Custom Mac Icons – Tony’s Tech Tips

by Tony Gamble

Tony's Tech Tips LogoDid you know that Mac OS X allows you to change your icons to just about any image you want? In just a few simple clicks, you can customize the appearance of a folder, document or application with a photo or graphic. We can do this through the Get Info popup, which you’ll find under the right-click menu (or press CMD + i on the keyboard). Don’t get distracted by the bevy of file properties at your fingertips, though. The bit we’ll need is right at the top: the icon itself, just above the Spotlight Comments. But first, let’s find something to replace it with.

InterfaceLIFT.comA quick Google search turns up more icon choices than you can shake a stick at, but my go-to website for wallpapers and icons is Each set of beautifully crafted icons here is available as a download for both Mac and Windows. You can even download the PNG image to use anywhere. Our interest, though, is the Mac icons, so let’s download a pack for our impending customization. Once unzipped, the collection of icons become available in a folder as .icns files. Highlight one that you like and from the Finder Edit menu and select Copy. Now let’s go back to the Get Info popup window. Click to highlight the current icon (just a hove the Spotlight Comments) and from the Finder Edit menu, click Paste. Instantly, the default icon is transformed. If you change your mind, just highlight the icon again and hit the DELETE key on your keyboard.

Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 6.16.11 PMLet’s say you’d like make this icon even more personalized. For example, you’ve just ZIPped up a folder of photos of your niece. You can actually use a photo of your niece as the icon. Pick a photo and open it in Preview (the default handler for most image files). Select the area you’d like to use or select the entire image with CMD + A. From the Finder Edit menu, select Copy and return to the Get Info window of your ZIP file. Highlight the icon and Paste your clipboard contents to instantly convert the icon.

If you have a request for a tech tip, drop me a line on Twitter @trinzitter or leave a comment below. Oh, and don’t forget to hit up @suzemuse with your Question of the Week.

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