There’s no doubt that the default icons used throughout Mac OS X are indeed very eye pleasing. However looking at the same icons for months or years on end can get repetitive and old. In this article we’ll go over a few ways to spice up the look of the folder, file, application and dock icons.


Change Icons Method #1 – Get Info

modify finder icons

The first method in changing the icons I’m going to show you is through the “Get Info” window. To do this, right-click on a folder or application and select “Get Info”. Doing so, will open up a small window which shows relevent information.

At the top left corner of the window, you’ll see a small icon displaying the icon that is currently being used. Click once on the icon image and you’ll notice that the image becomes highlighted in a light shade of blue. Now all you have to do to change the icon is simply paste a new image on it. After the icon is selected paste your image by using the keyboard shortcut for paste which is Command + V.

Important: You must open the image first, then copy and paste the image. If you just copy the image file then paste it on the icon it won’t display the actual image as an icon, it’ll just display the image file icon as the icon. To elaborate, double-click the image, which by default would open in the Preview app. From the Preview app, copy it using either Command + C or from the menubar, Edit -> Copy.

While this method is incredibly simple and easy to use, it does have it’s limitations. For instance, this method only allows changing one folder icon at a time. Also this method doesn’t working for customizing certain icons such as the trash icon, to change the trash icon you’d need an application like LiteIcon.


Change Icons Method #2 – LiteIcon

liteicon feature review

LiteIcon is a free application (donationware), which makes customizing your Mac icons incredibly easy and intuitive. It was also recently updated to work with Mavericks.

The best thing about LiteIcon is how it gives easy access as well as organizes all the icons on your Mac. From the sidebar you can choose to customize the Folder, Dock, Devices, Other, Applications and Volumes icons. Selecting one of these will display all the relevant icons that are available for customization.

Now comes the really easy part, just drag an image on top on the icon that you want to change. Once you are happy with your customizations, simply click the “Apply Changes”. You may be asked to log out and then log back in to complete the changes.

One thing to take notice of is the special “Generic” icon in the Folders list. Changing this will change all the generic folders on your Mac.


Icon Resources

This wouldn’t be a very good article if I didn’t show you some awesome icons and other good resources to find more. So without further ado here are some of my favorite icon packs, followed by a few websites to find more.

Download AutobotsIcon Icons

Download Scenery Icons
While you’re here be sure to check out the rest of Arrioch’s profile for more impressive icons.

wooden folders
Download Wooden Drives / Download Wooden Folders


Download Gaia10 Icons

Now go find your own favorites

Be sure to check out these awesome icon resources:


Additional Tips:

  • To revert an icon to its default, highlight the icon in the Get Info window -> press Delete on your keyboard.
  • To revert all icons to their default in LiteIcon, from the menubar -> Tools -> Restore All System Icons.