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SHGetFileInfo (shell32)

C# Signatures:

[DllImport("shell32.dll", CharSet=CharSet.Auto)]
public static extern IntPtr SHGetFileInfo(string pszPath, uint dwFileAttributes, ref SHFILEINFO psfi, uint cbFileInfo, uint uFlags);

VB Signature:

<DllImport("shell32.dll", CharSet:=CharSet.Auto)> _
Function SHGetFileInfo _
     (ByVal pszPath As String, _
      ByVal dwFileAttributes As Integer, _
      ByRef psfi As SHFILEINFO, _
      ByVal cbFileInfo As Integer, _
      ByVal uFlags As Integer) As IntPtr
End Function

User-Defined Types:

[StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential, CharSet=CharSet.Auto)]
public struct SHFILEINFO
     public IntPtr hIcon;
     public int iIcon;
     public uint dwAttributes;
     [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.ByValTStr, SizeConst = 260)]
     public string szDisplayName;
     [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.ByValTStr, SizeConst = 80)]
     public string szTypeName;



Tips & Tricks:

Please add some!

For a whole winform sample of Displayname see http://Dzaebel.NET/ShGetFileInfo.htm

Sample Code:

    // Modified

    using System;
    using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
    using System.Drawing;

    /// <summary> Summary description for ExtractIcon.</summary>
    public class ExtractIcon
    [DllImport("shell32.dll", CharSet=CharSet.Auto)]
    private static extern int  SHGetFileInfo(
      string pszPath     ,
      int    dwFileAttributes,
      out    SHFILEINFO psfi ,
      uint   cbfileInfo      ,
      SHGFI  uFlags );

    /// <summary>Maximal Length of unmanaged Windows-Path-strings</summary>
    private const int MAX_PATH = 260;
    /// <summary>Maximal Length of unmanaged Typename</summary>
    private const int MAX_TYPE = 80 ;

    [StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential, CharSet=CharSet.Auto)]
    private struct SHFILEINFO
      public SHFILEINFO(bool b)
      public IntPtr hIcon;
      public int iIcon;
      public uint dwAttributes;
      [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.ByValTStr, SizeConst=MAX_PATH)]
      public string szDisplayName;
      [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.ByValTStr, SizeConst=MAX_TYPE)]
      public string szTypeName;

    private ExtractIcon()

    enum SHGFI : int
      /// <summary>get icon</summary>
      Icon         = 0x000000100,  
      /// <summary>get display name</summary>
      DisplayName      = 0x000000200,
      /// <summary>get type name</summary>
      TypeName     = 0x000000400,
      /// <summary>get attributes</summary>
      Attributes       = 0x000000800,
      /// <summary>get icon location</summary>
      IconLocation     = 0x000001000,  
      /// <summary>return exe type</summary>
      ExeType      = 0x000002000,  
      /// <summary>get system icon index</summary>
      SysIconIndex     = 0x000004000,  
      /// <summary>put a link overlay on icon</summary>
      LinkOverlay      = 0x000008000,  
      /// <summary>show icon in selected state</summary>
      Selected     = 0x000010000,  
      /// <summary>get only specified attributes</summary>
      Attr_Specified   = 0x000020000,  
      /// <summary>get large icon</summary>
      LargeIcon    = 0x000000000,  
      /// <summary>get small icon</summary>
      SmallIcon    = 0x000000001,  
      /// <summary>get open icon</summary>
      OpenIcon     = 0x000000002,  
      /// <summary>get shell size icon</summary>
      ShellIconSize     = 0x000000004,  
      /// <summary>pszPath is a pidl</summary>
      PIDL         = 0x000000008,  
      /// <summary>use passed dwFileAttribute</summary>
      UseFileAttributes= 0x000000010,  
      /// <summary>apply the appropriate overlays</summary>
      AddOverlays      = 0x000000020,  
      /// <summary>Get the index of the overlay in the upper 8 bits of the iIcon</summary>
      OverlayIndex     = 0x000000040,  

    /// <summary>
    /// Get the associated Icon for a file or application, this method always returns
    /// an icon.  If the strPath is invalid or there is no idonc the default icon is returned
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="strPath">full path to the file</param>
    /// <param name="bSmall">if true, the 16x16 icon is returned otherwise the 32x32</param>
    /// <returns></returns>
    public static Icon GetIcon(string strPath, bool bSmall)
        SHFILEINFO info = new SHFILEINFO(true);
        int cbFileInfo = Marshal.SizeOf(info);
        SHGFI flags;
        if (bSmall)
        flags = SHGFI.Icon|SHGFI.SmallIcon|SHGFI.UseFileAttributes;
        flags = SHGFI.Icon|SHGFI.LargeIcon|SHGFI.UseFileAttributes;

        SHGetFileInfo(strPath, 256, out info,(uint)cbFileInfo, flags);
        return Icon.FromHandle(info.hIcon);

Alternative Managed API #1:

    /// <summary>
    /// Summary description for ShellIcon.  Get a small or large Icon with an easy C# function call
    /// that returns a 32x32 or 16x16 System.Drawing.Icon depending on which function you call
    /// either GetSmallIcon(string fileName) or GetLargeIcon(string fileName)
    /// </summary>
    public static class ShellIcon
    public struct SHFILEINFO
        public IntPtr hIcon;
        public IntPtr iIcon;
        public uint dwAttributes;
        [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.ByValTStr, SizeConst = 260)]
        public string szDisplayName;
        [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.ByValTStr, SizeConst = 80)]
        public string szTypeName;

    class Win32
        public const uint SHGFI_ICON = 0x100;
        public const uint SHGFI_LARGEICON = 0x0; // 'Large icon
        public const uint SHGFI_SMALLICON = 0x1; // 'Small icon

        public static extern IntPtr SHGetFileInfo(string pszPath, uint dwFileAttributes, ref SHFILEINFO psfi, uint cbSizeFileInfo, uint uFlags);

        public static extern int DestroyIcon(IntPtr hIcon);


    static ShellIcon()


    public static Icon GetSmallIcon(string fileName)
        return GetIcon(fileName, Win32.SHGFI_SMALLICON);

    public static Icon GetLargeIcon(string fileName)
        return GetIcon(fileName, Win32.SHGFI_LARGEICON);

    private static Icon GetIcon(string fileName, uint flags)
        SHFILEINFO shinfo = new SHFILEINFO();
        IntPtr hImgSmall = Win32.SHGetFileInfo(fileName, 0, ref shinfo, (uint)Marshal.SizeOf(shinfo), Win32.SHGFI_ICON | flags);

        Icon icon = (Icon)System.Drawing.Icon.FromHandle(shinfo.hIcon).Clone();
        return icon;

Alternative Managed API:

Do you know one? Please contribute it!

If you only want to get the icon you can use managed System.Drawing.Icon.ExtractAssociatedIcon(String file)

However, this does not work if you want an icon of a drive or folder. In that case, you can use the ExtendedFileInfo class provided by the ManagedWindowsApi project (

Please note also that it returns a 32x32 icon with the default (lowest) resolution, which is resized by Windows if you display it as 16x16, the result being that it looks horrible.


A good sample of using this (with resource leek)

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