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I have an application whose executable contains some default icon. Now, I know I can use a shortcut with whatever icon I want, but what I'm looking to do is change the icon without the executable itself. How can I do this?


  • Using Windows 7 64bit, but I'm interested in 32-bit executables as well, which will perhaps run on Win XP etc.
  • Keeping the same filesize is a plus, but not necessary.
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What have you tried? Have you searched how to do this? What version of Windows are you using? What do you mean "change the icon without the executable itself"? – CharlieRB Dec 13 '13 at 12:45
He woulds like to edit the .exe file and change the icon contained in that file. This icon is called a program resource. You could read up on it here:… – Darokthar Dec 13 '13 at 12:55
See also… – MSalters Dec 13 '13 at 13:08

Sounds like a job for Resource Hacker

It allows to change the resources within exe files - including images.

Alternatively, since Resource Hacker is no longer being developed, there is another tool with similar capabilities - Resource Editor.

Edit: This one as well: reseditor

Edit2: There's more. Resedit

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I succeeded using Resource Hacker, but I wish you could expand your answer some, describing what needs to be done with it, the fact that I want to replace Icon Groups rather than just Icons etc. – einpoklum Dec 13 '13 at 15:36

Try this :

Right click on your .exe 

enter image description here

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See the arrow over the application icon? This is a shortcut, not the application itself. The question already stated that the shortcut icon can be changed. – MSalters Dec 13 '13 at 13:04
Indeed, this does not apply to actual executables. – einpoklum Dec 13 '13 at 15:37

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