How To *Really* Change Program Icons In Windows 7

Written by: Oliver Krautscheid - Published: Monday, November 15th, 2010 - Comments

Do you want to change program icons instead of only changing the shortcut icon? If so, you can use ResourceHacker to modify any program icon quite easily. Here’s how.

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How to change program icons in Windows 7

1. Step Download Resource Hacker from http://www.angusj.com/resourcehacker/. ResourceHacker with 64-bit support can be downloaded here.

2. Step Start an elevated instance of ResourceHacker (right-click on ResourceHacker.exe and click on Run as administrator) and press CTRL + O to open the “Open file dialog”

3. Step Find the .exe file of the program that you want to modify.

4. Step Let’s say we want to modify the program icon of PowerISO:

Changing program icons: resourcehacker

5. Step Next, click on Action, then on Replace Icon …

Replace Program Icon

6. Step Now, select one of the program icons that you want to change in the right column, then click on Open file with new icon … and locate your new icon

replace program icon

7. Step When you’re done, click on Replace to change the program icon.

8. Step Click on File, Save and you’re done. If you did not open an elevated instance ad described above you will not be able to save the file, then you will have to save the file somwhere else and replace it manually. E.g. save it as PowerISO2.exe and then replace it with PowerISO.exe manually.

9. Step You have now successfully changed the program icon via ResourceHacker. Enjoy your new program icon:

New program icon

Ok, this ain’t much better than the default PowerISO program icon, but this was just an example. There are other useful tools to change program icons in Windows 7, e.g. IcoFx.


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Written by: Oliver Krautscheid
Oliver is the founder and lead editor of this site. He is interested in finding new ways to break Windows, find common errors and help others to fix them. Aside from that, he loves to fully customize systems with Rainmeter and Dreamscene, find out more about ancient civilizations like the Chachapoya, sharpen his digital photography skills and create software with a small group of selected developers. If you would like to connect with him to discuss anything, send him a mail!

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4 Responses to How To *Really* Change Program Icons In Windows 7

  1. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Drager said:

    Hello, when i try to change the VLC icon or µtorrent icon or any program icon i get this error,

    Out of system resources

    What can be the problem here?

  2. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    sOliver said:

    What Windows 7 are you on x64? You need to download the correct ResourceHacker, there’s a special edition for 64-bit.

    Also, try to close other programs and especially VLC/utorrent should not be opened.

  3. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Drager said:

    I got the 64-bits version and the programs are closed but i still got the same problem..

    Thanks for helping!

  4. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Triptych said:

    Huh. Does this require .ico files, or will just a .png, .jpg, etc suffice?

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