How To Extract Icons From 16 Bit software On Windows 8.

Andrea Borman

Honorable Member
16 bit on Win 8. (640x375).jpg

As you know when you run a 16 bit program such as Windows 3.1 games on Windows Vista,7 or 8, it does not display the icon.
This is because support for 16 bit icon display has been removed from Windows Vista onwards. So you have to choose one of the icons in the "Shell32.dill" folder.

But there is an icon extractor that can extract and display 16 bit icons from any software.
BeCyIcon Grabber which I found here on C Net:

You simply click on your desktop shortcut and the icon finder extracts the icon which you then save in a folder of your choice. Then when you change the icon point it to the folder you saved it in such as My Pictures or My Documents.
Here on my Windows 8 you can that my Windows 3.1 software has all of it's original icons.
Note also that to run 16 bit software you must have the 32 bit version of Windows since they won't run on 64 bit. This also works on Windows 10 32 bit.


New Member
Use irfanview, google it, one of the more useful things on the Web.

Install it, run it, and drag the .exe onto the Irfanview screen.

The icon will show up in the Irfanview screen. If there are multiple icons, you can page thru them by clicking the DOWN arrow on the menu bar at the top of the Irfanview screen.

You can export all of them using OPTIONS -> EXTRACT_ALL_FRAMES. Try different file types for best resolutions. .ICO type is a good place to start.

I just extracted about 50 icons from a windows 3.1 executable in about 1 second.

- john

Andrea Borman

Honorable Member
I think that the 16 bit icons are there but for some reason Windows 7 and Windows 8 cannot display them and it's the same problem with Windows Vista. I don't know why that is as on Windows XP and older versions of Windows they display find but not on any later versions.
{I have tried other icon finder software's but they can only display the 32 bit icons not the 16 bit. But BeCyIcon grabber can display the actual 16 bit icons.