ICO File Extension

Have a problem opening a .ICO file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what ICO files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .ICO file type?

The .ico extension denotes the Microsoft Icon (ICO) file format and type. ICO is a proprietary file format developed by Microsoft for Microsoft (MS) Windows GUI icons. ICO is very similar to the CUR mouse pointer file format.

An .ico file is a MS Windows icon. An icon is a small pictographic image, representing a specific file type, application, system action, and so on. Containing several (at least, one) bitmap images of different sizes (16×16, 32×32, 48×48, etc.) and color depth (up to 32-bit with alpha-channel transparency since Windows XP), an ICO file normally provides a set of the same icons for different display modes.

ICO is universally supported by web browsers as the standard format for web site icons ("favicon.ico") usually located in the site's root directory.

There are multiple converters to/from the ICO format, dedicated icon editors, and other icon-related tools, both standalone and online. Besides, the ICO format is supported by most general-purpose image viewers and many bitmap editors (also, via plugins). MS Windows Explorer generates and shows thumbnails for .ico files.

Software to open or convert ICO files

You can open ICO files with the following programs:
IrfanView by Irfan Skiljan
PicosmosTools by Free Time
Nero PhotoSnap
Nero PhotoSnap by Nero AG

Popular Formats

Video Tutorials