The 'right' way to make a new file type icon for Windows XP/7/8/10 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi All

    I've created a new Visual C# application, and worked out how to associate certain file extensions with my application so that if the user double clicks on files with that extension e.g. in Windows Explorer, my application loads.

    You can, using the registry, set the icon that is displayed for files with that extension to, for example, your main application icon so that it's clear to the user that it is your application that will launch when the user chooses to open them.

    My application icon is fine, but it looks nothing like the array of other file type icons out there - which tend to show the standard windows document icon (which is shown whenever there is no application associated with the file extension) with the little addition of their own application icon in the middle of it, like a tiny thumbnail.

    That's what I'd like to do - show whatever the standard document icon is for the OS (Windows 7, 8, XP etc.) then with my application icon as a little thumbnail in the middle.

    How do you create such an icon that takes into account the particular OS on which the application is running so it maintains the standard document icon appearance? Other applications seem to achieve this, but on googling it I haven't found anything.

    Do others extract the document icon from the shell libraries somewhere (I'm running Windows 8, not sure where they are) and just paste a thumbnail of their application icon in the middle? How do you make sure it's right depending on the Windows version?

    Any help would be much appreciated - I've tried googling this but so far haven't found anything.

    • Edited by Markos101 Sunday, June 28, 2015 7:40 AM
    Sunday, June 28, 2015 7:39 AM


  • Icons have been just 16x16 too 256x256 pixel images.

    I can not see that pattern of "Windows Default Icon + Application mini icon" anywhere ony my Computer. I understand roughly what you mean, but it seems that pattern is not as common as you think.

    Sunday, June 28, 2015 9:44 AM