When changing shortcut icons it's useful to know which DLLs and EXEs included with Windows contain icons, but there are so many DLLs (especially in System32) that it's difficult to find the ones which contain useful icons.

Which DLLs or EXEs included with Windows (any flavor) contain icons?

5 Answers 5


Use IconsExtract from NirSoft.

It scans a folder you select and can list any icons and files which contain icons.

enter image description here

  • Nice! I will make sure to check that out. Beats searching through DLLs manually.
    – pyrachi
    Commented May 20, 2010 at 19:39
  • 2
    Nir Sofer never disappoints. :-)
    – Gnarfoz
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 19:30

Big ones:

%windir%\system32\shell32.dll           Standard
%windir%\System32\wmploc.DLL            OK
%windir%\system32\setupapi.dll          OK, Hardware / Periphals
%windir%\system32\ddores.dll            OK, lot of devices
%windir%\System32\ieframe.dll           IE and warnings, mixed ugly
%windir%\system32\netshell.dll          Ugly and non ugly
%windir%\System32\imageres.dll          Ugly, New ones
%windir%\System32\pifmgr.dll            Ugly, Win95 Ones
%windir%\System32\moricons.dll          Ugly, very old
%windir%\System32\mmcndmgr.dll          Ugly, Very old
%windir%\System32\compstui.dll          Ugly, Very old

Small ones:

%windir%\system32\gameux.dll            Some gaming icons
%windir%\system32\mmres.dll             Audio
%windir%\system32\mstscax.dll           Warnings
%windir%\System32\netcenter.dll         Network
%windir%\System32\pnidui.dll            Ugly Exlamations
%windir%\system32\SensorsCpl.dll        Handheld devices
        - provided as a free download for Win7 owners
%windir%\system32\wmp.dll               Media player
%windir%\system32\wpdshext.dll          Battery and arrows
  • 3
    Emanuel, Can I complete that list or you want me to make another post? I like to share knowledge, that's all.
    – e-motiv
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 19:57
  • 3
    Feel free to add more
    – pyrachi
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 0:21
  • Done. I hope you don't mind the re-ordering and adding comments.
    – e-motiv
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 15:57
  • I couldn't find the Device Manager's icon in the above files. Any idea where it may be? (Using Win 8.1)
    – akinuri
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 0:25
  • Some heroes don't wear capes
    – McLovin
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 11:10

The classic additional icon repository of Win95 is %SystemRoot%\system32\moricons.dll. The file is still included with Windows 7.

  • Win95 ?????????
    – harrymc
    Commented May 19, 2010 at 7:55
  • Or maybe it was Win98, don't remember any more. The one that had real DOS underneath... Actually, I think those icons are/were basically for DOS programs.
    – Jawa
    Commented May 19, 2010 at 8:00
  • 1
    I noticed that on my Win7 system....so it's still there!
    – pyrachi
    Commented May 20, 2010 at 19:37
  • 4
    It is on my VM with Windows 3.1, so it has been around at least since then.
    – ctype.h
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 22:51
  • 3
    ...and it still exists as of Windows 10.
    – bwDraco
    Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 15:02

Since Windows 10 v1903, icons have been moved from C:\Windows\System32\some-file.dll to C:\Windows\SystemResources\some-file.dll.mun (not .mui). See this other SuperUser post and Microsoft's website.

MiTeC's Icon Explorer is a free and convenient tool to search through folders and identify files with icons. It also appears to be smart enough to search C:\Windows\SystemResources instead of C:\Windows\System32.

Note 1: One limitation I found: MiTeC's Icon Explorer shows icon indices but not icon IDs. If you're using the Windows Registry to find/edit links to a specific icon DLL, and the icon number has a negative sign, then the number refers to the ID of the icon, not its index. See here and there for more detail.

Note 2: gameux.dll.mun doesn't exist in C:\Windows\SystemResources, maybe because the Games folder was removed in Windows 10 v1803: see this article. A game folder icon still exists in imageres.dll.mun though (index 177, ID 186).


NirSoft has their own library for record keeping for the icons in dll files for older versions of Windows particularly 7 and 8: https://www.win7dll.info/ https://www.nirsoft.net/dll_information/windows8/

A more recent reference can be found in the TechNet: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/6b53a304-4110-4ae3-bff1-8dd7ac46a106/default-icon-library-for-windows-7-amp-all-windows-10-versions

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