Icons For Your Desktop and Icons For Your Web Designs


The value of icons lies in their ability to communicate with visitors or users in a more intuitive and effective way. Jakob Nielsen, the maestro of usability, postulated few years ago1 that “recognition rather than recall” is one of the basic heuristics for user-friendly design. In fact, it’s necessary to “minimize the user’s memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. The user should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to another. Instructions for use of the system should be visible or easily retrievable whenever appropriate.”

Icons are supposed to achieve just that. And this is why it’s useful to actually use them both on your desktop and in your web design. They can reduce the complexity of the design and make it easier to get from point A to point B.

In the overview below we present some of the fresh high-quality free icons which you can use for your desktop; we also showcase free professional icon sets, buttons and vector graphics you can use for your web designs. You might know some of them, but hopefully not all of them. Not all listed freebies can be used for commercial projects, however you can use all of them in your private projects of for you personal purposes. Please read the disclaimers carefully before using the icons – they’re changing from time to time.

You can also scan through the icons-related articles we’ve published before:

Icons for Your Desktop and Design

Air Mail Icons5
A replacement icon for Apple Mail or any other Mail application. An old school Air Mail Envelope for that ‘old worldish’ quality that seems to have been forgotten in our inbox filled, electronicly busy everyday lives. 32x32px – 512×512 px icon for Mac and PC.


Camera Icon
Replacement icon for Iphoto, Aperture or any other photo application. 2 icons included: a colorful lens for the frivolous and a sligthly more down to earth version. Mac & PC icons + PNG’s bundled.


File Icons7
Includes a total of 100 PNGs and 100 Icons.


iZ3 Icons9
The package contains 20 different icons for Windows XP & Vista, 7 different colors, 256×256 Pixel PNG previews, 256×256 ico formats for XP & Vista.


iLeopard Icons Pack
Special edition of iLeopard Icons Pack series. All Leopard icons available in 512*512 pixels with 96 dpi.


White Leopard Icons11, Black Leopard Icons12
This icon set for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) contains 19 folder icons in both .icns- and .png-format (128×128 and 512x512px). Every folder icon (such as applications, music, movies etc.) will be replaced by adding these icons to your system.


Vista Style Ultimate IconPackager15
Includes new gray folders, updated Vista Sounds, and also new file icons. 19.7 Mb.


Safari Icon17
This is a Pith Helmet for a real Safari user! Leopard ready, Jungle ready!


BlackAqua Safari Icon19
Icns, png and ico – max 256x256px.


Camino Icons21
A few icons for the Mac OSX super browser Camino, 5 colors and a retro look for your favorite browser.


7 icons in various sizes. For Mac and Windows.


Square Compass25
128px, 256px and 512px in .png.


iTweek’s icon sets27
A small selection of nice icon sets, among them the Skype icon, Ipod Nano and the Graphic Converter.


Apple Various Pack
A number of Apple icons bundled in a one single package.


Web Design Icons

Email Me Icons30
This icon set contains 11 icons in sizes 32×32 px, 48x48px, 128x128px, in .png format.

Screenshot - Freebies31

Jonas Rask’s Icons
Over 20 outstanding free icon sets for Win and Mac.


Rounder Icons32
43 rounded 128×128 .png-icons.

Screenshot - Freebies33

Aesthetica Icon Set34
“Aesthetica” Icon Set was created to lend visual excitement to your projects. This set is fresh, stylish and modern, all mixed up in the perfect proportions. This set contains the following icons in 32-bit transparency PNG and Photoshop’s PSD.


Orb Icon Set36
Inspirational icons.


WYSIWYG Sapphire Icons39
This icon set, as the name indicates, can find its use wherever you might need WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing or similar actions in your applications. The WYSIWYG Sapphire Icon Set is a part of the DryIcons’ WYSIWYG sequence icon sets, the name is inspired by its specific tone colors giving it an unique ‘sapphire’ look.


Iconbase’s selection41
A growing selection of high quality icons for Windows and/or Mac.


