How to Change Folder Icon on Mac

Charlotte Daniels

Mac, Tutorials

Changing folder icons on Mac can be a fun and creative way to personalize your desktop. Whether you want to distinguish between different types of folders or simply add a touch of flair, this tutorial will guide you through the process step by step.

So, let’s dive in and learn how to change folder icons on your Mac!

Step 1: Find an Icon

The first step in changing a folder icon is finding the perfect icon to replace it with. There are several websites where you can download free icons, such as Flaticon or Iconfinder. Choose an icon that suits your style or purpose.

Step 2: Convert the Icon

Once you have downloaded the icon of your choice, it’s time to convert it into a format that macOS can recognize. Most icons come in .ico or .png format, but macOS requires .icns format for folder icons.

To convert the icon, follow these steps:

  1. Open Preview: Launch the Preview application on your Mac.
  2. Open the Icon File: In Preview, go to File > Open and select the downloaded icon file.
  3. Select All: Press Command + A or go to Edit > Select All to select the entire image.
  4. Copy Image: Press Command + C or go to Edit > Copy to copy the selected image.
  5. Create New Image: Go to File > New from Clipboard.

    This will create a new image with the copied icon.

  6. Save as .icns: Go to File > Save As, choose a location, and set the Format to “ICNS”. Give it a name and click Save.

Step 3: Change the Folder Icon

Now that you have the converted .icns file ready, it’s time to change the folder icon. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Select the Folder: Locate the folder you want to change the icon for and select it by clicking on it once.
  2. Get Info: Press Command + I or right-click on the folder and select “Get Info” from the context menu.

    A new window will appear.

  3. Select the Current Icon: In the Get Info window, click on the current folder icon (top left corner) to select it. It should be highlighted by a blue outline.
  4. Paste New Icon: Press Command + V or go to Edit > Paste to replace the selected icon with your newly converted .icns file. The folder icon will instantly change.

Step 4: Refresh Finder

To see your new folder icon in your Finder windows, you’ll need to refresh Finder. Here’s how:

  • Closing and Relaunching Finder:
    In Finder, go to Finder > Quit Finder. After Finder closes, press Option + Command + Esc to open Force Quit Applications window.

    Select Finder and click Relaunch.

  • Using Terminal:
    Launch Terminal from the Applications > Utilities folder. Type the following command and press Enter: killall Finder. Finder will relaunch, and your new folder icon will be visible.

Step 5: Enjoy Your New Folder Icon

Congratulations! You have successfully changed the folder icon on your Mac.

Repeat these steps for any other folders you want to customize. Let your creativity run wild and make your desktop truly unique!

Remember, changing folder icons is purely cosmetic and does not affect the contents or functionality of the folders. If you ever want to revert to the default folder icon, simply follow Step 3 and paste the original icon back.

Note: Changing system folders’ icons or altering core macOS files can have unintended consequences. It’s recommended to only change icons for personal folders or create new ones for customization purposes.

Now it’s time to get creative and give your Mac a personalized touch with custom folder icons!

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