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How to change apps and folder icons on Mac

In today’s tutorial, you will find out how to quickly customize the look of folders and apps on Mac by changing the default icons.

There was a question regarding this topic posted on our forum so I quickly found out and decided to create a small post out of it. Somebody has asked how to change Mail app icon and I am not sure if this is possible. The trick I discovered works for every app and folder but it does not work for Apps created by Apple. Mail is one of these apps and I think it is not possible to change its icon (if you know how to do it, please let me know in the comments below).

How to change folders and apps icons on Mac

First things first, prepare the image file you want to use. Icons work well but you can use the standard image in jpg, gif and png format. Also, find your app or folder in the Finder.

Click on your image and open with the Preview (or other software if you prefer)

Press Cmd+C on your keyboard. This will copy the icon to the Clipboard (alternatively you can also go to Edit menu at the top and click Copy).

Copy icon in Preview

At this moment your icon is in your clipboard and you need to paste it into your App or folder. Right-click on your Mac app or folder and choose from the menu Get Info (alternatively select it and press Cmd+I). In the example below, I am getting information about Skype:

Get Info

A small window should pop out with the information about your application or folder. At the top, there is the default icon. Click it and then press Cmd+V to paste your icon from the Clipboard.

Paste Icon

That is all, the icons should be swapped. As you can see, the Skype icon on my Mac has now been changed and I am quite happy with the final result.

If something doesn’t look great, you are not happy or change your mind, you can go back to the default look. Just open Get Info window, click the icon and press Delete on your keyboard.

How to change icon on Mac – video tutorial

I have realized that my explanations above might be slightly confusing. I created, therefore, a short video on YouTube showing exactly each step I took.

Please, have a look:

I hope you have found it useful. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or experienced any problems when changing icons on Mac.

1 thought on “How to change apps and folder icons on Mac

  1. I’ve been able to successfully change icons and folder etc. However, whenever apps such as Chrome and Whatsapp get an update, the icon reverts to its original default icon. Anyone got any suggestions?

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