Transparent background for icon image

Posted on 2009-02-24
Last Modified: 2013-11-13
Hi all,
How do you make a icon (.ico) file have a transparent background.  I'm using Visual Studio 2005 to make my windows form project.  I have created my icon with a transparent background in Macromedia Fireworks, and saved it as a .gif file.  Then I used an online converter to convert it to a .ico file.  However, when I load the .ico file to the form window I see a white background.  So the result is my icon looks like a white square with my symbol on it.  I see icons with transparent backgrounds on windows forms all over the place: IE7 and Visual Studio to name a few have is it done?
Question by:P1ST0LPETE
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    1. create the graphic you want to use... preferrably work on a 32 x 32 pixel image
    2. size it to 16 x 16 pixels
    3. change the color mode to indexed
    4. export it using the Gif89a plug-in or photoshop's built in "save for web" and make the background color your knockout color.
    5. save this file as a gif. then close the file
    6. re-open the file, and now, simply "Save As" and choose "windows icon, ico"... VOILA you have a transparent favicon.ico file
    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution


    I recommend IcoFX to create your icon file: (it's free)

    An icon file is actually made up of lots of images at different sizes (normally 16x16, 24x24, 32x32x and 48x48) and different colour resolutions.

    Save your image as a 32bit 48x48 pixel .png with transparency from Fireworks.

    Import this into IcoFX and follow the instructions to add all the other sizes, and export your .ico file.

    Hope this helps,


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