[Review] All About Resource Hacker, The Ultimate Windows Customization Tool

Resource Hacker is a small but excellent tool to modify system files like DLL, EXE, CPL, etc. You can even change Windows look by editing various Windows files and replacing their resources using Resource Hacker.

You can download the latest version from following topic:

Download Resource Hacker Latest Version

This tutorial will help you in understanding this tool and will teach you how to use it. For your convenience, we have divided this tutorial in 2 parts:


Part 1 provides basic details like viewing or replacing existing resources in a file, etc. Part 2 covers some advance information for geeks, like adding new resources, using scripts, etc.


[Using Resource Hacker]

When you open a file in Resource Hacker, it shows various directories in left-side pane, like:

  • AVI - Contains AVI files
  • Cursor - Contains Cursor files
  • Bitmap - Contains BMP files
  • Icon - Contains Icons
  • Menu - Contains Menus
  • Dialog - Contains Dialog boxes
  • String Table - Contains Strings
  • Accelerators - Contains Shortcut keys
  • Version Info - Contains Version information of the file

[Viewing Resources]

You can view resource present in the file by expanding the directory given in left-side pane and clicking on the name of the resource. Each resource contains 3 important attributes:

  • Resource Type
  • Resource Name
  • Resource Language

[Changing Resources]

For Icons / Cursors / Bitmaps:

1. First select the resource ( e.g. Bitmap -> 131 -> 1033 ).

2. Now click on Action -> Replace Icon / Cursor / Bitmap option or right-click on the resource and select the Replace option.

3. It'll open a new window, click on Open file with new Icon / Cursor / Bitmap button.

4. Select the desired resource using OPEN dialog box, click on Open button and then click on Replace button.

For Other Resources like AVI:

1. Select the AVI resource and click on Action -> Replace Resource option or right-click on the AVI resource and select the Replace option.

2. It'll open a new window, click on Open file with new resource button (or Select File button in newer versions).

3. Select the file and click on Open button.

4. Now you'll need to provide following required information for the resource, which we mentioned earlier:

  • Resource Type
  • Resource Name
  • Resource Language

Resource Type: Mention type of the resource, e.g. if you are replacing AVI file, mention the type as AVI

Resource Name: Provide the same name of the existing resource which you want to replace

Resource Language: Provide language code for the resource, e.g. 1033 for English. You can check existing resource's language code.

5. At last click on Replace button.

For Menus / Strings / Dialogs:

To change any String, Menu or Dialog box, Select the desired resource, e.g. String Table -> 4 -> 1033, make your changes and at last click on Compile Script button or press F5 key or click on Action -> Compile option.

It'll immediately compile the script. If you made any mistake while modifying the resource, it'll generate error message so that you can fix it.


[Adding New Resources]

Adding New Bitmaps / Icons / Cursors / AVIs:

1. Click on Action -> Add a new Resource option (or Action -> Add Single Binary or Image Resource option in newer versions).

2. Now click on Open file with new resource button (or Select File button in newer versions).

3. Select the desired resource and click on Open button.

4. Give Resource Type, Name and Language as mentioned earlier. But keep in mind that Resource Name should not match with any existing resources name.

5. At last click on Add Resource button.

Adding New Menus:

Go to desired menu, e.g. Menu -> 215 -> 1033. Now add a new line anywhere inside POPUP "" using following format:



  • "Custom_String" is the actual text which you want to show in menu.
  • 12345 is the identifier. It must be different from existing menuitems.
  • MFS_GRAYED disables the menuitem. You can change it to MFS_ENABLED if you want to show your menuitem enabled.
  • MFS_DEFAULT shows your menuitem in BOLD. You can omit it.
  • You can also add a new attribute in the code MFS_HILITE which automatically selects your menuitem.

In fact you can only add following new line in code:

MENUITEM "Custom_String", 12345

And Resource Hacker will automatically insert other remaining values as mentioned above.

[Inserting Newly Added Resources in Dialog Boxes]

Once you finish adding new Icons / Bitmaps / AVIs, you can insert them in any dialog box so that you can show in various Windows dialog boxes like RUN, Progress Dialog box, etc.

