Mac Software

How do you change Mac folder icons?

change Mac folder icons
All change: you can replace Mac folder icons

I’ve yet to find an operating system that’s easier on the eye than macOS. From the flowing animations on the Dock to the default wallpapers, everything is just lovely. Well, not quite everything. If, like me, you keep a few folders on your desktop for easy access, that baby blue folder icon is decidedly humdrum. The splendid news is you can change Mac folder icons to whatever you want them to be. Here’s how.

How to change Mac folder icons (hint: it works for apps too)

Here’s a snapshot of my current desktop. Instead of cluttering my desktop with tons of shortcuts, documents and folders like I did with Windows, I decided to keep everything clean and minimalist in macOS, so as not to spoil the view.

But I do hate those boring folder icons.

macOS icons

One of those folders is for screengrabs from Fortnite, which go into the Fortnite magazine that I edit. So how about we change that icon for something a little more Fortnitey?

First, find the image that you want for the new icon. Images in both the .png or .jpg formats are fine, but if you want an image with transparency – so that you can see through to the background – then stick with .png files as macOS seems to prefer them.

For an example .png file with transparency, see the Fortnite character below.

Open your image in a photo application – the default macOS Preview app is fine – and copy it. Press the Command + C buttons together to do this.

Now right-click on the folder whose icon you wish to change and select Get Info. A slender window such as the (cropped) one below should appear:

macOS folder info

Click on that little blue folder icon at the top and press the Command + V buttons together to paste your copied image in as the new icon.

macOS folder info

Your replacement icon image should appear at the top and in the Preview section shown. If you decide you don’t like it, just click on the icon at the top again and press the backspace key to return it back to the baby blue folder icon.

Now close that window, and your new icon should be in place on the desktop, or wherever the folder is located.

macOS desktop

NOW READ THIS: How do I create a keyboard shortcut in macOS?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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