New method to replace system icons in Windows 10 v1909 and newer

  1. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 3,105
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 21H1 (May 2021 build 19043.1083)
       #1

    New method to replace system icons in Windows 10 v1909 and newer


    I cound not find the previous thread we were discussing about changing the default system icons, so I start a new thread to report my findings.We were discussing how to replace the default flat Windows 10 system icons with those of Windows 7 or 8.1 that were nicer. From Windows 10 v1507 up to v1809 one easy utility to do so was Customizer God. All you had to do was to open the appropriate .DLL files and replace the desired icons or even all of them. The utility can also extract icons, so I had extracted the respective icons from Windows 7 and 8.1 files, so I can then import them to change the Windows 10 icons. Customizer God automatically makes a backup of the original file.

    These .DLL files were used:

    C:\Windows\System32\batmeter.dll for the battery and AC power icons.C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll for the majority of system icons (folders, devices etc).C:\Windows\System32\pnidui.dll for the network and Wi-Fi icons.
    C:\Windows\System32\SndVolSSO.dll for the speaker icons.
    C:\Windows\System32\stobject.dll for the USB safe device removal icon.

    From Windows 10 v1903 and newer builds changing the imageres.dll or SndVolSSO.dll doesn't work and produces wrong icons. To restore the original icons you can use the sfc /scannow command.In our last discussion you suggested that all Windows 10 system icons are stored in C:\Windows\Systemresources as .MUN files. I did not had the opportunity to test that as I have recently upgraded to Windows 11 and I wouldn't dare to try it there. Last night I upgraded my work laptop from Windows 10 v21H1 to v21H2, and as with every upgrade all customized icons reverted to the original default flat icons. I decided to try replacing the icons in the respective .MUN files. Windows would not let me replace the icons directly, so I copied the appropriate files to another folder, replaced the icons and then I restarted in Command Prompt to backup the original files and replace them. Success! Now I have all my system icons replaced with the respective Windows 8.1 icons, including the speaker icons for which couldn't do before.

    These .DLL and .MUN files were used:

    C:\Windows\System32\batmeter.dll for the battery and AC power icons.C:\Windows\Systemresources\imageres.dll.mun for the majority of system icons (folders, devices etc).C:\Windows\System32\pnidui.dll for the network and Wi-Fi icons.C:\Windows\Systemresources\SndVolSSO.dll.mun for the speaker icons.C:\Windows\System32\stobject.dll for the USB safe device removal icon.

    So I used Customizer God to replace the battery, network and USB safe removal icons directly. I then copied the generic and speaker system files to another folder and replaced the icons with Customizer God. I restarted holding the SHIFT button to see the troubleshooting screen and selected command prompt. I then renamed the original files for backup and copied the modified files back to the C:\Windows\Systemresources folder. After a restart, success! All system icons replaced by the respective Windows 8.1 icons. I will sometime try that on Windows 11 and report.
      My Computer

  2. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 10,082
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1466
       #2

    Some of the previous discussions are in About recent changes to the locations and content of dll files containing icons - TenForums
    The discussion had started in How do I enable the old networking tray icons on Windows 10 1903 - TenForums then the relevant posts were relocated to the About recent ... thread].


    I'll be very interested in seeing your Windows 11 results as well. Please post a link here to what I assume will be an ElevenForum thread.

    All the best,
    Denis
      My Computer

  3. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 3,105
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 21H1 (May 2021 build 19043.1083)
    Thread Starter
       #3

    I saw both these threads, but they are too old. I think there is another thread we were posting a couple of months ago, but I couldn't find it. So I started that thread. Of course I'll let you know as soon as I try that on Windows 11.
      My Computer

  4. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 10,082
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1466
       #4

    The only other ones I noted are
    more icon discussions [post #13] - TenForums
    What's the dll file for general icons in Customizer God - TenForums
    but the way I noted them implies that I did not think they were as useful as the first two.

    I've checked through my subscribed threads all the way back to last August and there's nothing else there. So I seem not to have seen that recent one you mentioned [or else I imagine I'd have have joined in].

    All the best,
    Denis
      My Computer

  5. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 3,105
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 21H1 (May 2021 build 19043.1083)
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Could be in the Elevenforum. Speaking of Windows 11, I copied the file C:\Windows\SystemResources\imageres.dll.mun in another folder and then opened it with Customizer God to replace the icons. I then restarted in Command prompt, renamed the original file for backup and replaced it with the modified file. Upon restart, success! Now I have Windows 8.1 system icons in Windows 11. I will find out how to replace the network, battery and more and report back.
      My Computer

  6. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 10,082
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1466
       #6

    OK, I've now seen the corresponding ElevenForum thread
    Using Customizer God to change system icons - ElevenForum

    If you 've checked through all the renamed copies of the *.dll.mun files without finding the network-power-volume icons you can see in that popup then perhaps Windows 11 is not using icons for that display at all but is merely displaying pictures.

    Best of luck,
    Denis
      My Computer

  7. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 34,272
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #7

    I used to change some 70+ icons in imageres.dll or later mun.

    A much less intrusive approach is to use Stardock's Iconchanger; the change is then independent of Windows feature updates etc.

    Here I've applied a Vista set, with an approximately matching Windows frame provided by Stardock's Curtains:
    New method to replace system icons in Windows 10 v1909 and newer-1.jpg
      My Computers


 

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