How to Change Icons for Files and Folders on Mac

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How to Use an Icon From Another Folder

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of searching for and downloading icons from the web, you can use an icon from another folder or file. This is done in a similar manner:

  1. Find the folder or file that has an icon you’d like to use.
  2. Right-click on it, and choose “Get Info” from the drop-down menu.
Note: Another quick way to open the “Info” box is by right-clicking on the folder. Next, press the “Command” and “I” keys at the same time.
  3. Click on the folder icon in the upper-left corner of the window.Go to “Edit” and then “Copy.&rdq
  4. Go to “Edit” and then “Copy.” You can also select the folder icon and press the “Command” and “V” keys at the same time to copy the folder icon.Close the window.
  5. Close the window.Locate the folder that you want to customize.
  6. Locate the folder that you want to customize.Right-click on it and select “Get Info.&rdqu
  7. Right-click on it and select “Get Info.”Select the folder icon on the new window.
  8. Select the folder icon on the new window.Go to “Edit” once again, and choose &l
  9. Go to “Edit” once again, and choose “Paste” from the drop-down menu.

That’s all there is to it. Once you close the folder “Info” window, you’ll notice that your folder icon has been changed. This method is much quicker than the others, since you won’t have to customize or adjust the icon in any way to make it compatible with your folder.

Use an icon from another file or folder

  1. On your Mac, select the file or folder whose icon you want to use.

  2. Choose File > Get Info in the menu bar.

  3. At the top of the Info window, click the small icon.

  4. Choose Edit > Copy in the menu bar.

  5. Select the file or folder whose icon you want to replace.

  6. Choose File > Get Info in the menu bar.

  7. Click the small icon at the top of the Info window.

  8. Choose Edit > Paste in the menu bar.

    The icon is replaced with the one you copied.

    If Edit > Paste isn’t available, make sure you click the small icon at the top of the Info window (not the large icon under Preview).

After you paste, if you see a generic JPEG or PNG image instead of your own picture, make sure you click the small icon at the top of the Info window before choosing Edit > Copy in the menu bar. You want to copy the content of the image file, not the actual file.

How to change folder color on Mac using Preview

Now that you know how to change folder icon Mac desktops don’t easily allow for, and how to change folder color Mac the easy way, can you do it all without an app?

You can – but it’s a long, arduous process. There’s also no way to add custom icons Mac just doesn’t allow for that. But if you’d rather go change the color of your desktop icons manually, here’s how:

  1. Create a folder on your desktop by right clicking the desktop
  2. Select “New folder” from the menu
  3. Name your folder
  4. Right click the folder
  5. Select “Get info”
  6. In the menu that appears, select the folder icon. (Note: It will have a dark blue line around it to show it’s been selected.)
  7. With the icon selected, select “Edit” from the men
  8. With the icon selected, select “Edit” from the menu bar
  9. Select “Copy” from the menu
  10. Open the Preview app on your Mac
  11. Open the Preview app on your Mac
  12. From the menu bar, select “New from Clipboard”
  13. With Preview open, select the “Markup” tool
  14. Select the color adjustment tool
  15. Note: In macOS Big Sur, the color adjustment tool in Preview is the same as the color adjustment tool in apps like Photos: three sliders. In Catalina and prior, the color adjustment tool icon is a prism.

    Adjust the temperature, tint, sepia, and other ite

  16. Adjust the temperature, tint, sepia, and other items as you like
  17. When you’re finished adjusting the color in Preview, select the folder in Preview
  18. Press Command + C to copy it
  19. Repeat the first five steps of this process if you’ve closed the “Get info” window
  20. From the “Get info” window, select the folder icon again
  21. Press Command + V to paste the new, colorful folder icon
  22. Close the “Get info” window

That’s a lot of steps! We’re not sure why Apple doesn’t want you changing folder icons or colors, but they definitely don’t make it easy.

Step 2: Open the item information

Whether a file or a folder, you’ll open the proper

Whether a file or a folder, you’ll open the properties for it to access its icon. Select the file or folder and click File > Get Info from the menu bar or right-click and pick Get Info.

This opens a window full of details about the item. You’ll see the icon on the top left of that window.

Customizing an app icon on macOS

To change an app icon on macOS, you can follow these steps:

1) Find your app either in Finder, or on your Desktop. Right-click on it, and then click on Get Info.

2) This will open the Get Info menu for the app yo

2) This will open the Get Info menu for the app you just queried:

3) Next, find the image you want to use for an app

3) Next, find the image you want to use for an app icon. Open it up with your Mac’s Preview app.

4) With the image open in the Preview app, go to E

4) With the image open in the Preview app, go to Edit > Select All in the Menu Bar to select the entire image.

