When I use Ctrl + mousewheel, I can scale icons on my desktop. Some icons, go up to arbitrary sizes such as Skype and Recycle Bin.

However some do not. They stay at 256x265.

I believe some programs use vector icons.

What vector formats are accepted by windows 7/Vista for icons?

Edit: This is definitely not 256x256.

enter image description here

  • Are you sure the icons go bigger than 256x256? Can you post a screenshot? – James P Aug 3 '11 at 12:26
  • Sure they do. I will add ss in a second – Kugel Aug 3 '11 at 12:40
  • Look at the size of that image - it's not even 500px across, and that encompasses two columns of icons. They're certainly not definitely not 256x256. – Phoshi Aug 3 '11 at 13:24
  • It seems I am wrong. The biggest icon seems to be 256x256. – Kugel Aug 3 '11 at 14:16

Windows cannot natively use vector files for icons, it's just that from Vista onwards the maximum icon size was increased to 256x256 and even now not all third party developers have caught up.

Programs store several versions of their icon in a resource file which resides either in the exe or a dll. If a high resolution version is not available then Windows may not attempt to scale it up to full size. That is why Putty has a small icon and Skype does not.

See here for details about finding large versions of icons.

You could however use a vectorisation program to create a vector version of an existing icon so that you can scale it up and save it at a higher resolution.

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