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:
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).
Change EXE File Icons with Resource Tuner
1. Open the EXE file in Resource Tuner and expand the Icon Entry folder.
2. Select the icon you want to change in the Resource Tree.
If you already have an icon ready, just skip these 3rd and 4th steps:
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. Make certain that it's the same size and have the same color depth.
Now we are going to change the icon:
5. Back inside Resorce Tuner, highlight an icon resource item to be replaced 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:
6. Select the Open Source File button (Ctrl+O) from the button bar as illustrated above and select your edited file. Or paste the image from the clipboard (Ctrl+V).
ONCE AGAIN: 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.
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.
Give Resource Tuner a trial run for 30 days free! Once you try it, we think you will find it hard to go back to other resource hacking utilities. So if you decide to purchase it, it's only $39.95 for the Personal License. A Business license is available for $79.95.