Project Folders pack46
Project Folders Icons Pack set includes 4 PNG icons for Windows (XP and Vista).


Free RSS Feed Icons48
We’ve covered dozens of RSS-Icons sets49 recently, however there are some sets we’ve missed. This one comes in 6 colors

Social Button50

More social icons
12 icons. PNG. Spanish.


51 RSS Button For Your Blog
Even more RSS-buttons & icons.


Social Bookmarks Iconset 251
This set includes icons for Furl, Windows live, Blinklist, Blogger, Lifelogger etc. All icons are sized to 64*64 in PNG format and it’s great to use them on your website or blog.


Social Web Buttons – Set 153
20 Buttons released under a Creative Commons License

Social Button54
Social Button55
Social Button56
Social Button57

Ganato Free Icons58
Free PSD Icons (24 icon sets), among them a home set, plugin set, monitor set, application set, chart set and many more.

Screenshot - Freebies59

Web 2.0 Vector Icons-160 and Web 2.0 Vector Icons-261
Vector icons in one single .EPS-file. Very unfriendly download via rapidshare or depositfiles. these services are annoying.


Free Icons for Web & Application Interface Systems63
140 PNG all free Icons. Icons come in 4 sizes. Here is a preview64. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.


20 Free Sunny Buttons66
There is also a .PSD source.

Social Button67

Plastic Baggies Icons68


Blog-Micro-Buttons 71
80×15 pixels in 2 styles.

Social Button72

150 icons mainly intended for developers. 32×32 pixel. Free for personal use or non profit organisations.

Social Button

Overall 400 mini icons (10×10 and 16×16) are available in the set of Set von Dapino73. The icons can be used royalty-free by Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license for any personal or commercial projects. PNG format.


Firefox Icons Packs75
A collection of icons related to various Firefox-project. In most cases the quality is much better than you might think at the first glance. Experimental designs are also available.


Ben has some free vector musical instruments79.

Screenshot - Freebies80

The same theme from Spoon Graphics: Live Music81.

Screenshot - Freebies82

Some clouds83. Look out for more stuff84.

Screenshot - Freebies85

40 Vector Icons for Apple Products86
So here is something to keep you ticking over: a sample of vector icons of all your favourite (or perhaps most hated) Apple products, from iPods and iPhone to iMacs and the Apple Remote.

Screenshot - Freebies87

Dancing Girls88
Vector silhouettes of dancing ladies (*.eps).

Screenshot - Freebies89

Random Free Vectors – Part 13: Stars90
EPS or SVG from Bittbox.

Screenshot - Freebies91

Paper Doc Icons92
11 paper doc .icon & transparent .png 128 x 128 px


Leopard Dock Designs94
Download your Apple Leopard dock design. There are 110+ design at this time on one singel page.


Tired of the regular Mac OS 10.5 Leopard dock?



