Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am big fan of having big icons. Some of them scale, but some does't. Why? How to repair this? What replacement should I search for?

Example of no scalable icon

share|improve this question
Some icons dont scale because the applications have been poorly developed. The icon should be rendered in a few different sizes (say high, medium, and low res) so it scales and doesn't look pixelated when its enlarged. So it looks like for TrueCrypt, they have only provided that one, small, low res icon file, so it cannot be enlarged. Not sure if there is a workaround though. – Connor W Sep 6 '10 at 18:00
I would not say that older apps without the large icons were poorly developed, as the need for them only started with Vista. They would have icons that were made before that time. – paradroid Sep 6 '10 at 18:19
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In XP application icons were only required to be made up to 48x48 pixels. If I remember correctly, Win2000 and before only used icons up to 32x32 pixels.

With the introduction of Aero, with Vista, icon sizes went up to increased to 256x256 pixels.

XP icon requirements

Vista icon requirements

If you really wanted to replace your older application's icons with fully scalable ones, you will have to open the application .exe file with Resource Hacker or XN Resource Editor, and replace the icons.

share|improve this answer
Though many applications (Especially ones designed to appease the paranoid, among normal users, such as TrueCrypt) will check to make sure they haven't been tampered with - then reshacking them won't work. – Phoshi Sep 6 '10 at 19:23
There is absolutely no reason to change the internal icon resources. This is a very bad suggestion. Just make a new icon with IcoFX ( or something, and change the shortcut's icon. Do not touch the EXE. – Brad Sep 6 '10 at 20:21
@Brad: calm down, if it does not work you can always get another .exe. I've done this several times over the years, to get rid of icons that were just too ugly or old fashioned. Just changing the shortcut would not do for things like Terminal Services Web Access. – paradroid Sep 6 '10 at 20:52
@Phoshi: That's true, although I have not had that problem with the handful of programs I have edited like this. – paradroid Sep 6 '10 at 20:55

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.