Are PowerPoint Icons Copyrighted & Can I Use Them Elsewhere?

December 25, 2022

If you’ve seen our article on stock images, you must be thinking if the same rules apply for the icons that are available in the Microsoft suite. The short answer: it’s a little grey here. You can use them wherever you like, as long as you’re not reselling them to others. If you want to use those icons for your materials or website, go ahead and do that.

Let’s start off by showing you how you can get to the icons. You can do that by navigating to Insert > Icons. There are quite a number of icons available here but they aren’t as comprehensive as I’d like (possibly why they didn't bother to add restrictions of use). They might not have all the icons you want to use in your specific niche.

Considering the icons available aren’t as extensive, it just means you’ll need to get more elsewhere.

Where Can I Get Some Icons Then?

If you’re looking for some reliable free-to-use icons, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a wide list of them on our free resources tab. Here’s a run down of some of our favorites here:






Can’t I Just Copy Them Off Google Image Search?

Sadly, no. The same rules apply here as it does with stock images. That’s not how it works, and you can get legal action taken against you for infringement of copyright. Here are a few quick terms you can look out for to help you better understand the usage of free images from these image sources:

Creative Commons

This is a non-profit organization that allows the sharing and use of creative resources with various licenses that range from unlimited use without attribution to limited use at no charge.

Public Domain

These are creative work that have expired copyrights or do not have applicable copyrights available and are readily available to use for any reason without attribution. There are variety of images like this but not all found images on search engines are public domain. Just because you found it in a public domain on the internet, doesn’t make it public domain.


Lastly, you’ll come across royalty-free icons and graphics. These aren’t necessarily going to be free to use. It usually comes with a one-time payment for unlimited use. Royalty-free only refers to not needing to pay a royalty for each use.

What About the Microsoft Suite of Software Icons?

If you’re referring to the PowerPoint, Word, Excel or any other logo or icon used to define those specific apps, you can use them but there is limitation to their uses:

You can use them in documentation and tutorials that will require the usage of these apps


You can’t alter them or use them for anything other than what they are. That means that you can’t create a similar app to PowerPoint and use the PowerPoint icon (feels like no brainer but it needs to be said).

Over to You

What are your favorite icon sites? Did we miss any of them? Is PowerPoint your favorite presentation tool also? If you need help with presentation design, reach out to Mad Creative Beanstalk and we’ll be happy to assist you.


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