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.

+116  A: 


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

Original answer:

I really like the Silk Icon 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, "fuelled by a need for a additional icons and variations in the same format."

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

Bill the Lizard
I bookmarked that! thanks for sharing
Pablo Fernandez
Interesting. As I posted in another thread, there are more companion sets at
Thanks for the link, it's immensely helpful!
A: 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.

+6  A: 

deviantArt usually has quite a few.

Philip Morton
Most deviant art stuff is licensed.
Miguel Ping
Maybe for photos, but there are a number of free icon sets.
Philip Morton
+1  A: 


+29  A: 
Icon Finder will be nice once they get more icons.
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
+1  A: 

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

+68  A: 
Very Classy! I like it
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
Also one of my favorites :)
Jesper Rønn-Jensen
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."

BlueSphere Icon

+6  A: 
+2  A: 

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

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

Jan Gressmann
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

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?
Joe Pineda
+8  A: 
Charles Roper
+1  A: has a big collection of free 256x256 icons. I've used them for a small project of mine and they look really good.

David Schmitt
+1  A: 

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.

Clay Nichols
-1: The question was for resources not tools.
Robert MacLean
Axialis comes with 100s (maybe thousands) of icons.
Clay Nichols
+2  A: 
Thank you - nice site. Signed up with your referral.
+5  A: 

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

+22  A: 

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

They are released under a Creative Commons license

Gustavo Rubio
I love the tango icon set
Dan Beam
+4  A: 

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

+1  A: 

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

KDE Icons

Gnome Icons

Binny V A
+13  A: 

See also

Kristopher Johnson
-1: Pointing to a duplicate topic. Duplicate topics should be closed and removed.
Robert MacLean
So, trying to helpfully identify duplicates is behavior to be punished? I'll keep my mouth shut from now on, Mr. MacLean
Kristopher Johnson
It's not even a duplicate: this question is about icons, the other about images in general.
Colin Pickard
+1 to counter Robert MacLean's unwarranted downvote.
@Robert: If this had not been a wiki, a sympathy up-vote gave Kristopher 8 reps.
Sung Meister
+19  A: 

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\

Mitch Wheat
It's also available for Visual Studio 2008: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\VS2008ImageLibrary\1033\
Or for Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\VS2010ImageLibrary\1033
Mohit Deshpande
+2  A: 

Nuvola is pretty good:

Some samples:

+2  A:


I also found these:

+38  A: 

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.

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
These are great, thank you.
Saul Dolgin
+5  A: 

this is available if you use Visual Studio - i think the express version may come with too

Unfortunately the Visual Studio icon set only comes with the non-Express versions of VS.
Dave R.
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  A: 
+19  A: 
Smashing Magazine prevents you from hotlinking; you might want to rehost that image.
Paul Fisher
@Paul Fisher, thanks for debugging.
+2  A: 

I've used some icons from dryicons.

The aren't completely free either: can be used free of charge, but still have rather limiting licensing terms (except when you pay for them).
Joachim Sauer
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...
J. Farray

Images under LGPL:


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.

+5  A: 

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

John Sheehan
+7  A:

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

+2  A: 

Wikimedia Commons 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)
+6  A: 

There's iconfinder.

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

Paulius Maruška
+1  A: has a category for icons:

+1  A: Huge collection of user generated icons and graphics. CC, LGPL, GPL, PD, whatever Free vector art, more art than icons or buttons, CC, GPL, PD

+2  A: 

deviantART OS Icons

+1  A: 




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

A: (you can download samples, read their license)

David Anderson
+8  A: 

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

Both are licensed under CreativeCommons


+1  A: 

Check out:

David HAust

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

Jens Roland

Leverage other people's knowledge of sites using delicious.


See also: Silk Companion Icons.

+1  A: 

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


I use

+1  A: 

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

Steve Claridge
+21  A: 
Vulcan Eager
+1 I love this site; amazing icons
Andreas Grech
Great icon sets. Thanks for the link.
+1  A:


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

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.

How does the license work? Can you give them to a friend? I've never understood these bundled icon sets.
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?
A: (free and commercial)

+1  A: 

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

Magnus Johansson
+2  A: 

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

+2  A: 

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

+2  A: 

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

Luke Lowrey

If you need filetype icons you can try .

(Disclaimer: I built it)

Paul Tarjan

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.


I have 64 free iPhone tab bar icons available on

Darran Morris

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

+1  A:

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.

Chris H


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


Try IconArchiver and We Love Icons. These sites have really good icons.


The best site I found that offers free icons is

Igor Popov
+5  A: 

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

Igor Popov
+1  A: 

I use those:

Lukasz Dziedzia
That one is already in a comment on an [answer with the most upvotes]( ;)
Marcel Korpel
@Marcel where exactly?
Lukasz Dziedzia
@Dzida +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 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 :)
+1  A: 

Am I the only one who uses interfacelift?

+1  A: 

remember that most of the icons listed here are under some license. most license does not allow you to use them in commercial products except you buy a license. make sure you contact the owners before using in commercial software

This is a comment really, now an answer - you should put it as a comment and not as an answer