How to Change Mac App Icons

Joel Mason

Mac, Tutorials

Changing the app icons on your Mac can be a fun and creative way to personalize your desktop. Whether you want to freshen up the look of your apps or simply want to make them easier to find, this tutorial will guide you through the process step by step.

Step 1: Find the App Icon You Want

If you already have a specific icon in mind, great! Otherwise, you can search for free icon resources online or create your own using graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator or Sketch.

Step 2: Convert the Icon to the Right Format

Mac app icons use the .icns file format. If your chosen icon is in a different format (such as .png or .jpg), you’ll need to convert it. There are various online tools available that can help you with this conversion process.

Step 3: Prepare the New Icon

Before changing an app’s icon, it’s essential to create a backup of the original icon. This allows you to revert back to it if needed. To do this:

  1. Right-click on the app in question and select “Get Info”.
  2. In the info window that appears, click on the current icon (at the top left).
  3. Press Command+C on your keyboard to copy it.
  4. Create a new folder where you want to store your backups and press Command+V to paste the copied icon into that folder.

Step 4: Change the App Icon

To change an app’s icon:

  1. Right-click on the app and select “Get Info”.
  2. In the info window, click on the current icon (at the top left) to select it.
  3. Press Delete on your keyboard to remove the selected icon.
  4. In a separate Finder window, navigate to where you saved your new icon file.
  5. Drag and drop the new icon file onto the app’s info window (where you deleted the old icon).

Step 5: Refresh the Icon Cache

Sometimes, after changing an app’s icon, it may not update immediately. To ensure the changes take effect, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on an empty area of your desktop.
  2. Select “Refresh”.

Troubleshooting Tips:

The New Icon Doesn’t Appear:

If you’ve followed all the steps but the new icon doesn’t appear, try restarting your Mac. This can help refresh the system cache and display the updated icons correctly.

The App Stops Working:

In rare cases, changing an app’s icon may cause it to malfunction. If this happens, simply revert back to its original icon by following Step 4 and selecting the backup copy stored in your designated folder.

In Conclusion

Changing Mac app icons is a simple way to personalize your desktop and make it more visually appealing. By following this step-by-step tutorial, you can easily change any app’s icon and give your Mac a unique touch. Remember to always keep backups of the original icons, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different designs until you find the perfect look for each app.

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