Resource (Windows)

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In Microsoft Windows, resources are read-only data embedded in portable executable files like .exe, DLL, CPL, SCR, SYS or (beginning with Windows Vista) MUI files.[1][2][3]

The Windows API provides for easy access to all applications resources.


Each resource has a type and a name, both being either numeric identifiers or strings.

Windows has a set of predefined resource types:

The programmer can also define custom data types in resources.


The icon that Windows displays for a program file is actually the first icon resource in its EXE file. If the EXE file has no icon resources, a standard icon is displayed.

The version resource for EXE and DLL files is displayed in the Version tab of their property pages.

Resources always have a language attached to them, and Windows will automatically use the most fitting language if possible. This allows for programs adapting their language to the locale of the user.

Editors are available that can modify resources embedded in EXE or DLL files. These are typically used to translate all strings of an application to another language, or to modify its icons and bitmaps accordingly.

Resource software[edit]

Name License x64 support Vista MUI aware RES/RC support Resource update In-place editing
Anolis Resourcer GPL Yes Yes RES only Yes No
DeDe Freeware No No No No No
GoRC Freeware Yes Strictly
MultiExtractor Shareware No No No No No
Visual Studio Shareware Yes No Yes Yes Yes
ResEdit Freeware Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Resource Builder Shareware Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Resource Hacker Freeware Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Resource Tuner Shareware Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes
Resource Tuner Console Shareware Yes Yes ? Yes
Restorator Shareware Yes No No Yes No
XN Resource Editor MPL with freeware components No No Partial Yes Yes


  1. ^ "About Resource Files". Microsoft. Retrieved 24 Feb 2014.
  2. ^ "Resource Types". Microsoft. Retrieved 24 Feb 2014.
  3. ^ "Windows Resource Files". Microsoft. Retrieved 24 Feb 2014.

External links[edit]