List of Windows XP System Files to Customize Using Resource Hacker

If you are a regular reader of this website, you might be knowing about Resource Hacker tool. Its one of the best and my favorite Windows customization tool which allows you to open and modify various system files such as exe, dll, cpl, etc. You can open any desired file in Resource Hacker and can replace or remove images, text strings, etc which are generally shown in various dialog boxes or menus.

Today in this article, we are going to share a list of some important Windows XP system files, which can be edited using Resource Hacker to change the look-n-feel of Windows:

%windir%\System32\NToskrnl.exe : To change Windows Boot screen

%windir%\System32\Logonui.exe : To change Windows Login Screen

%windir%\System32\MSgina.dll : To change the text & background of Shutdown dialog box

%windir%\System32\Shell32.dll : To change a lot of things, like Progress dialog box (copying, deleting, etc.), Run dialog box, Context menu items, and many other things

%windir%\System32\Netshell.dll : To change flashing internet icon in system tray

%windir%\System32\Comdlg32.dll : To change the look of Open/Save dialog box, color box, print box, find & replace box, etc.

%windir%\System32\Comctl32.dll : To change the icons appearing in upper-right side of Open/Save dialog box.

%windir%\System32\Stobject.dll : To change volume icon & some other icons in system tray

%windir%\System32\hotplug.dll : To change safe to remove hardware icon

%windir%\System32\mydocs.dll : To change My Documents icon

%windir%\System32\shdocvw.dll : To change Internet Explorer 6 icons and graphics

%windir%\System32\IEFrame.dll : To change Internet Explorer 7 icons and graphics

%windir%\System32\shimgvw.dll : To change image file icons, i.e., BMP, JPG, JPEG, GIF, etc

%windir%\System32\Sysdm.cpl : To change the System Properties window look

%windir%\System32\Winlogon.exe : To change the text, which you see in Login Screen, like applying user settings, logging off, shutting down, etc.

%windir%\Explorer.exe : To change Start button text, Programs Menu text (like Programs, Favorites, Documents, etc.)

%windir%\System32\browselc.dll : To change the Menu names in Windows Explorer as well as Internet Explorer

Windows XP Setup folder\I386\Winntbbu.dll : To change XP Setup look and text entries

To know about various interesting resource locations in dialog boxes, menus, etc, please visit following link:

List of Windows UI Resources to Customize Using Resource Hacker

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Posted in: Windows XP

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  • Thank you so much.

  • How to put notepad in desktop context menu

  • VG

    ^^ Please check following:

  • Hi master VG. I'm using windows 8 x64, and I want to remove "refresh" in the desktop context menu. I read your tutorial about removing refresh from context menu, I open shell32.dll but I can't find "menu" in the left pane. Can you email me about this? Thank you

  • VG

    ^^ Check following tutorial:

    Specially the paragraph given after the quote.

  • Good infomation here, just to note, not all internet taskbar icons are under Netshell.dll, if you want to change your WiFi flashing icon, look here %windir%\System32\xpsp2res.dll

  • Hello Vishal,

    I changed the font size on my system from Tahoma 8 into Verdana 10. I already hacked the mssytles but there are still a lot of dialog boxes left. The console.dll (for example) contains the dialog box for the cmd. exe program.So I opened the console.dll file, changed FONT 8 into FONT 10 but the problem is: the frame size of the box is still the same (did not get automatically bigger). I have noticed that some other dialog boxes still have the old (small) size despite of the bigger font size.

    My question to you is: do you know which file defines the size of those properties dialog boxes?

    Thank you


  • VG

    ^^ You can increase the dialog box size using the DLL file itself. Just resize the dialog box while editing the file in Resource Hacker.

    By the way, you can change font type and size using Desktop settings rather than modifying each dialog box in DLL files.

  • Thanks for your reply,

    well, please start desk.cpl on XP. In the first tab you will see text about Designs. And now tell me how to change the size of this text without hacking the dll file.



  • VG

    ^^ I cant remember the exact option name of XP but if you open Desktop settings and go to appearance or similar tab. There you can change font size of everything including dialog box.

  • Yes, there is this option which changes the font size in dialog message boxes - like in "Do you really want to delete this file?". This would be such a dialog message box.

    BUT, this option does not alter the font size within a dialog in a dll or cpl file!


  • VG

    ^^ I cant remember exactly. But most of the dialog boxes must present in Shell32.dll and Explorer.exe file.

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