5) Next, with the image selected (marching ants sh

5) Next, with the image selected (marching ants should be moving around the image at this point) go to Edit > Copy from the Menu Bar to copy the contents of the image to your Mac’s clipboard.

6) With the image in your clipboard, go back to th

6) With the image in your clipboard, go back to the Get Info window you had open earlier, click on the icon at the top left of the window, and then go to Edit > Paste from your Menu Bar.

7) Depending on the location of the app you’

7) Depending on the location of the app you’re trying to change the icon of (in this case, it was my Applications folder, which is a system folder), you may be asked to enter your password. Go ahead and enter it, then click on the blue OK button.

8) The image should now be applied to the app, but

8) The image should now be applied to the app, but for it to fully take effect, you should restart your Mac.

9) After you get yourself logged back in, you can re-open the Get Info window for the app you changed the icon of, and you should see your changes:

And that’s all there is to it!

And that’s all there is to it!

This works not only for third-party apps, but also for system apps. It even works for folders and files.

Additional FAQs

How can I restore the original folder icon on a Mac?

If you change your mind about a particular folder icon, you can always restore the default icon. This will only take you a few moments. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Locate the folder that you want to customize.

2. Right-click on the folder and choose “Get Info” from the drop-down menu.

3. Click on the icon in the upper-right corner of the window.

4. Navigate to the “Edit” tab on the menu bar.

5. Choose “Cut” from the drop-down list.

This will automatically revert the folder to its default icon, which is the blue file folder.

How do I create a custom folder icon on a Mac?

If you want to get more creative, you can make your own custom icons for any file folders on your Mac. Keep in mind that you will need a third-party app to do this. You can use Illustrator, Procreate, Photoshop, and various other photo editing apps.

No matter which third-party app you choose, you can select the dimensions for each custom icon. Square images are usually the best option for creating folder icons. You can also create your own design. Try to keep it fairly simple, as adding too many details will make it look blurry once it’s minimized.

Once you’ve made your design in one of these apps, all you need to do is export it to your device. This is what you can do next:

1. Open your custom icon.

2. Press “Command” and “A” at the same time to select it.

3. Press “Command” and “C” at the same time to copy it.

4. Find the folder you want to use the custom icon for.

5. Right-click on it and choose “Get Info” from the drop-down list of options.

6. Click on the folder in the upper-right corner of your screen.

7. Go to “Edit” and then “Paste.”

8. Close the “Info” window.

Your folder will now have a custom icon. You can do this for all of your folders on your Mac.

Bonus tips for organizing your Mac

Organizing folders with snappy colors and changing icon Mac is a great way to stay focused. Keeping track of all the files you’re working on can be difficult, but Trickster has you covered.

Like Declutter, Trickster lives in your Mac menu bar, tracking ever file, folder, and app you’re working on or have opened recently. Trickster can automatically track your desktop activity, but you’re also able to manually configure it to track only the items you want; file types, names, destinations, and folders can be targeted with Trickster.

In addition to finding your favorite files and folders, Trickster lets you open them right from the app. It’s like Spotlight, just more proactive and customized to your needs. For keyboard warriors, Trickster supports hotkey switching to really speed up your workflow.

Organization matters, but so does keeping your Mac

Organization matters, but so does keeping your Mac healthy. Adjusting files, folders, and documents can cause a lot of unnecessary data to pile up on your Mac. This is why you should have CleanMyMac X.

CleanMyMac X keeps your Mac clear of unnecessary files, thwarts privacy threats, and speeds your Mac up with its incredible Smart Scan module. Smart Scan helps you identify and clear up the simplest issues, but CleanMyMac X goes so much further.

Erasing malware, clearing your cache, optimizing your file system for faster content discovery, uninstalling or updating apps – all easy work for CleanMyMac X. It even helps you thin out downloads and mail attachments from dominating your Mac’s storage space.

A sea of blue folders is boring, so why not liven

A sea of blue folders is boring, so why not liven them up with custom icons and colors? Image2Icon is a great app for those who enjoy colorful folders that reflect their ideas, content, and provide additional inspiration. Custom folder icons help identify what any folder is at a glance. 

Trickster helps you stay productive, saving you tons of time wasted searching for files on your desktop or beyond. CleanMyMac X is simply the best tool for ensuring your Mac stays performant.

All three of these apps, as well as nearly 200 more, are available for free during a seven day trial of Setapp, an amazing suite of productivity apps for your Mac. During your week-long trial, you can try all of the apps you want without paying a dime. When the trial ends, continued access to the full Setapp catalog is only $9.99 per month.

Don’t wait any longer; start your free trial of Setapp today!

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