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How to customize file and folder icons on your Mac

This article shows how to change the icon of any file or folder on your Mac. Aside from adding some personal style to your desktop, there are good practical reasons that you might want to do.

For example, maybe you have turned any folders to the Dock so you can easily drop items into them, but you will not hover over their generic blue icons to identify which one is.

Carram Folders by necramar

To customize a file or folder icon, just follow the steps below. You can use your own images as icons. Alternatively, there are a wealth of icon libraries hosted online, so you can try a web search for free icon package downloads for Mac.

Note: If you find icons online in the .icns format, you can drag these icon types directly to the icon in a file or folder info panel, thus skipping over the preview steps described below.

  1. Double-click the image or icon you want to open it in the Mac's embedded preview application.

  2. Select Edit -> Select All in the Preview Menu, or use the Command-A shortcut key.

  3. Select Edit -> Copy in the Preview menu bar or use the Command-C shortcut key.
  4. Next, right-click (or Ctrl-click) the file or folder whose icon you want to change and select Get info from the context menu.

  5. Click the icon at the top left of the Info panel to select it.

  6. Select Edit -> Paste from the menu bar or use the shortcut Command-V .

  7. Click the red traffic light to close the Info panel and you are done.

To reset a file or folder to the default icon, open Retrieve the panel again, click the icon in the panel to select it and select Edit -> Cut or use keyboard shortcut Command-X . You can also select and copy ( Edit -> Copy ) a file or folder icon in the Info panel for use elsewhere.

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