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i have a program that allows me to create icons which i normally use to assign to folders and shortcuts, alot of icons i find on discs for games are 32x32 and this programs allows me to create icons up to 72x72

i'm wondering why most icons are 32x32 when they look just as good at 72x72, one disk, Galaxy Angel - Moon Lit Lovers Chitose Addon has a Chitose Icon but it's not used in the game or in any shortcuts and it's not really a bonus gift or anything on the disk

I'm currently using Windows 7 however the icons i make are also used on a laptop with Windows XP

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Andre's answer explains the history behind it, but for practical purposes I advise you to include multiple sizes and colour depths in each .ICO, from 16x16 256 colour to 256x256 24 or even 32-bit. Each Windows version (and within a version each Explorer view for instance) will automatically extract and use the most appropriate icon type. –  Karan May 8 '13 at 16:12
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

MS implemented them in this size first in Windows 1.0, so this has historical issues. With XP, MS added 48x48 and in Vista 256x256 px Icons to support higher screen resolution and DPIs.

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when you say "With XP, MS added 48x48" are you talking about support or can XP handle 72x72 –  Memor-X May 7 '13 at 4:40
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XP can only display 48x48 icons. 72x72 was added in Vista. –  magicandre1981 May 7 '13 at 4:42
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