Grab hundreds of icons off your own computer with this Cloudeight Freeware Pick

By | June 25, 2011
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Did you know that you have tons of icons on your computer and many of then you never see? Many EXE, DLL, and other files contain one or more icons, but getting these little buggers out of there is a problem – unless you have the right tool

Over the years we’ve had mixed results with icon extractors. The problem with most of them is that they only extract the smallest icons from complex icons. Since Windows has progressed from simple icons in 95 and 98 to complex icons in Windows XP and complexer (yes we know!) icons in Vista and Windows 7, extracting the tiny simple icons isn’t really helpful. On today’s big monitors 16×16 or 32×32 simple icons don’t look so hot. Well, it’s true. XP, Vista and Windows 7 use icons that are complex and contain all sizes from 16×16 all the way up to 256×256 on Vista and Windows 7.

Icons From File (which isn’t a very creative name is it?) can extract some of the larger sizes from complex icons found on Windows XP and Windows Vista systems. This means you might actually be able to use some of the icons you extract because they’ll be big enough so that you can tell what the icon actually is.

But rather than ramble on and have you skip to the download link prematurely, we’re going to bring in the program’s developer to wax eloquently about his program:

“Icons from File is a free tool for extracting icons or icon arrays from files (EXE, DLL, OCX etc.) with the ability to scan folders and search for EXE, DLL, and OCX files, which contain icons.

Extracted icons can be saved (exported) to a file:
– All or selected icon to ICO, BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, or EMF files;
– All icons as a BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, or EMF file.
All of the icons from the selected files may also be extracted and saved to a selected folder in a step or exported to a HTML document (.htm, .html) or dBase 5 file (.dbf). Saving high color icons (which have more than 16 colors) is also possible.

Export operations may also be performed via the command line.

Extracted icons may be printed (all or selected).

The program is optionally portable…”

These are some of the icons contained inside Explorer.exe (Windows 7)

If you need icons, you’ve already got a million of them on your computer. OK. I exaggerate. You have hundreds, maybe thousands of them on your computer. Almost every DLL and EXE file has icons. It’s kind of like mining. All you have to do is dig out the gold.

If you feel like mining some icons, you’ll not need an axe or a shovel. You just need our freeware pick of the week Icons From File. And you can read more about and/or download it right here.


Icons From File
For All Versions of Windows (32bit/64bit)
What is it? A tool for extracting icons from files
Download size: 879 KB zip file

Do you have a freeware program you love? Tell us about it!

16 thoughts on “Grab hundreds of icons off your own computer with this Cloudeight Freeware Pick

  1. Michael

    I can’t help to wonder why MS chose to start hiding stuff. Used to be all icons where stored in a icon file. Trying to ferret out stuff is worse than pulling teeth anymore. I tried to find out where themes were stored and it’s like trying to break into a bank. What is up with that?

  2. Michael

    I downloaded the file twice but all I got was an error saying the file was empty.

    1. infoave Post author

      Then you have a problem with your connection. The file is not empty.

  3. Margie Paregian

    I was unable to find what they have called the “optional portable version” and do not want to clutter up my computer with this download. I would rather use the portable version but was not given that option ??

    1. infoave Post author

      The file is a simple zip file. You simply extract the EXE file in the zip to a flash drive. There isn’t a separate version – since it doesn’t install there doesn’t need to be a separate version. To run the program, click the EXE file on the flash drive. Since it makes no registry entries or start menu items, it wouldn’t “gunk” up your computer anyway. It’s less than 1MB – not a very big file – actually less than 1 normal digital photo.

  4. Margie Paregian

    OK – I tried that and it still wants to totally install on my hard drive from my flash drive. I understand it is small, I just don’t need any more programs on my hard drive – what am I missing ???

  5. infoave Post author

    The program does not come in an installer; it comes as a zip. When you unzip it, there is one file – the executable. It can’t “totally” install anywhere – you click the exe and the program opens – click “x” on the program window and it closes. There is no installer. It’s a zip file with an EXE file in it. Either you’re not downloading the correct file- or something else is wrong.

  6. Margie Paregian

    Well something else must be wrong – I just downloaded the exe file off of my flash drive – it is now on my hard drive as 2.11 MB – so I will now have to uninstall the darn thing – all I wanted was a portable version??

  7. Laura Boivin

    Oh wot fun!!!
    This program is excellent!
    Here are the steps I took.
    1.insert flashdrive program to “removable disk” (flashdrive) zip to install on Browse to select where you want it installed.Select flashdrive.
    5.When you run the program, select the drive where you want it to search for icons; I chose my entire C drive.
    You have the option to save them in several different formats as well as the location.
    I chose to save them in gif & the location was the flashdrive.
    I have hundreds of wonderful little gif files that I can use in my websites or emails or forums.

    Thank you for this…way too cool.


  8. Margie Paregian

    I only find one downloadable file on the site, and when I click on it whether on my hard drive or a flash drive – the result is always the same – it goes into the “Welcome To The Icons From Files Setup Wizard” and then installs on the hard drive – what am I missing on this “portable version”?? I use portable versions of other programs all the time and have never had this problem – please help – I must be doing something totally wrong…

    1. Laura Boivin

      I have to agree about the confusion over such a simple file download…I don’t know where people are looking that they are having a hard time with this.
      It’s too bad really, cause all you have to do is take your time & read the very simple instructions.
      I’ve already made use of some of the gifs I got…gosh, images I never knew were in my PC.

  9. Margie Paregian

    Well thank you Laura – that procedure does seem to work just fine – I’ve just never seen a “portable program” presented that way before…..

  10. Margie Paregian

    Well Laura – I’m glad you are doing OK with this program. I have to admit I’ve never had such a tough time with a program before. I’ve done everything exactly as prescribed – now, when I go to actually use the darn thing – it will not allow my entire “C” drive and when I try to do anything else – it just freezes up my almost new computer. I don’t need this kind of aggravation for a “fun” program – so I’m done with it…..thanks anyway !!!

  11. Laura Boivin

    Margie, I am sorry that you’re missing out on all these wonderful images.

    But, my real reason for posting is that when I installed the program, I had the flashdrive in ok, but also had an SD camera card in there, which I had forgotten to remove.

    The amazing thing is the I saved the program & installed it on the card & saved all the icons on it too…lol

    The only reason I found out was when I went to take pictures with my camera, the card said ‘disk error – full’.
    I put the card in the computer & voila!!! there was the reason for it.

    I thought you all might enjoy this major mistake I made that was truly enlightening. I knew that I could save images on a card, but surely never expected that a program could be installed on it & even run from it.
    Isn’t this wild??

    Thank you again for this program.


  12. Michael

    I finally got it downloaded from Tucows and installed it. Doesn’t work for me. I give up.


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