Many Windows files contain useful icons that can be extracted and re-used. For example, there are well over a thousand different icons stored in various Windows system files. (See this list.) There are a number of free programs available for extracting icons from files and one I like is called BeCyIconGrabber.
The developer’s site and download link are at this page. There are both an installer version and a portable version. I tried only the portable version. It is labeled Win32 but it worked for me on both Windows 7 and 8.1, 64-bit. The current version is 2.30. It is a small single executable file with a zipped size of only 160 KB. The site is marked “green” by WOT and the file received a clean bill of health from VirusTotal. An example of the interface is shown below.
The program can extract icons and cursors from EXE, DLL, ICL, OCX, CPL, SRC, ICO and CUR files. Individual extracted images can be exported as ICO, CUR, BMP and PNG files. Multiple symbols can be saved as resource libraries in DLL or ICL format. Unlike many programs of this type, BeCyIconGrabber can extract icons in various sizes from 16x16 up to 256x256. Another useful feature is that the program can search all the shell files in the Windows/System32 folder and display and extract all the embedded icons in one group.
A detailed description of how to use the program is given at this link.
Get your own favorite tip published! Know a neat tech tip or trick? Then why not have it published here and receive full credit? Click here to tell us your tip.
This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.