List of Windows 7 System Files to Customize Using Resource Hacker

Here is another interesting topic for "Resource Hacker" program lovers. In this topic, we are going to mention a few system files in Windows 7 which can be modified to change look of various Windows components like login screen, dialog boxes, menus, etc.

You'll need Resource Hacker to modify these files.

So here is a list of various system files in Windows 7 which can be easily customized using Resource Hacker:

Almost all Windows 7 system icons -> %windir%\System32\imageres.dll

Yellow Shield icon -> %windir%\System32\imageres.dll

Login Screen background -> %windir%\System32\imageres.dll

Login Screen image resources -> %windir%\System32\authui.dll

Startup sound -> %windir%\System32\imageres.dll

Start ORB images -> %windir%\Explorer.exe -> Bitmap -> 6801 - 6812

Windows version image in "About Windows" dialog box -> %windir%\Branding\Basebrd\basebrd.dll

Windows version image in bottom of Login Screen -> %windir%\Branding\Basebrd\basebrd.dll

Control Panel left sidebar image -> %windir%\System32\Shell32.dll -> Bitmap -> 632 & 633

Getting Started (aka Welcome Center) images -> %windir%\System32\oobefldr.dll

Laptop battery meter image resources -> %windir%\System32\batmeter.dll

Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) resources -> %windir%\System32\ieframe.dll

Windows Media Player 12 (WMP12) resources -> %windir%\System32\wmploc.dll

Windows 7 setup resources -> spwizimg.dll and background_cli.bmp

Above mentioned system files/locations are new to Windows 7 and were not present in earlier Windows versions, like XP. If you want to change look of other menus, dialog boxes like RUN, Progress, System Properties, Start menu, Taskbar Properties, etc, you'll have to edit some other system files which you needed to edit in Windows XP. But there is a little difference, now those files don't contain the resources but their .MUI files do.

For example in Windows XP, RUN dialog box resources were present in "%windir%\System32\Shell32.dll" file but in Windows 7, the resources are present in "%windir%\System32\en-US\Shell32.dll.mui" file.

All these .MUI files are present in any of following 2 locations:


To know about other system files which are same for all Windows versions and contain resources of various dialog boxes, menus, etc, you'll need to visit following links:

List of Files to Customize using Resource Hacker

List of Windows UI Resources to Customize Using Resource Hacker

All these file names and resource locations are same in Windows XP, Vista and 7.

NOTE: After modifying and replacing .MUI files, you'll need to run mcbuilder command to see the desired changes. Do as following:

1. Click on "Start button -> All Programs -> Accessories". Right-click on "Command Prompt" and select "Run As Administrator". If you are prompted to enter password, enter the password and continue. You can also open Command Prompt in Administrator mode by typing "cmd" in Start Menu Search box and press "Ctrl+Shift+Enter".

2. Now type mcbuilder and press Enter. Wait for a few seconds to finish the command process and then restart your system.

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Posted in: Windows 7

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  • I thought I'd post one additional file people may be interested in;


    You can find the logo for the start button if you are using 'Classic' theme or have themes disabled.

  • can u explain in details

  • Sir after saving the application changing the icon it says that it not a valid win32 application.Please explain me what is the problem.

  • VG

    ^^ Please check following topics:

  • hai sir after modifying winds 7 files , i want to save in .exe file for booting in other systems how can i do this can u explain me plzzz

  • sir i am telling you to please ultimate tutorial of window s 7 customize please upload

  • all thanks to resource hacker developers.
    Please is there any tutorial for novice in programming.

  • Thanks, it is very helpful and improved my knowledge about the computer

  • VG can you make a same list for Windows 8/8.1 too?

  • one more note. it is always best to use 32bit .bmp files exactly the same size as the original files. Any other file format will give a non system file error and will be auto replaced back to original on update. I have done this for about 2 dozen machines so far and 32bit .bmp with transparency layer is your best bet.

  • Hi VG ,I want to know how to change the progress bar color using Resource Hacker.I'm using Windows 7 32 bit SP1.
    I opened the .msstyles file as you said earlier with it but, I can't change(replace) the png images in it.Please help me out.Thanks in advance.

  • VG

    ^^ First copy the file somewhere else and then modify it.

  • how do i add separator here:

  • VG

    ^^ You can create a dummy entry with the label similar to -------------- which will work like a separator.

  • okay so i figure out how to add separators... I need an entry below it to work... but i don't want to add another one... is there any invisible or dummy entry code i can use??

  • VG

    ^^ I didnt understand your point. Please provide more details.

  • nvm... really really thank you for your how to guides... :)

  • how rename Refresh button in window 7, may i know the particular .dll file??/

  • Can you tell me which file has the "Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to Unlock this Computer" prompt in it. I am wanting to change the prompt.

  • VG

    ^^ I think its either shell32.dll or msgina.dll.

  • Ι want to change the colour selection for menu, start menu and explorer which is blue. Is it possible?

  • Ι want to change the colour selection for menu, start menu and explorer which is blue in windows 7. Is it possible?

  • VG

    ^^ You can change it by modifying Windows theme's .msstyles file. Or apply a 3rd party theme.

  • Ι want to change windows 7 installation background image.....plz tell me

  • VG

    ^^ Its mentioned in the end of the list. Check "Windows 7 setup resources" in the above tutorial.

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