1. Go to the desired dialog box, e.g. Dialog -> 1020 -> 1033

2. Right-click in the dialog box and select Insert Control option.

3. It'll open a new window. You'll see many controls in the new window, like BITMAP, LABEL, ICON, BUTTON, SysAnimate32 (for AVIs), etc.

4. Click on any desired control, e.g. to insert a Bitmap, click on the BITMAP control or to insert an AVI, click on SysAnimate32 control.

PS: You can also insert Date/Time in dialog box using SysDateTimePick32 control.

5. Don't forget to fill the Caption entry. You need to enter the Resource Name in Caption textbox, e.g. if you have added a Bitmap and set its Resource Name as 401, then give the same 401 in Caption textbox.

PS: For AVI Control ( SysAnimate32 ), you'll need to append # in Caption value, e.g if the AVI name is 144, then put #144 in Caption textbox.

6. At last click on OK button & then Compile the script.

7. If you want to change the position of the new control in dialog box, simply click on the control and drag it to your desired location or you can also use arrow keys to move it.

Using Scripts in Resource Hacker

We can also run Resource Hacker using Command Prompt and can use scripts to automate lots of repetitive tasks to save our time.

You can use scripts in 2 ways:

  • Single Command
  • Multiple Commands

[Single Command]

You can use following commands in Command Prompt to perform actions using Resource Hacker:

-add ExeFileName, ResultingFileName, ResourceAddress, ResourceType, ResourceName,
-addskip ExeFileName, ResultingFileName, ResourceAddress, ResourceType, ResourceName,
-addoverwrite ExeFileName, ResultingFileName, ResourceAddress, ResourceType, ResourceName,
-modify ExeFileName, ResultingFileName, ResourceAddress, ResourceType, ResourceName,
-extract ExeFileName, ResourceAddress, ResourceType, ResourceName,
-delete ExeFileName, ResultingFileName, ResourceType, ResourceName,


  • ExeFileName - Source file name
  • ResultingFileName - Output file name
  • ResourceAddress - Resource location (e.g. Bitmap path stored in your hard disk)
  • ResourceType - Resource type (e.g. Bitmap, AVI, etc.)
  • ResourceName - Resource name (e.g. 131, 1020, etc.)


ResHacker.exe -addoverwrite explorer.exe, explorer1.exe, MyImage.bmp , bitmap, 143,

[Multiple Commands]

You can also run a series of commands using script. First you'll need to create the script file using Notepad and then you can run it using following command:

ResHacker.exe -script ScriptFileName

Where, ScriptFileName is the name of the script file which you created in Notepad.

Following is the required format of the script file:

-addoverwrite ResourceAddress, ResourceType, ResourceName


EXE= contains source file name
SaveAs= contains output file name
Log= contains LOG file name which will store a detailed log of the operation

[COMMANDS] section contains the command-set which we want to perform on the source file.

PS: You can omit the LOG= entry in script file. In this case, Resource Hacker will automatically create a LOG file with the name "ResHacker.log".

NOTE 1: If you are facing problems while saving a file after editing in resource hacker, then make sure you have disabled WFP (Windows File Protection) service using "WFP Patcher" or use "Replacer" to replace the file.

NOTE 2: If you get "Cannot create file" error message while saving the file, please check following tutorial:

How to Fix "Cannot Create File" Error Message While Saving Files in Resource Hacker?

That's all for now. If you have any query, please feel free to ask us...

Also check:

List of Windows XP System Files to be Customized using Resource Hacker

List of Windows Vista System Files to be Customized Using Resource Hacker

List of Windows 7 System Files to be Customized Using Resource Hacker

List of Resource Locations in Windows XP, Vista and 7 to be Customized Using Resource Hacker

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Posted in: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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  • tks VG very informative never seen befor

  • Thanks i extracted Minesweeper Games Music using this, its very useful...

  • It's very good software I'm using It

  • Superb Website_I learned many tricks from this site.>>>

  • Hello!

    Open .dll Change Langugugues from 0 to 1033 Save Cannot rename original files, Saving cancelled.
    How to save original files from Reshack?

