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.ICO File Extension

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File TypeIcon File

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Rare Uncommon Average Common Very Common
CategorySystem Files


This file is saved in a binary format, which requires a specific program to read its contents.

What is an ICO file?

An ICO file is an image format used to store icons for Windows programs, files, and folders. It contains two bitmaps: 1) the AND bitmap - the image mask (which determines what part of the icon is transparent) and 2) the XOR bitmap - contains the icon which is mapped onto the image mask. ICO files can be modified to create custom icons.

More Information

The "favicon.ico" file is used to store a small website logo that appears in the address bar of a Web browser. If a website has a favion.ico image, it will appear to the left of the Web address when any page of the website is loaded. The favicon.ico image file must be 16x16 pixels and stored in the root directory of the website in order for the Web browser to recognize it.

An ICO file is similar to a Windows cursor (.CUR) file, but has a different identification byte in the header.

Common ICO Filenames

favicon.ico - A 16x16 pixel .PNG file located in the root directory of a website and containing a small icon graphic to be displayed in the Web browser's address bar.

Programs that open ICO files
File Viewer Plus
Axialis IconWorkshop
Newera IconCool Editor
ACD Systems ACDSee 18
SibCode Sib Icon Editor
Program4Pc PC Icon Editor
Apple Preview
Lemkesoft GraphicConverter
Snap Converter
File Viewer for Android
Updated 5/18/2016

FileInfo - The File Extensions Database

This page contains information about the .ICO extension and its known file associations. Our goal is to help you understand what an ICO file is and how to open it.

The Icon file type, file format description, and programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and therefore do not publish any information we have not verified.

If you would like to suggest any additions or updates to this page, please let us know!