You can find even more free icons in the


  1. 1 http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/heuristic_list.html
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2006/09/03/symbols-buttons-and-icons-for-free/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2006/12/03/more-symbols-buttons-and-icons-for-free/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/05/24/freebies-round-up-icons-buttons-and-templates/
  5. 5 http://flarup.deviantart.com/art/Air-Mail-70202261
  6. 6 http://flarup.deviantart.com/art/Air-Mail-70202261
  7. 7 http://www.jm-artstudio.com/comments/icons/file3.html
  8. 8 http://www.jm-artstudio.com/comments/icons/file3.html
  9. 9 http://aziznatour.deviantart.com/art/iZ3-Icons-Package-64076647
  10. 10 http://aziznatour.deviantart.com/art/iZ3-Icons-Package-64076647
  11. 11 http://decompositionbeauty.deviantart.com/art/White-Leopard-Icon-Set-UPDATE-69716925
  12. 12 http://decompositionbeauty.deviantart.com/art/Black-Leopard-Icon-Set-UPDATE-69590061
  13. 13 http://decompositionbeauty.deviantart.com/art/White-Leopard-Icon-Set-UPDATE-69716925
  14. 14 http://decompositionbeauty.deviantart.com/art/White-Leopard-Icon-Set-UPDATE-69716925
  15. 15 http://www.jm-artstudio.com/comments/iconpackages/ipvs2.html
  16. 16 http://www.jm-artstudio.com/comments/iconpackages/ipvs2.html
  17. 17 http://flarup.deviantart.com/art/Safari-Icon-69646306
  18. 18 http://flarup.deviantart.com/art/Safari-Icon-69646306
  19. 19 http://plexform.deviantart.com/art/Black-Aqua-Safari-68477034
  20. 20 http://plexform.deviantart.com/art/Black-Aqua-Safari-68477034
  21. 21 http://flarup.deviantart.com/art/Camino-Icons-55314733
  22. 22 http://flarup.deviantart.com/art/Camino-Icons-55314733
  23. 23 http://studiomx.eu/Icons.html
  24. 24 http://studiomx.eu/Icons.html
  25. 25 http://jet-stream.deviantart.com/art/Square-Compass-70705847
  26. 26 http://jet-stream.deviantart.com/art/Square-Compass-70705847
  27. 27 http://itweek.deviantart.com/gallery/#_featured
  28. 28 http://itweek.deviantart.com/gallery/#_featured
  29. 29 http://itweek.deviantart.com/gallery/#_featured
  30. 30 http://www.iconarchive.com/category/application/email-me-icons-by-mayosoft.html
  31. 31 http://www.iconarchive.com/category/application/email-me-icons-by-mayosoft.html
  32. 32 http://vicing.deviantart.com/art/rounder-png-65215412
  33. 33 http://vicing.deviantart.com/art/rounder-png-65215412
  34. 34 http://dryicons.com/free-icons/preview/aesthetica/
  35. 35 http://dryicons.com/free-icons/preview/aesthetica/
  36. 36 http://basstar.deviantart.com/art/Inspiration-Orb-Icon-Packet-65579465
  37. 37 http://basstar.deviantart.com/art/Inspiration-Orb-Icon-Packet-65579465
  38. 38 http://basstar.deviantart.com/art/Mystic-Orb-Icon-Packet-65571265
  39. 39 http://dryicons.com/free-icons/preview/wysiwyg-sapphire/
  40. 40 http://dryicons.com/free-icons/preview/wysiwyg-sapphire/
  41. 41 http://www.iconbase.com
  42. 42 http://iconbase.com/index.php?Formlink_Page=2&searchby=&search=#link
  43. 43 http://iconbase.com/index.php?Formlink_Page=3&searchby=&search=
  44. 44 http://iconbase.com/index.php?Formlink_Page=3&searchby=&search=
  45. 45 http://iconbase.com/index.php?Formlink_Page=3&searchby=&search=
  46. 46 http://murakumon.deviantart.com/art/Project-Folders-Pack-43594838
  47. 47 http://murakumon.deviantart.com/art/Project-Folders-Pack-43594838
  48. 48 http://www.nyssajbrown.net/2007/11/07/free-rss-feed-icons/
  49. 49 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/11/02/rss-best-design-practices-and-icons/
  50. 50 http://www.nyssajbrown.net/2007/11/07/free-rss-feed-icons/
  51. 51 http://vikiworks.com/2007/07/28/social-bookmark-iconset-part-2/
  52. 52 http://vikiworks.com/2007/07/28/social-bookmark-iconset-part-2/
  53. 53 http://www.webfruits.it/dblog/articolo.asp?articolo=62
