Creating/editing icons
To create/edit your own icons you will need a program which is capable of working with them - most graphics programs are not.

One program you can use is provided with VB6, called imagedit (you will find it on the VB CD, in the folder \Common\Tools\VB\imagedit ). However, this has very limited features - for example it only supports 16 colours, no transparency, and few drawing options.

There are several others available on the web, including ones you need to pay for (the most popular seems to be MicroAngelo), and ones which are free (my personal preference is IcoFX). To find these and others, do a web search for "icon editor".

Finding icons
VB6 comes with several standard icons (such as a floppy disk icon for "save"), which may be in the folder \Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\Common\Graphics\icons , or if you didn't install them, on the VB CD under \Common\Graphics\icons

If you want other icons, there are many web sites you can get them from. However, there are two main things to note:
  • VB does not support all icon files - it only supports a size of 32x32 or 16x16, and a color depth of "True Color" (24-bit) or "256 Colors" (8 bit) or less - it does not support icons with an alpha channel (32 bit).

    Any icons described as "XP icons" or "Vista icons" are unlikely to load in VB.

  • Good icons generally cost money, and even "free" icons can cost you - some sites let you download them for free, but then charge you for using them in an application (or don't let you use them in a commercial application at all).

    If you want completely free icons, the word to look out for is "royalty free", which means you will not be charged for using them in your applications. Unfortunately there are various ways of charging, and it is for example possible to have icons that cost to download, but are then royalty free. I've never found a way to find "completely free" ones in a web search.
Sites that have been recommended on the forums include:,,,,,

Note that using icons you find on your computer is not a good idea, as they are likely to be owned by somebody who might sue you - so you need to check that you are allowed to use them (and that is not often an easy process!).