Microsoft ditches icons of the Windows 95 era

Microsoft is preparing to refresh the icons for the Windows 95 era, and the software giant is slowly improving the icons it uses in Windows 10, as part of a comprehensive visual renewal planned later this year.

A set of new system icons appeared in March, with a new File Explorer, folder, recycle bin, drive icons, and more.

Microsoft is now planning to update the Windows 95 era icons that you still sometimes encounter in Windows 10.

Windows Latest discovered new icons for hibernation, networks, memory, floppy drives, and more as part of the shell32.dll file in preview versions of Windows 10.

The new icons closely mimic those that have already appeared across Microsoft 365, Microsoft Launcher, and other products.

The shell32.dll file is an essential part of the Windows Shell, which shows icons in a variety of dialog boxes throughout the operating system, and is the reason why Windows icons have been inconsistent over the years.

This work to improve Windows consistency is part of a design overhaul of Windows 10, codenamed Sun Valley.

Visual changes are expected to appear in the Windows 10 21H2 update arriving in October, giving Windows Insider testers an early look at the changes introduced through Windows 10.

Microsoft has not formally separated its Sun Valley work, but the job list that emerged earlier this year has missed a comprehensive visual revamp of Windows.

So far, Microsoft has revealed new system icons for Windows 10, along with improvements to the File Explorer icon, and more colorful Windows 10 icons that appeared last year.

The rounded corners are a big part of Sun Valley, along with changes to the built-in apps, the Start menu, more Fluent Design features, the Dark Mode experience, and other features, so that the desktop looks very different from the current version of Windows 10.

More information on Sun Valley is expected to appear at Microsoft’s Build conference later this month, or as part of a news event dedicated to Windows.

Windows 10 icons that appeared last year

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