How to extract an Icon from a Windows EXE File

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Sometimes you can’t find a high-quality Windows 10 program icon online when working on a project and require access to one. Fortunately, it’s simple to extract a high-quality icon from an application’s EXE file using a free tool called IconViewer.


How to Extract an Icon from an EXE with IconViewer

Installing IconViewer requires first downloading it from the developer’s website. It’s crucial to understand that IconViewer cannot be used in a stand-alone application window. Rather, it opens the Properties window of a file with an additional tab that allows you to examine and extract the icon of any program you want.

You must have direct access to the EXE file of the program from which you want to extract an icon for IconViewer to function. Here’s how to accomplish it quickly:

  1. Right-click the application shortcut if you have one accessible, then choose “Properties.”
  2. Next, select “Open File Location” from the “Shortcut” tab to launch File Explorer and find the EXE’s location.
  3. If not, the EXE file for an application is typically located in a subfolder under “C:\Program Files” or “C:\Program Files (x86).” Once the EXE file for the application has been located, right-click it and choose “Properties.”
  4. In the Properties window, select the “Icons” tab. You can only see this special tab if you install the IconViewer application.
  5. You will find a box containing a list of all the available icons that are saved in the EXE file under the Icons tab. There will be several sizes of certain icons kept. The largest icon that is typically accessible in Windows 10 is identified in the Icons tab as “256×256, 32-bit (PNG)”.
  6. To extract an icon, click on it and choose its size in the “Device images” box. Next, select the “Save” icon, resembling an old-fashioned 3.5″ floppy disk.
  7. Select the location for the file save when the “Save As” window appears, then enter the file name.
  8. Next, select the file type for the extracted icon from the “Save As Type” drop-down box. The options are “Icon (*.ico),” “Bitmap Image (*.bmp),” and “PNG Image (*.png).” To use the icon with a different program, select “Icon (*.ico).” To maintain background transparency while utilizing the icon in a graphic design project, select “PNG Image (*.png).”
  9. Next, select “Save.”

The icon will then be extracted and stored in the directory you specify. You can extract different icons from the same file or exit the properties box of the EXE file.

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