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Microsoft finally ditching its Windows 95-era icons


Microsoft is finally ready to refresh its Windows 95 era icons. As part of a “total visual rejuvenation” planned for later this year, the software giant has been slowly improving the icons it uses in Windows 10. As early as March, we saw many new system icons, including new file explorers, folders, recycle bins, disk drive icons, etc.

Microsoft is now planning to refresh the icons from the Windows 95 era, and you will sometimes still encounter these icons in Windows 10.

Windows Latest has discovered the hibernation mode, network, memory, floppy drive, and more new icons in the Windows 10 preview version, which are part of the shell32.dll file.

This DLL is an important part of the Windows Shell. It displays the icons in various dialog boxes throughout the operating system. This is also an important reason why Windows icons have been so inconsistent for many years.


Microsoft usually only modernizes other parts of the operating system for older applications, so that you can enter a dialog box with Windows 95-era icons in shell32.dll.

Hope this also means that Windows will never ask you to provide a floppy drive when you dive into Device Manager to update drivers. More than ten years have passed since the era of Windows and these ancient icons.

All of these efforts to improve Windows consistency are part of Microsoft’s design reforms for Windows 10, code-named Sun Valley.

The visual changes are expected to appear in the Windows 10 21H2 update, which should be released in October. Microsoft has not officially detailed its work at Sun Valley, but a job list earlier this year mocked the “visual rejuvenation of Windows.”

So far, Microsoft has disclosed the new system icons of Windows 10, and the improvement of the file explorer icons, as well as more colorful Windows 10 icons that appeared last year.

In addition to changes to the built-in applications and “Start” menu, rounded corners will also be an important part of Sun Valley.

We look forward to hearing more about Sun Valley at the Microsoft Build conference later this month or as part of a special Windows news event.

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