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How to Replace Icon in EXE or DLL File

Exe Icon Replacement

Whether you want to change the icons in the exe file or the default menu icons of your mobile phone, Resource Tuner will be your first choice. But first off, you should remember that there are more than just one icon inside any Windows executable file.

Icons are stored in EXE files in Icon Groups. Each Icon Group can contain multiple icon images, each with a different size and color depth. Common sizes include 16, 32, and 48 pixels square, color depths include 32-bit (24-bit with 8-bit alpha channel), 8-bit (256 colors) and 4-bit (16 colors).

That's how an Icon Group from our beloved Notepad looks like:

Notepad IconGroup

When changing icons and cursors, 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).

Replace EXE File Icons with Resource Tuner

1. Open the EXE file in Resource Tuner and expand the Icon Group folder.

2
. Select the icon or the icon group you want to change and click on the 'Replace Resource with...' button from the button bar as illustrated below.

Replace icons with the Resource Editor

3. You wil see the following dialog. Click on the 'Open Replacement Source' button and select your .ico or .png file on disk. For .png icons, the image size cannot be greater than 256 pixels wide by 256 pixels high.

Replace icons in EXE file

4. Check only those items in the 'New items' list you want to be added, select the action to perform and press the OK button.

5. Select 'File' -> 'Save File' to save the changes you have made to the target file.

Change Icons with Resource Tuner Console

If you need to update existing icons, or add new ones for several hundred files, you are more than likely going to want some way to implement this with a batch file. Whenever large numbers of files have to be processed or to be accessible through batching, you need Resource Tuner Console.

 

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