Displaying DLL Icons


Reader George S. sent in a Windows NT 4.0 question:

"Some time ago, I read an article that explained how to get Windows

NT 4.0 to display icons in a DLL file rather than the default

icon. The idea was that you could view the DLL files in Windows

Explorer and each would display the icon that represented that


I would like to do this but have lost the article. I may even be

mistaken about this but, if possible, could you show how to get

the DLL files to display their own icons?"

Yes, DLL files can display imbedded icons, when present. When present

is the key phrase here. Many DLL files contain no icons, so they will

continue to use a generic icon. For those DLLs that do contain icons,

you can use RegEdit to display the first imbedded icon in the file. To

do this, click Start, Run, and type in


and press Enter. Now navigate to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\dllfile\DefaultIcon. Double-click

the string value (a REG_EXPAND_SZ). When the Edit String dialog box

opens, change the current contents (%SystemRoot%\System32\shell32.dll,-

154) to %1 and press Enter.

Choose Registry and Exit to close RegEdit. When you run Windows NT

Explorer, each DLL that contains embedded icons will display the first

icon in the file.

This procedure works in Windows 2000 Professional also.

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