Stack OverflowWhere can one find free software icons / images?
[+597] [81] mmattax
[2008-09-26 14:41:24]
[ image free icons online-resources intellectual-property ]

This may not be directly related to programming, but I always find it hard to get quality icons that can be used for software.

I currently have the need for some type of "green checkmark image", and I always seem to be looking for print, save, delete types of icons...

Anybody have good resources?

Note: I rather not be stealing someone's intellectual property.

(4) My thanks also for the links. Very helpful. - pro3carp3
ups, I didn't see that post - Matías
It's no problem. cletus gives quite a few more links for you to browse through in his answer. - Bill the Lizard
(4) Must favorite this! ^^ - Arnis L.
There aren't many free image sites in the answers :( - user31273
(6) If you favorite it, at least +1 it :P - James Jones
(5) @James Jones: When I favorite something, I want to be kept up to date on its answers and comments, while upvoting is for good questions. While they do often go hand in hand, it needs not be so. - Jasper
Awesome resources man! Just plain awesome! - Anand S
[+211] [2008-09-26 14:42:26] Bill the Lizard


You can use Icon Finder [1] to search or browse through more than 100,000 icons.

Original answer:

I really like the Silk Icon [2] set. It's available under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Here are a few examples.

disk check :D print play link

Also see Silk Companion 1 [3], "fuelled by a need for a additional icons and variations in the same format."

Both of these sets are under Creative Commons [4] license, so attribution is required.


(1) I bookmarked that! thanks for sharing - Pablo Fernandez
Interesting. As I posted in another thread, there are more companion sets at - OregonGhost
Thanks for the link, it's immensely helpful! - kizzx2
Where do I find how to attribute them, cannot find "way specified by author": "Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work)." - Horst Walter
@Horst: The first Silk Icon set has the information. "All I ask is that you include a link back to this page in your credits (although a giant link on every page of your website really isn't needed, contact me to discuss specifics)." - Bill the Lizard
Obviously it is there somewhere on the page, I need to look closer. Thanks for the quick response.... - Horst Walter
+1 for mentioning Silk icon set - Kojotak
[+107] [2008-09-26 14:50:00] Sklivvz

I really like Crystal Icons [1]. They are LGPL so you can include them in commercial projects too, as long as they are dynamically linked.

Example of Crystal Icons


2001, Microsoft and Apple released the new versions of its operational systems. Linux, which was already a success in servers, was beginning to dawn as a desktop. I had tested some of the Linux distributions and was really impressed by them. The GUI’s Window Maker, which was similar to the Nextsteep and Gnome interfaces seemed fantastic.

But despite liking other interfaces, KDE was the one that really captivated me. Not as much by the visual, but for the functionality and the fact that it’s easy to use. The interface looked a lot like the MS Windows 98, which in my opinion was easier to use at the time as it was estheticacly problematic. It was in that context that I started to create the Crystal icon theme, which initially had the simple intention to give my Linux Desktop a compatible look with the graphics of the new Windows XP and MacOSX operation systems.

In the same year I was invited to join the marketing department of Conectiva SA, known today as Mandriva. Helio Castro, developer of the KDE and workmate, was the first one to show interest on the graphics and initially released some of my pieces on There and inside Conectiva as well, the icons had a great acceptance.

Later on the theme would be added to the official KDE.

Today Crystal Project icons are used in thousands of softwares, websites and other media throughout the world.

The set has many sizes (from 16x16 to 128x128) and I think you can also find the SVG versions.


(25) Please note that the LGPL forces you to load the icons at runtime from separate files. You are NOT allowed to link them into closed source binaries without breaking the license. - Mihai Limbășan
(34) The comment about not possible to link LGPL with closed source is wrong. The whole point of LGPL (compared to GPL) is to allow exactly that. From the wikipedia article: "The main difference between the GPL and the LGPL is that the latter can be linked to (in the case of a library, 'used by') a non-(L)GPLed program, regardless of whether it is free software or proprietary software." - hlovdal
@hlovdal That is the general idea. What I think Mihai was trying to relate, however, is that the linking has to be dynamic. This is especially a problem in the case of android apps, since they are combined into a single apk file, and the jar files are jumbled a DEX file for the entire app. The linking with other jars is therefore, in principle, not dynamic. The important point as far as I know is, that most people use the LGPL to in the way you state, and it is therefore very unlikely they'll sure anyone. Basically, if in doubt, ask the author of the LPGL'ed things. See - DuneCat
[+56] [2008-12-10 08:43:01] kgiannakakis

These are two links you may find useful:

Both of them are icon collections licensed under some sort of Creative Commons License and are suitable for commercial applications.


