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How to Extract Icons from EXE, DLL, OCX, and CPL Files

Want you to be able to extract all the icons stored on your computer? Have you ever wondered where all the icons you see are actually located? Finding high quality icons on your computer is difficult, mainly because applications store their icons directly in the EXE (executable) file itself, which indirectly hides these icons from you.

In this article, I will mention a few tools that you can use to extract icons from applications already installed on your computer. You can use these programs to save icon files as images or ICO files of different sizes.

IconsExtract is a free application that can be used to automatically search for icons stored in EXE, DLL, OCX, CPL and other file types. You will be amazed at the actual number of icons stored on your computer after using this program!

The program is a standalone executable file and does not require installation at all, which means you can easily run it on any computer! You can also filter your search by icons or cursors, icon size, and even color depth.


IconsExtract is a free application that you can use to automatically find icons stored in EXE, DLL, OCX, CPL and other file types. You will be amazed at the actual number of icons stored on your computer after using this program!

The program is executable and requires no installation whatsoever, which means you can run it on any computer with ease! You can also filter your search by icons or indicators, icon size, and even color depth.

When you start the program, you have 2 main search options:

Scanning icons in selected processes is a good option that simply displays a list of the current processes on your computer and allows you to select one of them to extract the icons.

After completing the search, you will find the icons displayed in the main program window. Then you can save the icons to ICO files by selecting the ones you want to save and then choosing Save Selected Icons from the File menu.

You can also copy one icon to the clipboard and paste it into another application by pressing the standard CTRL + C key combination. This will copy the icon in standard 16×16 or 32×32 sizes. If you want to copy a different size, double-click the icon, select specific image in the properties window and click “Copy selected image”.


I don’t know what happened to the funny name, but BeCylconGrabber is a small useful tool for grabbing high quality icons from application executables. I like this program a little more than IconsExtract because it has a nicer interface and a cleaner look. I don’t think IconsExtract has been updated since 2010, so it’s quite a while.

In any case, this program is also portable and does not require installation. Just run the EXE file and you will see the main program window with three tabs on the left and a preview window on the right.

In the Directory tab, you can navigate to a separate file and see the icons for that particular DLL or EXE, etc. Let’s say I wanted a nice icon for Google Chrome, I would just navigate to the chrome.exe file.

As you can see, the preview window lists all the sizes of the icon stored in this executable. To save an icon, click it and then click the Save button or simply double-click the icon. You will get a customizable save dialog where you can save it as an icon in different sizes and color depths.

If you want to save it as an image file, just click the Save as type box and change it to BMP or PNG, then select one of the formats. This is how you can extract icons from a specific file. Now, if you want to find all the icons in a specific directory, click the Search tab and then click the New Search button.

Select a directory and then choose whether to recursively search all subdirectories or not. The minimum number of characters means the least number of icons that must be in the file in order for it to appear in search results. The max is set to 10,000 and that should really be enough.

If you don’t click on anything on the left, it will show you all the icons found for that specific size. You can also click on a specific file in the search results and it will show you only those icons from that file. Finally, you can select an icon and then click the Favorites button, which will add it to the Favorites tab, where you can easily access them without having to search again.

These are pretty much the two best programs that get good quality icons from the application file. There are other programs that work, but they only allow you to extract 16×16 or 32×32 sizes, which is useless in my opinion.

Now that you have your new icons, you can use them to create a custom icon for your flash drive If you couldn’t find a good icon on your computer, you can convert your own images to icons and use them! Enjoy!

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