Customizing App Icons on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide


Ted Stinson

Customizing app icons on your Mac can be a fun way to personalize your computer’s appearance. Here’s the lowdown: you’ll need to find or create an icon image, copy it, and then paste it onto the app’s current icon in the ‘Get Info’ window. Sounds simple, right? Let’s dive in.

Step by Step Tutorial: Customizing App Icons on Mac

Before we start, remember that this process is all about making your Mac look the way you want it to. Whether that means sleek and professional or quirky and colorful, customizing your app icons is a simple way to add a personal touch to your desktop.

Step 1: Find or create an icon image

You’ll need to have an image ready to use as your new icon.

Make sure the image you choose is a .png or .jpeg file, as these are the easiest to work with. There are plenty of websites where you can download icon images, or you can get creative and design your own.

Step 2: Copy the new icon image

Once you have your image, open it and copy it by pressing Command + C.

This step is pretty straightforward—just make sure you’ve selected the image before copying to ensure you’re grabbing the right file.

Step 3: Open the ‘Get Info’ window for the app

Navigate to the app you want to customize, click on it once to select it, and then press Command + I to open the ‘Get Info’ window.

The ‘Get Info’ window contains all the nitty-gritty details of the app, but we’re just here for the icon customization.

Step 4: Paste the new icon image

Click on the small icon in the top left corner of the ‘Get Info’ window and then press Command + V to paste your new icon.

If done correctly, you should see your new icon replace the old one immediately. If it doesn’t change, try clicking on the icon once before pasting again.

After completing these steps, you’ll see your new icon displayed on your Mac. It’s that simple! Now, let’s move on to some helpful tips.

Tips: Customizing App Icons on Mac

  • Make sure the image you’re using for your new icon is clear and the right size – too small and it might look pixelated, too large and it could be cropped.
  • If you want to revert back to the original icon, simply open the ‘Get Info’ window again and click on the icon, then press the delete key.
  • Icons should ideally be square and have a transparent background for the best appearance.
  • You can also use this method to change folder icons, not just apps.
  • Have a backup of the original icons somewhere safe, just in case you change your mind later.

Frequently Asked Questions

What file types can I use for custom icons?

You can use .png or .jpeg files for custom icons on your Mac.

These file types are the most compatible with the process and usually provide the best quality icons for your apps.

Do I need any special software to customize my app icons?

No, you don’t need any special software.

Everything you need to customize your app icons is already built into your Mac’s operating system.

Can I customize icons for any app?

Most apps will allow you to customize their icons, but some system apps may have restrictions.

It’s always a good idea to make sure you’re not violating any terms of service by customizing an app’s icon.

How can I find new icons to use?

There are many websites that offer free and paid icon packs for download.

A quick search for "Mac app icons" should provide you with plenty of options.

Can I use photos as icons?

Yes, you can use photos as icons, but make sure they are the appropriate size and file type.

Keep in mind that photos might not look as clean or clear as graphics designed to be icons.


  1. Find or create a .png or .jpeg image to use as your new icon.
  2. Copy the new icon image.
  3. Open the ‘Get Info’ window for the app you want to customize.
  4. Paste the new icon image into the top left corner of the ‘Get Info’ window.


Customizing app icons on Mac is a fantastic way to make your computer feel more like you. Whether you’re after a cohesive aesthetic or just want to have some fun, the personalization potential is endless. Remember, it’s all about expressing your style, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different looks. If you ever get tired of an icon, just change it back or try something new – the beauty of this customization is its reversibility. Happy customizing, and may your Mac’s desktop be as unique and vibrant as you are!