Every copy of Windows comes with a file named MORICONS.DLL which was first distributed with Windows 3.0. As far as I know, this file has not been changed since Windows 3.0. Some of the icons include:

  • Borland C++
  • Kid Pix
  • Quicken
  • All the Lotus products available at the time (Freelance Graphics, cc:Mail, 1-2-3, Magellan)
  • Gazelle Q-DOS (the blue, file tree-looking icon. It's a directory manager program)
  • Over a dozen WordPerfect-related icons
  • FoxPro
  • Borland Sidekick
  • Paradox 4.0

However, there are some I only vaguely recognize:

  • Another Gazelle product: Back-It or OPTune?
  • Two other directory managers
  • A Digital product related to X-Windows
  • An XcelleNet product
  • An shaded icon with the letters "ADOS" on it -- possibly a predecessor to OS/2?
  • Several different variations of extremely '90s-looking abstract squiggles
  • Other completely mysterious icons, many proclaiming themselves to be Microsoft products for DOS

If anyone can provide more details on any of these icons, please let me know. You can check your own copy of Windows for the MORICONS.DLL file.

  • 2
    I guess whoever invented that name does not know the word maricon...as a teen it was a running joke. – Rui F Ribeiro Jun 11 at 7:04
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    @Rui not everyone speaks Spanish ;-). – Stephen Kitt Jun 11 at 7:26
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    @RuiFRibeiro it's an unfortunate artifact of the 8.3 filename restrictions from DOS days. They couldn't call it MOREICONS.DLL because that'd be 9 characters, and MOREICON.DLL is weird because the icons are definitely plural. Perhaps a better contraction (which generally is accomplished by omitting vowels) would've been MOREICNS.DLL... – Doktor J Jun 11 at 15:11
up vote 36 down vote accepted

You’ll find the mappings for these icons in SYSTEM\APPS.INF in Windows 3; this is the file which is used by Windows Setup to detect pre-existing DOS applications on the system, and set up icons for them in Program Manager. Look for “moricons.dll” and the index of the icon you’re interested in.

For example the ADOS icon, index 101, corresponds to Access for DOS.

I wrote a short python script that extracted the icons, matched them with entries from APPS.INF and generated an HTML file. Some entries were missing, so I entered them manually, except for the generic MS-DOS icons which I marked as "(no entry)". One icon was blank. You can find my moricons.py script on GitHub.

enter image description here

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Chenmunka Jun 14 at 18:36
  • What's with that Wonky MS-DOS icon? I saw that logo as a child when I found Kid Pix stopped working for some reason. I just assumed something had gone and corrupted the executable and the icon. – Wilson Aug 28 at 8:31
  • @Wilson Which one? – isanae Aug 28 at 16:39
  • The second one from the left, on the first row. – Wilson Aug 29 at 6:42
  • @Wilson That's the MS-DOS logo. – isanae Aug 29 at 18:19

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