It may happen to you that, one or some of your favorite windows programs have icons that are not good to look at. Or you may just want to replace the existing icon of an exe file with your own choise. There are various tools to change windows executable file icons but not all are reliable. You can find many exe icon changer tools on web, and most of them may corrupt your exe file after you change the icon of any exe file. Resource Hacker is one of the few tools to rely on to set custom icons to exe files I ever tried.

Note: No matter what app you are using to set custom icon, there’s always a chance to get your exe file broken. So I would suggest you to make a backup of the file you are going to change icon.

Extra: Set custom icon to your USB removable drive.

Using Resource Hacker to change Exe icon

1. Download Resource Hacker from angusj.com/resourcehacker and install it. It’s free. Now locate the exe file you want to change icon. Now ‘Right Click‘ on the program or shortcut of the program (Resource Hacker can automatically locate the original file of a shortcut of an executable) and select ‘Open using Resource Hacker‘ as below:

Open Target executable fine using Resource Hacker

2. Resource Hacker will open an window with available resources. Now choose ‘Replace Icon‘ from ‘Action‘ tab.

Choose Replace icon from Action tab

3. Now from the new window, click ‘Open file with new icon‘.

Click 'Open file with new icon'

4. Now from icon picker window, choose any *.ico file you want to set. You can’t use any image file*.Jpg, *.png, *.gif or such things. Rather you can choose any *.dll, *.res or *.exe file as new icon source. In my example, I used an ico file as source. After choosing new icon, click ‘Replace‘.

Note: To use an image file you prefer, you need to convert it to *.ico file first. For your jump start, you can visit iconarchive.com to download some icons in *.ico format.

Click Replace

5. From the new windows, click ‘Save‘ form ‘File‘ tab, then close Resource Hacker. A backup of the original file should be automatically created.

Note: An exe file should have multiple icons with different resolutions and Resource Hacker does this automatically for you.

Save Changes

6. You are done. You should see your exe executable file with new icon with old one’s backup in the same directory.

Exe file with custom icon

That’s it.

If you have any problem using Resource Hacker, you can try using Resource Tuner to change icon of exe or dll files.

Author: 

Jaber is a tech enthusiast, geek and web worm from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is the founder and Chief-Editor of TechGainer. While he is away from his keyboard, either he's fishing or messing with wildlife. In case, you can contact him at rijans[at]techgainer[dot]com.