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How to change the icon for any program or file on your Mac, and remove it later if you need to

Macbook Air

  • Figuring out how to change the icons on your Mac for files, folders, and programs can be tedious, but you can do it within a few minutes.
  • The process varies slightly depending on where you source your new icon from — you can choose to use a photo you took (or one you got from the Internet), or you can use an icon from another file, folder, or program on your Mac.
  • If for any reason you want to change the icon back to the original, that’s even easier to do. 
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File, folder, and program icons on a Mac can be generic, and that makes them difficult to sort through. But if you’re willing to do a little bit of work, you can create custom icons that will solve that problem for you. 

Here’s everything you need to know to change your icons on a Mac computer (and how to restore icons in case you change your mind).

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

MacBook Pro (From $1,299 at Apple)

How to change an icon on a Mac by adding custom images for files, folders, or programs

Creating custom icons can be a little bit involved, and repetitive. The process differs based on the source of your new icon. 

Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

1. Copy the image you want to use:

  • If you have a picture you took (or one you downloaded from the Internet) that you want to use for this, open the picture using the Preview app, then in the top toolbar click “Edit” and then “Select All.” Next, go back up to the top toolbar and choose “Edit” and then “Copy.”

1 CHANGE ICON MAC

  • If you want to use an icon from another file, folder, or program, you’d select that file, folder, or program (by clicking it once), then in the top toolbar, select “File” and then “Get Info.” At the top of the info window, click the icon, then select “Edit” and then “Copy.”

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2. Select the file, folder, or program whose icon you want to change by clicking it once.

3. In the top toolbar, click “File” and then “Get Info.”

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4. Click the photo of the icon, then choose “Edit” followed by “Paste.”

4 CHANGE ICON MAC

How to remove custom icons on a Mac

If you aren’t happy with your new icon, you can easily reverse course:

1. Click the file, folder, or program within your Finder.

2. In the top toolbar, select “File” and then “Get Info.”

3. At the top of the info window, click on the custom icon, then choose “Edit” followed by “Cut.”

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to reset a Mac computer to its factory default settings

  • How to uninstall apps on a Mac computer in three different ways

  • How to clear the cache on your Mac computer to make it run more efficiently

  • How to restore your Mac computer from a Time Machine backup

SEE ALSO: The best MacBooks you can buy

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