(2) Which Creative Commons license? The degree of freedom they give away and/or keep veries wildly with those licenses. It's important to state which one is used. - Joachim Sauer
(1) These are great, thank you. - Saul Dolgin
[+45] [2008-09-26 14:46:47] Patrick Desjardins



alt text

RealWorld Graphics Open Icon Library


(1) Icon Finder will be nice once they get more icons. - leek
I like the icons you used in your example for Web Resource Depot, but since you posted this a while ago, I had to dig through a few pages to find it. Here it is for anyone else looking for it: - Hooray Im Helping
[+40] [2009-04-15 14:37:27] Agnel Kurian
(4) +1 I love this site; amazing icons - Andreas Grech
Great icon sets. Thanks for the link. - scottmarlowe
Awesome page!Thank you for this link! - skiabox
[+34] [2008-12-10 10:37:59] Eugene Yokota

Crystal Clear icon set [1]. LGPL [2].

alt text

If you want more, see Freebies Round-Up: Icons, Buttons and Templates [3].


(2) Smashing Magazine prevents you from hotlinking; you might want to rehost that image. - Paul Fisher
(1) @Paul Fisher, thanks for debugging. - Eugene Yokota
[+30] [2009-04-21 13:36:40] Ronnie

[+29] [2008-10-06 16:22:57] Gustavo Rubio

I don't know if someone already mentioned it but there are the tango icons [1]

They are released under a Creative Commons license [2]


I love the tango icon set - Dan Beam
[+27] [2008-10-24 13:44:14] Kristopher Johnson
-1: Pointing to a duplicate topic. Duplicate topics should be closed and removed. - Robert MacLean
(13) So, trying to helpfully identify duplicates is behavior to be punished? I'll keep my mouth shut from now on, Mr. MacLean - Kristopher Johnson
(4) It's not even a duplicate: this question is about icons, the other about images in general. - Colin Pickard
(3) +1 to counter Robert MacLean's unwarranted downvote. - RichieHindle
@Robert: If this had not been a wiki, a sympathy up-vote gave Kristopher 8 reps. - Sung
[+25] [2008-10-24 14:12:24] Mitch Wheat

If you have Visual Studio 2005 installed, it installs a library of standard windows bitmaps, cursors and icons. You can find the zip file here: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\VS2005ImageLibrary\

(6) It's also available for Visual Studio 2008: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\VS2008ImageLibrary\1033\ - Anheledir
(1) Or for Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\VS2010ImageLibrary\1033 - Mohit Deshpande
[+18] [2011-03-06 18:34:57] SalmanPK

I <3 the Fugue Icons 3.0 [1] set. It includes 3000 nice looking icons (with PSD source). Licensed under CC BY 3.0 [2].

Fugue Icons 3.0

Click on the above image for a full preview ;)


(2) Fugue is the BEST icon set 16x16 I've ever seen in my life. - RHaguiuda
[+15] [2009-02-05 05:46:42] Ton

The Silk icon set from [1] is used by Mindtouch's [2] Dekiwiki.
Another one is Tango from FreeDesktop [3] and is used by Ubunutu for instance.

Both are licensed under CreativeCommons



[+15] [2011-03-06 23:15:54] Chris S.

There's 2000 free ones at Farm Fresh [1].

Farm fresh


[+14] [2008-09-26 15:16:38] micahwittman


The Open Clipart Gallery [1]
Drawing Together
This project aims to create an archive of user contributed clip art that can be freely used. All graphics submitted to the project should be placed into the Public Domain according to the statement by the Creative Commons. If you'd like to help out, please join the mailing list, and review the archives.


[+14] [2008-09-26 17:33:37] Charles Roper

[+13] [2008-12-19 10:36:12] frankodwyer

CC Attribution Share Alike license (some parts are public domain)

[+10] [2008-12-12 07:44:10] Ronald Conco
[+9] [2008-12-10 10:08:25] Eugene Yokota

Eclipse [1] has a nice set of icons and the Eclipse Public License [2] is business friendly. There used to be a private distribution of just the icons, but that link is gone. You could still download the source and look for icons folders. See org.eclipse.ui/icons/full/etool16/ [3] and org.eclipse.jdt.ui/icons/full/obj16/ [4] for example. alt text


[+9] [2008-12-13 03:53:36] John Sheehan

Fugue [1] (Creative Commons Attribution) $50 to remove the license


[+9] [2009-01-12 07:12:49] Paulius

There's iconfinder [1].

