How to Change Folder Icons on Mac

Do you ever get bored with how folders look on your Mac? Well, there's a really easy way to change them. In this post, we'll show you how to change folder icons on Mac so that they look right the way you want them to.

Apple's operating system has a huge user base, and part of the appeal is the clean and elegant design of macOS. But sometimes, you might want to personalize your folders by changing their icons. Maybe you want to make them stand out more, or perhaps you're just tired of looking at the same blue-colored icons for eternity.

Whatever your reasons, changing folder icons on Mac is a straightforward process.

Methods to Change Folder Icons on Mac

Before we begin the process, please note that the macOS Monterey version 12.5.1 is used for this article. The steps might be slightly different for older macOS versions, but it should be mostly the same.

Now that we have got it out of the way let's get started.

The very first thing you need to do is find an image that you want to use as your folder icon. You don't need to use a picture only; there are various websites that allow you to download and use pre-made custom icons for Mac.

In this guide, we are using two custom icons from two different websites. We picked the .icns format icon from IconArchive and .png from Flaticon. The images or custom icons you'll find on the web will be in two standard formats - .png or .icns. We have downloaded both types as the methods listed below are common for both formats.

Note that 512x512px is the best image resolution to use as icons. So, if you’re using personal images, don't forget to change their resolution beforehand.

#Method 1 - Drag & Drop

1. We've already downloaded two images for the guide and will be using the .icns format. However, as I mentioned, .icns or .png formats are fine.

2. Next, go to the location of the Folder you would like to change the icon for in the Finder App. Right-Click on the folder and click Get Info from the drop-down menu.

3. You'll see a new window like this after clicking on Get Info.

4. Keep this window open and navigate back to the location where your downloaded icons are present. You'll see a small thumbnail of the folder's current icon in the top left corner of the new window. The icon we want to fix will be in another window.

Just click on the new icon and drag it in the place of the old 'Blue-Colored' folder icon.

4. There you have it. The image of your choice is the new folder icon on your Mac, and will look like this.

That was easy, right? If you want to change icons for multiple folders, you can follow the same process for each of them.

Note: If the icon you set doesn't seem attractive to you, now that you've changed it, immediately press CMD+Z to undo the changes.

# Method 2 - Copy & Paste

The process is more or less the same as the last one, but we'll be using the Copy-Paste method and a .png file this time around. For our example, we'll use a logo of a "Laptop" as our folder icon.

1. You first need to find a good-quality image of the icon you want to use. Once you have that, it should look something like this in the Finder App.

2. The process for this step is the same as the previous method. Just go to the folder location, Right-Click on the folder, select Get Info, and a window will pop up. Keep that window open.

3. However, this time, we'll not drag and drop the new icon as we did previously. So, go to the new icon's location and Double-Click to open it in the Preview App.

4. After opening it in the Preview App, press CMD+A to select the entire image.

5. Once selected, press CMD+C to copy the image. Then reopen the same Get Info window of the selected folder as shown in Step 2. Click on the small folder icon (not the bigger one under Preview) on the top left corner of the window to select it.

6. The old folder icon will have a background highlight confirming that the icon is selected. Now, just press CMD+V to paste the copied image.

Voila! You've just effortlessly changed the folder icon on your Mac. The step to undo the changes remains the same as in Method 1.

How to Restore The Original Folder Icon?

There can be situations where you want to restore the original folder icon. Luckily, it’s straightforward to do that too.

1. Open the Finder App and locate the folder whose icon you want to restore. Then Right-Click on the folder and click on Get Info from the drop-down.

A window like this (shown above) will open.

2. Now, select the same small folder icon on the upper left corner of the window and click on the Edit button in the Menu Bar. From the drop-down menu, click on Cut to restore the old icon.

3. Here's the restored folder icon.

That's pretty much it. Now, you know two ways to change the icons of folders on your Mac.

Feel free to let us know which method you found easiest in the comments below.

Mike Roberts

Hi, my name is Mike and I made this site to document all the helpful tips and tricks that I've discovered using various Apple Macs and other Apple products over the years, as well as to provide more general guides in relation to using the internet. I've been obsessed with Apple products ever since I could afford my first iPod, and am somewhat of a fanboy (you might have guessed). For me, the simply work without any fuss, issues or errors. I can rely on their products. The build quality is excellent and I even have several, several-year-old Macbooks in my wardrobe that are still humming along fine (just a bit slower). You can contact me personally using the form on this page.


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