    With king regards!

  • VG

    ^^ Please check following:


  • you are dad of bill gates......thanks for ur information

  • please give me an idea about
    how to modify file open,save and save as dialog boxes

  • VG

    ^^ Please check "Changing look of Open/Save Dialog box" in following topic:


  • Thanks askvg website for letting me download this best software. I am using it. Thank you.

  • Hai VG,
    I'm a fan boy of your great website.It's totally awesome.I often come here.
    Now I really need your help.I have checked out your both Vista & AeroVG Se7en themes on my PC(Windows 7-32 bit). I liked both themes very much indeed.But, I now want combine best features of both to create new awsome theme that I keep imagining.So can you please please provide a detailed tutorial on How to customize a theme using Resource Hacker ? Please reply.
    PS :Thank you so much for all your softwares & tweaks.

  • VG

    ^^ You can open your desired theme's .msstyles file in Resource Hacker and replace the desired image resource.

  • Thank you so much VG. I didn't know that Resource Hacker can open .msstyles files too.I had thought that it was limited only to .exe .dll .mui .cpl etc. :) :) .Keep sharing your knowledge.God bless you.

  • Hi,
    I'm new at this so please bear with me.

    I want to remove the open with dialog box and change icon dialog box. Can I do this with resource hacker?

    Please post a guide on doing that. thank you and have a good one.

  • or at least remove it's browse button.

  • VG

    ^^ You can check following tutorials to learn which system files contain your desired dialog box resources and then you can customize those files in Resource Hacker:


  • I want to add an image as texture to the taskbar and every window title bar, which resource do i have to edit for this?

  • VG

    ^^ Such kind of resources are stored in .msstyles file of theme which are found in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes folder.

  • I'm trying to use the command line to add an icon but it does nothing. I'm not sure if I understand some parameters correctly. Does anyone know how to do this? Here is the command line:

    W:\DSM Driver\Debug>"C:\Program Files (x86)\Resource Hacker\ResHacker.exe" -add "DSM Driver.exe","DSM Driver.exe","simple.ico",bitmap,ENCLOSURE

  • I found my problem. The command method does not handle relative folders. In my post above I mis-typed my example. Where I have "simple.ico" I actually had "..\sample\simple.ico". The problem is that the program does not work if you use relative folders. So put everything in the same folder and it will work.

  • Firstly, thanks for the excellent tutorial.

    Anyhow, letting you know that I've just updated RH to version 4.0.
    * Main changes include better displaying of images (esp. 32bit images)
    * Now allows creating RES files from scratch (including template dialog, menu, stringtable, version, and manifest resources).
    * Numerous cosmetic improvements.


  • VG

    ^^ Excellent news. I have updated the main download topic:

    [UPDATE] Resource Hacker 4.0.0 Version Available for Download

  • I have a BMP extracted from a dll file and its supposed to have some transparency. The only thing I'm getting is black and white on photoshop, paintnet, gimp and standard image viewers. Windows thumbnails seems to read the transparency properly. How do I open this properly?

  • VG

    ^^ BMP files don't support transparency but we can use magic pink color to put transparency effects. Search for magic pink color and you'll get more info.

  • I am getting an error message when I was trying to import some icons from a .res file (created by resource hacker) :

    Windows XP SP3
    Resource Hacker
    Access violation at address 0058802E in module 'ResourceHacker.exe'. Read of address 0000001C.

    Windows 7 64 bit
    [ VirtualBox ] Windows XP pro 32 bit

    Thanks in Advance

  • VG

    ^^ You should provide the feedback to the developer. It might be an issue in new version of Resource Hacker.

  • I just wanted to thank Vishal Gupta for the time you must have put in to compile these Resource Hacker tutorials etc. May I ask, is there no permanent platform on ask.vg we could go to to hang out, learn etc. from you? I can go through this little form each time I want to comment, but it's kind of one way. ;) I could give you my Google Sites link but being the noob I am it doesn't appreciably improve your wisdom on (anything lol). That's all, just wanted to thank you. -semicodin

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