Each icon in there has it's own license, so I can't really state just one. But most of them are under LGPL [2] or a some variant of the CC [3] license. Before downloading any of the icons, you have to check it's license yourself.


[+8] [2008-09-26 14:45:53] Philip Morton

deviantArt [1] usually has quite a few.


(2) Most deviant art stuff is licensed. - Miguel Ping
Maybe for photos, but there are a number of free icon sets. - Philip Morton
[+8] [2008-10-09 08:11:19] Humanator

glyFX [1] is a great source for Windows XP and Vista style icons. Check out the free sets [2] that are available especially the XP and Vista common sets [3]


[+8] [2010-06-02 08:54:47] Igor Popov

You might want to check this post [1]. I listed some of the best icon search engines and icon catalogs.


[+7] [2008-10-06 16:06:09] ine

Definitely try out IconBuffet [1]. They have loads of free delivery sets. The Manhattan series is my favorite as far as icons for software use. Also, if you register Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition, you get hundreds of free IconBuffet stock icons for free. I'm not sure if this is still available, or whether they continued the offer with VS2008, but it was an awesome deal.

Here are is one example [2]:

alt text

Additionally, all the IconBuffet icons are liberally licensed [3]:

You may use the Product in your personal, commercial, and client projects, including advertising, web designs, software applications, on-line or multimedia projects, presentations, film, video, and computer games.

A personal note here: I would appreciate it if you signed up using my referral link [4].


Thank you - nice site. Signed up with your referral. - leek
[+7] [2008-10-06 16:08:51] ine

This blog has an extensive list of free icons, with descriptions of their license agreements:

[+7] [2008-12-10 08:45:54] littlegeek
(1) Unfortunately the Visual Studio icon set only comes with the non-Express versions of VS. - Dave R.
(1) Unfortunately "There’s a restriction on the use of the images or common elements that they must be used consistently with the definitions that are found in the readme in each folder." That makes them non-free in my book. - Joachim Sauer
[+6] [2009-06-07 05:17:14] Chi

Smashing magazine periodically releases high qualify free icons. Go to You'll have to read the description of each set, but most of them are free for both personal and commercial use

Sproutcore comes with some high quality icons, and the framework is under the very permissive MIT license. Even if you don't use the library, you should still be able to borrow its icons. See the icons tab under

[+4] [2009-06-22 05:51:02] Luke Lowrey

iconPot [1] has a pretty small collection of really good quality free icons.


[+3] [2008-09-26 14:47:22] Jordan Parmer

iconfinder [1] has a great search for GPL, GNU, and Creative Commons icons.


[+3] [2008-09-26 16:10:37] Jan Gressmann

For stockphotos: [1]
Tons of pictures and 90% of them are free for commercial use.

Also, on Flickr's Advanced Search [2] you can search for images, that are under CreativeCommons and free for commercial use.


SXC is a great resource, or at least it was when I used it years ago. I know the TOS and Privacy Policy have changed, so surfer beware. - Abyss Knight
SXC was sold to Now the prices are much higher and do not offer smaller sizes for icons. Too bad because it was a very good and cheap site. - Eduardo Molteni
[+3] [2008-10-24 14:31:54] asterite
[+2] [2008-09-27 17:30:52] Clay Nichols

What I've found helpful is to combine professionally drawn icons using Axialis Icon Workshop:

It's not free, but it's inexpensive and get lifetime upgrades (and there's a 30 day free trial.) And it comes with lots of icons in it's own library. And you can easily combine icons (e.g., combine a "not" sign and microphone for a mute symbol, etc.). I combined a talking bubble and a stopwatch for our program "speechpacer"

I have no relationship w/ the company other than being a very satisfied customer.

-1: The question was for resources not tools. - Robert MacLean
Axialis comes with 100s (maybe thousands) of icons. - Clay Nichols
[+2] [2008-11-04 00:33:03] Kyle Trauberman

I found this on Digg [1]:


[+2] [2008-11-06 21:48:16] Duncan
[+2] [2008-12-10 20:19:49] rich

I've used some icons from dryicons [1].


