’s an option to search for cursors when you select the directory the app should scan. You can scan any folder for icons with this app so if there’s an app that you want to find the icon for, this will do the job. The one exception is UWP apps. It seems that it cannot find icons in the package folder of a UWP app.

IconsExtract will reveal all sorts of icons, even ones that you don’t see often in Windows 10 and you’ll be surprised to know just how many of them haven’t been updated for Windows 10. The OS has quite a few artifacts from older versions of Windows 10. It’s mostly icons that you’d see in alert or error message boxes but it’s been quite a few years since Windows 10 was initially released. These icons really should have been updated by now to match the OS’ UI.

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