  54. 54 http://www.webfruits.it/dblog/articolo.asp?articolo=62
  55. 55 http://www.webfruits.it/dblog/articolo.asp?articolo=62
  56. 56 http://www.webfruits.it/dblog/articolo.asp?articolo=62
  57. 57 http://www.webfruits.it/dblog/articolo.asp?articolo=62
  58. 58 http://www.ganato.com/free_icons/free_icons.php
  59. 59 http://www.ganato.com/free_icons/free_icons.php
  60. 60 http://dezignus.com/web2_0-vector-icons1/
  61. 61 http://dezignus.com/web2_0-vector-icons2/
  62. 62 http://dezignus.com/web2_0-vector-icons1/
  63. 63 http://www.userinterfaceicons.com/
  64. 64 http://www.userinterfaceicons.com/preview.php
  65. 65 http://www.userinterfaceicons.com/
  66. 66 http://www.flying-people.com/2007/10/10/20-free-sunny-buttons/
  67. 67 http://www.flying-people.com/2007/10/10/20-free-sunny-buttons/
  68. 68 http://www.dapino-webdesign.nl/blog/?p=160
  69. 69 http://www.dapino-webdesign.nl/blog/?p=160
  70. 70 http://www.dapino-webdesign.nl/blog/?p=160
  71. 71 http://kosmar.de/archives/2007/06/07/blog-micro-buttons-80px15px/
  72. 72 http://kosmar.de/archives/2007/06/07/blog-micro-buttons-80px15px/
  73. 73 http://www.dapino-webdesign.nl/blog/?p=148
  74. 74 http://www.dapino-webdesign.nl/blog/?p=148
  75. 75 http://iconpacks.mozdev.org/
  76. 76 http://iconpacks.mozdev.org/
  77. 77 http://iconpacks.mozdev.org/
  78. 78 http://iconpacks.mozdev.org/
  79. 79 http://benblogged.com/?p=74
  80. 80 http://benblogged.com/?p=74
  81. 81 http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/freebies/vector-resources-part-6-live-music
  82. 82 http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/freebies/vector-resources-part-6-live-music
  83. 83 http://benblogged.com/?p=54
  84. 84 http://benblogged.com/?cat=4
  85. 85 http://benblogged.com/?p=54
  86. 86 http://www.gosquared.com/liquidicity/archives/211
  87. 87 http://www.gosquared.com/liquidicity/archives/211
  88. 88 http://dezignus.com/dancing-girls/
  89. 89 http://dezignus.com/dancing-girls/
  90. 90 http://www.bittbox.com/freebies/random-free-vectors-part-13-stars/
  91. 91 http://www.bittbox.com/freebies/random-free-vectors-part-13-stars/
  92. 92 http://www.dapino-webdesign.nl/blog/?p=161
  93. 93 http://www.dapino-webdesign.nl/blog/?p=161
  94. 94 http://leoparddocks.com/
  95. 95 http://leoparddocks.com/
  96. 96 http://www.dockulicious.com/
  97. 97 http://www.dockulicious.com/
  98. 98 http://www.iconshock.com/vista-icons.php

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Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He's now writing at his Conterest Blog, where he focuses on blogs, content strategy and publishing — all in German.

  1. 1

    nice. downloaded it for next theme release.
    can you include some tutorial. I’d love to see that.

  2. 102

    Thanks for sharing your web icons list!

    camp fire

  3. 203

    Nice list! Would love to make a 512px icon. Too bad it’s hard to make it look real ‘3d’ like with Photoshop only. I might wanna try out some 3d apps in the future.

    We’ve designed our own set as well by the way. It’s called Iconshelf ( http://www.iconshelf.nl ) . This is what the icons look like → http://www.iconshelf.nl/wp-content/themes/iconshelf/img/iconshelf-preview.png

  4. 304

    Very Good! thank you :)

    I don’t write more, I should continue seeing many Icons !!

    It is a very hard work :Þ :þ

  5. 405

    Another free icon catalog – http://www.softicons.com

  6. 506

    very good icons but how to make these icon as a favicon http://www.makefavicon.co.cc

  7. 607

    Nice Icons.. i would really like to see some more icons…thanks

  8. 708

    Nice Icons.. i would really like to see some more icons…thanks

  9. 809

    Nice Icons.. i would really like to see some more icons…thanks

  10. 910

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