(1) The aren't completely free either: They can be used free of charge, but still have rather limiting licensing terms (except when you pay for them). - Joachim Sauer
(1) After reading the commercial terms, I'll have to say that they are still terrible. Even if you buy the most expensive license, the terms are still pretty restrictive. - Joachim Sauer
You probably mean 'terrific' not 'terrible' :-) - Renaud Bompuis
Agreeing with Renaud, the terms look pretty good. "Free = with attribution", "Affordable price = no attribution requirement", "A little more expensive price = usable in software packages but not for simple resell". Seems to cover all bases... - Farray
[+2] [2009-01-12 07:06:15] pfctdayelise

Wikimedia Commons [1] contains a number of icon sets available under free licenses (allowed to create derivative works, and allowed to use for commercial use). The license may be public domain, GPL, LGPL, CC-BY or CC-BY-SA, but the license for each is clearly stated on the image page.

Have a bit of a browse around... there is a lot of stuff there, but sometimes it 's not easy to find.


Great source. Note PNG's and SVG's can be readily converted into icons (using XnView for example) - ohadsc
[+2] [2009-01-12 07:46:42] thenonhacker has a category for icons:

[+2] [2009-01-12 08:38:08] furtelwart Huge collection of user generated icons and graphics. CC, LGPL, GPL, PD, whatever [1] Free vector art, more art than icons or buttons, CC, GPL, PD


[+2] [2009-01-12 08:44:43] mcaaltuntas

deviantART OS Icons [1]


[+2] [2009-03-07 00:56:48] Martin Janiczek

You can try Googling, or look at my favorite "resource-site" :)

Scroll down, in right sidebar (it's alphabetically sorted) you'll find Icon Sets 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. That might be what you need.

Edit: of course, if you wouldn't find it in Icon Sets, there's plenty of another categories ...

Or ... look at . Silk Icons are beautiful (and small) :)

[+2] [2009-05-31 12:25:03] Magnus

50 of the Best Ever Web Development, Design and Application Icon Sets

[+2] [2009-06-10 15:32:13] daeltar

Siena (free for both personal and commercial use if RSS subscriber)

[+2] [2010-06-26 23:19:28] harpo

Am I the only one who uses interfacelift [1]?


[+2] [2011-10-06 11:03:12] user714965

Here is another site with free icons:

[+1] [2008-09-26 14:45:10] is a GREAT resource for amazing icons!!

Its currently down right now, but when it comes back up, search for Icons in the search bar.

EDIT: Search for web 2.0 on the site.

[+1] [2008-09-26 14:46:27] ZombieSheep

IconBuffet [1]?


[+1] [2008-09-26 14:55:31] Pokus

BlueSphere Icon [1]


[+1] [2008-09-27 17:15:14] David Schmitt [1] has a big collection of free 256x256 icons. I've used them for a small project of mine and they look really good.


[+1] [2008-10-11 16:40:07] leek
[+1] [2008-10-24 13:05:55] Binny V A

Browse through linux icon sets [1]. Some great stuff can be found there - and they are almost always available in GPL or LGPL license.

KDE Icons [2]

Gnome Icons [3]


[+1] [2009-02-05 05:36:14] SD.

Try [1]



[+1] [2009-02-05 05:36:46] benPearce
[+1] [2009-02-05 05:36:52] Alex Wayne

Here is a large set of creative commons licensed icons [1] of various tyes and styles that I stumbled onto recently.


[+1] [2009-02-05 05:56:27] David HAust

Check out:


[+1] [2009-03-12 23:05:22] X-Istence

I have been watching the Picol [1] icon set to see what happens, and where it goes. It looks interesting and is available for free. They have an online Icon library [2] to peruse the icons they currently already have available!


[+1] [2009-04-07 20:49:38] Picflight

I use [1].

Iconfinder provides high quality icons for webdesigners and developers in an easy and efficient way. The site launched in 2007 as the first search engine focused on icons.

The target audience is webdesigners and developers, but the icons are also used to style desktop or in presentations and reports...


[+1] [2009-04-15 14:16:42] Steve Claridge

Smashing Magazine [1] has regular free icon/vector/fonts postings - and a bunch of other cool stuff besides.


[+1] [2009-04-15 14:49:34] KenB
[+1] [2010-02-10 19:44:37] Chris H [1] [2]

Basically these are themes for both desktops. There are TONS of themes and each theme has many icons of many applications. There are also cursor themes etc. Be sure to check out the gtk themes as well. they are mostly GPL'd.


