How to Change App Icons on Your Mac

How to Change App Icons on Your Mac

Have you ever thought of changing the icon for an file, folder or app on your Mac? The icons of some apps may not suit your taste but you have to put it on the Dock or Desktop for quick access. In that case you can change the original icon with a new one you prefer to use. Some third party apps offer a quick way to manage Mac app icons, yet macOS also allows you to modify them in simple steps. Actually, it is quite simple to customize the icon which represent a file, folder, app or even disk.

If you are unfamiliar with it, read through this post to learn how to do the trick.

Where to get a new icon for customization?

To get the new icon for replacement, you can either download the existing icon files (.icns) on available websites, or use your favorite images as new icons. Personally, I tend to search for ‘Mac icon files’ on the web and directly save the desired ones on my Mac, as an .icns file contains multiple sizes of an icon for various uses.

How to change an app icon on macOS/Mac OS X?

If you are planning to change a third party app, just do the following steps:

  • Open up Finder and locate the app you want to customize icon for.
  • Right click on it and then select Get Info (or press ⌘- I on the keyboard).
  • As the Info window pops up, drag the new icon file over the original icon (in the top left corner), and drop it there when you see the green + bubble below the cursor.

The new icon will instantly replace the original one in the Info window. During the process you may be required to enter an administrator password to save the change.

Alternatively, you can replace the app icon with a GIFPNG, JPEG or other image:

  • Locate the image file and double click to open it up with the default app.
  • Select the image (or a portion of it), and choose Edit > Copy from the menu bar.
  • Select the app you want to modify, and choose Edit > Get Info from the menu bar.
  • In the Info window, click on the icon in the upper-left corner to select it.
  • Choose Edit > Paste from the menu bar to replace original icon with the copied one.

To restore the change, you just need to select the new icon, and choose Edit > Cut.

If the app has already on the Dock, the new icon may not show up until you log out. You can execute the “killall Dock” command in Terminal to fix this issue.

These methods also can be used to change the icons of a file, folder and volume on your Mac. Note that if you want to change some built-in apps like Calendar, Finder or Trash, you will need to disable the Security Integrity Protection before changing the icon by the aforementioned way.

Have you got the trick now? Feel free to leave your comment or suggestion right here.


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