Where are the Windows 11 Default Icon Files Located

Where are the Windows 11 Default Icon Files Located

In this guide, we will make you aware of the location of the Windows 11 default icon files. The latest iteration of Windows has bought in a plethora of new and noteworthy changes. But the biggest among them is the major UI overhaul that it underwent. Be it the new taskbar, new Start menu, or the new icon styles, there’s a lot to forward to.

Talking about icon styles, the OS has always allowed you to change the default icon styles of its folders. While the icons are generally stored in ICO files, but that is not the case with Windows. This is due to the reason that one ICO file could only hold one icon. But since the OS has a plethora of icon styles, Windows would have required thousands of ICO files. To keep it simple, Windows instead opted for the DLL file.

The biggest advantage of this file format is that it is capable enough to hold hundreds of icons within itself (imageres.dll and shell32.dll are the perfect examples of the same). However, the biggest issue lies in finding the location of these DLL files. Well, in this guide, we will help you with just that. Given hereby are detailed instructions that shall help you find the location of the Windows 11 default icon files.

Where are the Windows 11 Default Icon Files Located

Where are the Windows 11 Default Icon Files Located

We have broken down this guide into separate sections, based on the icon categories. So you may directly go to the required one. Moreover, while these icons are stored in DLL file format, but you wouldn’t need a DLL Extractor software. This is because Windows would directly be able to read the contents of the concerned DLL file and then bring up all the icons present inside that file.

You could then easily select and apply the desired one [Instructions for the same are given at the end of this guide]. So with that in mind, let’s get started with the journey to find the location of the Windows 11 default icon files. Follow along.

Folders/Hardware Devices/Peripherals/Actions Icons

File Name: imageres.dll

windows 11 icon files location

File Location: %systemroot%\system32\imageres.dll

windows 11 icon files location

Internet, Devices, Networks, Peripherals, Folders, etc

File Name: shell32.dll

shell32.dll file in windows 11

File Location: %systemroot%\system32\shell32.dll

shell32.dll file location in windows 11

Windows 95 and Windows 98 Icon Packs

File Name: pifmgr.dll

windows 11 icon files location

File Location: %systemroot%\system32\pifmgr.dll

windows 11 icon files location

Icons used by File Explorer [New and Old]

File Name: explorer.exe
File Location: %systemroot%\explorer.exe

Accessibility Features Icons

File Name: accessibilitycpl.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\accessibilitycpl.dll

Hardware Devices Icons

File Name: ddores.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\ddores.dll

Old Programming Language Icons

File Name: moricons.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\moricons.dll

Old Computer Management Icons

File Name: mmcndmgr.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\mmcndmgr.dll

Audio Devices Icons

File Name: mmres.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\mmres.dll

Network Icons

File Name: netcenter.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\netcenter.dll

Network Connections and Associated Hardware Icons

File Name: netshell.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\netshell.dll

Network Devices Icons

File Name: networkexplorer.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\networkexplorer.dll

Network Related Settings Icons

File Name: pnidui.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\pnidui.dll

Sensors Icons

File Name: sensorscpl.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\sensorscpl.dll

Setup Wizard Icons

File Name: setupapi.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\setupapi.dll

Multimedia Icons

File Name: wmploc.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\wmploc.dll

Portable Devices Icons

File Name: wpdshext.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\wpdshext.dll

Old Windows Hardware Icons

File Name: compstui.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\compstui.dll

Internet Explorer Icons

File Name: ieframe.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\ieframe.dll

Disk Management Icons

File Name: dmdskres.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\dmdskres.dll

Network Services Icons

File Name: dsuiext.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\dsuiext.dll

Remote Desktop Connections Icons

File Name: mstscax.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\mstscax.dll

Imaging Hardware Devices Icons

File Name: wiashext.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\wiashext.dll

Actions Icons

File Name: comres.dll
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\comres.dll

Network Related Icons

File Name: mstsc.exe
File Location: %systemroot%\system32\mstsc.exe

Action Center/Error/Info/Website/Users Icons

File Name: actioncentercpl.dll, aclui.dll, autoplay.dll, comctl32.dll, xwizards.dll, ncpa.cpl, url.dll
File Location: all the files are present in %systemroot%\system32 directory

How to Apply Icons from the DLL files in Windows

As mentioned before, you don’t need any standalone DLL File Extractor to get hold of the associated icons. Rather, you could directly do so via the Windows ‘Change Icons’ menu. Here’s how:

  1.  To begin with, right-click on the desired folder whose icon you need to change and select Properties.
    windows 11 icon files location
  2. Then go to the Customize tab and click on the Change Icon button.
    windows 11 icon files location
  3. Now just copy-paste the desired DLL file address from the ones listed above and hit Enter.
    windows 11 icon files location
  4. Windows will now bring up all the icons associated with that DLL file.
  5. Select the desired one from the menu and click OK. Now refresh the desktop once for the icon change to take place.

That’s it. These were the steps to find the location of the Windows 11 default icon files. Likewise, we have also listed all the icon’s DLL files and their locations. If you have any queries concerning the aforementioned steps, do let us know in the comments. We will get back to you with a solution at the earliest.

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2 thoughts on “Where are the Windows 11 Default Icon Files Located”

  1. Hi, I tried getting the icons out of the dll files in Windows 11 but it seems that they are not in the dll files. Rather, they are in the dll.mun files of the same name.

    If you try copying the dll files and then opening them for icons using 7z, there is no icons folder. I also tried using the copied dll files to set icons for shortcuts, but that didn’t work either.

    I was able to extract them using ResourceExtractor by Nirsoft (its free) after a lot of trial and error. So, please add this information in the article.

    Thank You

  2. Hi.
    Is there a way to add an icon to Windows Settings so when it opens we can see it on the Taskbar?
    Thank you. Thanks for one of the greatest sites I have bumped into… I think I’ll be parked here for a while since this is the 3rd article I’ve read today.

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