What is the .ico File Extension?

What is the .ico file extension?

ICO file format is commonly known as the image file format for icons in the Windows operating system. .ico files store images with multiple sizes and color depths. This allows icons for files, folders, or programs to be displayed with different resolutions and color depths in Graphical User Interface (GUI).

It is interesting to note that the structure of .ico files is identical to the structure of .cur files, used for storing cursor images in the Windows operating system.

One thing that needs to be understood is that .ico files are not images themselves, but are merely containers of multiple bitmaps (or other form of images) that can be used by the Windows operating system as icons.

Mime Type:


How to open an .ico file

If you use Windows, you may use the following programs to open an .ico file:

  • IconEdit2
  • IvanView
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5
  • SibCode Sib Icon Editor
  • Program4Pc PC Icon Editor
  • ACDSee Photo Manager 2009
  • GIMP

If you use a Mac operating system, you may use the following programs to open an .ico file:

  • Newera Software IconCool Editor
  • GIMP
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5
  • Lemkesoft GraphicConverter

If you use Linux, you may use the following program to open an .ico file:

  • GIMP

Purpose of the favicon.ico file

The file favicon.ico stores a small website logo that appears in the address bar (left of the Web address) of a Web browser, such as Internet Explorer, when you load any page of the website.

For a Web browser to recognize the favicon.ico file, the following two things should be kept in mind:

  • The favicon.ico file must be 16X16 pixels in size.
  • The file must be stored in the root directory of the website.

Other applications recorded to use the .ico file extension are:

  • Sun Icon/Cursor
  • GIMP

I receive a file type error when I try to open an .ico file, what should I do?

A corrupt file is a common cause of file type errors. To fix the issue and view the contents of the .ico file, we recommend you use the FileCure tool. This is an excellent file extension repair program that detects and fixes corrupt file types and damaged file openers on a Windows system.