How to customise your app and folder icons

Recently, when teaching my Support Essentials training course, I have been frequently asked how to edit the icons for files and folders and most recently, System icons.

For most, this is a simple task, however it is something that can get overlooked.

To edit your icon image, follow these simple steps:

1. Right click on the folder you want to edit, and open the “Get Info” window.

change icon images

2. Now go to the image that you want to use as the folder icon.

3. Open the image in preview and take a screen shot using: Cmd + Ctrl + Shift + 4. The Ctrl key will copy the image to the clipboard

4. Go back to your “Get Info” window and paste (Cmd + V).

5. Your folder will now be showing your chosen image – rather than the default Mac icon.

changing icon images on a mac

If you want to return the folder icon to its default image, select the icon in the “Get Info” window and cut (Cmd +X)

Changing the image of your trash icon

Recently I was asked by a delegate if this could be done with the trash icon. Although it isn’t advisable – it could be confusing for other users – it is possible. The delegate in question wanted to add a Tottenham icon to his trash icon which, as a Tottenham Supporter, I was very tempted not to encourage him!

To do this you need to go to every Mac User’s favorite place – /System/Library/CoreServices.

1. Right click on the Dock Icon.

2. Click “Show Package Contents”.

change trash icon

3. Navigate to Contents > Resources – where you will see the icons for the Trash in all its different forms (scroll down to “trash” files)

4. Select all the “trash” .png files and copy them to your desktop.

copy trash files

5. Choose the image that you want to replace your trash icon with and rename as “trashfull.png” or whichever file you are customising.

6. Go back to the resources folder and add “old” to the icon filename that you want to change. This will allow you to revert to the default icon if you need to at a later date.

name trash files

7. Now add your new “trash icon” file from the desktop to the resources folder.

8. All being well, your trash icon will now display your chosen image! You may need to either logout and back in or run “killall Dock” in Terminal for your changes to take effect

new trash icon

Disclaimer:
While the author has taken care to provide our readers with accurate information, please use your discretion before acting upon information based on the blog post. Amsys will not compensate you in any way whatsoever if you ever happen to suffer a loss/inconvenience/damage because of/while making use of information in this blog.

1 Reply to "How to customise your app and folder icons"

  • CH

    Taking a screenshot of an existing image file is redundant and not typically necessary. As long as the image is a normal-ish format you should be able to simply copy it to the clipboard in Preview and paste it as the icon.

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