[+1] [2010-05-30 15:50:25] Igor Popov

The best site I found that offers free icons is

[+1] [2011-06-05 19:43:23] Chanok also has some png icons

[+1] [2011-08-05 06:07:50] akjoshi

Eggheadcafe have recently launched following set of Vista and Win7 free icon collections -

Vista Ecommerce Icons

Vista Application Icons

Vista Software Icons

Vista Database Icons

Windows 7 Theme Icons

Web Development Icons

Windows 7 Business Icons

Windows 7 Theme Icons

DataGrid Icons

Elite TreeView Icons

[+1] [2011-08-14 07:31:34] mikhailov

If you use jQuery UI library to reduce number of different resources (css, js) to provide tabs, datepicker colorpicker, slider, progressbar functionality, you may have found useful UI icons combined in CSS sprite for another UI elements across a website:

jQuery UI sprite

[+1] [2011-08-15 02:11:02] mattruma

Here is a list of all my icon links, some for free and some for pay:

Needless to say ... I like looking at icons!

Another great site (Aug 30, 09) ...


[+1] [2011-09-29 18:47:44] Aaron Gray [1] - very good free icon search engine.

enter image description here


[0] [2008-09-26 17:10:18] Joe Pineda

I'd like to post this as a comment, though I'm not capable (yet) to do so, so I post this pseudo-answer.

Could you please reformulate your question, avoiding usage of the word "free"? What exactly do you want?

  • Cost-less images you can pick up? Beware: the author may have explicitely said in the license "free for non commercial use" or the like!
  • Or images/icons created under a permissive license that allow you to use such images everywhere?

[0] [2008-12-07 05:54:11] ine
[0] [2008-12-12 07:19:59] private

Images under LGPL: [1]


NUVOLA is an SVG based icon theme. This mean that all icons where designed with a vector graphics application and SVG files are available. Icons of the KDE version of Nuvola are PNG images (unscalable). SVG files are available at from the day 15 may 2004.


Graphics from both links above are released under GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) which means that you can use it even in Commercial Software.


[0] [2009-02-05 05:39:47] David Anderson [1] [2] (you can download samples, read their license)


[0] [2009-02-05 06:21:10] Jens Roland

Recently Dugg: 50 of the best Web and App icon sets [1]


[0] [2009-02-05 06:41:21] dfuse

Leverage other people's knowledge of sites using delicious [1].


[0] [2009-03-06 02:33:32] orj

See also: Silk Companion Icons [1].


[0] [2009-04-15 14:56:10] User

If you are in Microsoft domain your first source for imagery would be the Visual Studio 2008 Image Library.

As you can see in Visual Studio 2008 Product Comparison Guide [1]

the library is available in Standard Edition and higher.

It is located in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\VS2008ImageLibrary

The icons are typical for desktop applications but I've made experience they look sweet on web pages too.


(1) How does the license work? Can you give them to a friend? I've never understood these bundled icon sets. - Yar
(1) I suppose it's defined by the licence. AA licence does not allow for commercial use of MS software, so you can't use either VS itself or its icons in commercial projects or work. If you've bought a full version of VS then you supposedly can use them in commercial work as well. As for give them to a friend... well... I don't know, but probably not. BTW, why don't just read the licence text? It should be in plain English, isn't it? - User
[0] [2009-05-19 04:15:36] dj maniac (free and commercial)

[0] [2009-09-26 23:24:42] Paul Tarjan

If you need filetype icons you can try .

(Disclaimer: I built it)

[0] [2009-10-12 14:16:03] tbreffni

I have used before and they have a small but good set of free icon packs that target websites. They have specialized packs for social media, payments, etc.

[0] [2009-11-12 16:56:15] Darran Morris

I have 64 free iPhone tab bar icons [1] available on


[0] [2010-01-19 00:42:33] dfens

I'm using there are many free great icons in good quality and web 2.0 style (free of course)

[0] [2010-03-27 19:41:36] tomp

Iconza [1]

Customizable icons for your web site. Totally free. Change size, colours, background and download.


[0] [2010-05-20 12:25:35] RHaguiuda

Try IconArchiver [1] and We Love Icons [2]. These sites have really good icons.


[0] [2010-06-26 23:02:20] Lukasz Dziedzia
That one is already in a comment on an answer with the most upvotes. ;) - Marcel Korpel
@Marcel where exactly? - Lukasz Dziedzia
+1, very good icons and can easily be combined with the silk set. @Marcel It's not the silk collection if that's what you mean. - Diadistis
@Diadistis and Dzida: it's in the second comment on this answer, but I admit it's not that easy to spot, as that comment links to the previous page that contained this set (at - Marcel Korpel
@Marcel: Indeed but I believe it deserves it's own answer, very good set + PSD sources available :) - Diadistis