How to Change the Folder Icon on a Mac

Who I am
Matthew M. White
@matthewmwhite
Author and references

If you are a Mac user and want to customize your desktop, you have come to the right place. Mac lets you customize your folder icons by replacing them with images, icons you've downloaded, or icons from other file folders. You can even change the color of your folder icons.

In this guide, we'll show you different ways to customize folder icons on a Mac. We will also answer frequently asked questions on the subject.



How to Change the Folder Icon on a Mac to an Image

Whenever you create a new folder on your Mac, it automatically has a blue file folder icon. If your desktop is full of generic file folders, it may take you a long time to find what you're looking for. It can be frustrating, especially if you're in a rush.

Once you get your whole desktop organized by changing your folder icons, it will improve your productivity. It will also help you categorize your folders into different groups. There's no limit to how you can customize your Mac desktop, and it'll only take a few minutes.

There are several ways to change your folder icon on your Mac. You can technically use an image for your folder icon. It can be any photo, whether you downloaded it from your browser or took it with your camera.

To change the folder icon on a Mac to an image, follow the steps below:

  1. Find the image you want to use for the folder icon.
  2. Double-click the image to open it in the Preview app.
  3. Press the "Command" and "A" keys to select the image.
  4. Click on the "Edit" tab in the top menu bar.
  5. Choose "Copy" from the drop-down menu.

    Notes: You can also press the "Command" and "C" keys of the same type to copy the image.
  6. Find the folder you want to customize.
  7. Right-click on the folder and choose "Get Info" from the drop-down menu. This will open a new window.
  8. Select the icon in the upper left corner of the window.
  9. Go to the "Edit" tab in the menu bar.
  10. Choose "Paste".
  11. Select the red traffic light in the upper left corner to exit the window.

Notes: To speed up this process, press the "Command" and "V" keys simultaneously to paste the image into the "Info" window of the folder.



The image you copied will automatically replace the folder icon. If nothing has changed, make sure you have selected the folder icon before hitting the Paste command.

Besides using your own images, you can also use folder icons that you have downloaded from your browser. If you're looking for custom folder icons, Pinterest is the best place to look for them. Keep in mind that the image must be in .jpeg or .png format. If the photo you want to use has a different format, you'll need to convert it before doing so.

How to use an icon from another folder

If you don't want to search and download icons from the web, you can use an icon from another folder or file. This is done the same way:

  1. Find the folder or file containing an icon you want to use.
  2. Right-click on it and choose "Get Info" from the drop-down menu.

    Notes: Another quick way to open the "Info" box is to right-click on the folder. Next, press the "Command" and "I" keys simultaneously.
  3. Click the folder icon in the upper left corner of the window.
  4. Go to “Edit” then “Copy”. You can also select the folder icon and press the "Command" and "V" keys simultaneously to copy the folder icon.
  5. Close the window.
  6. Find the folder you want to customize.
  7. Right-click on it and select "Get Info".
  8. Select the folder icon in the new window.
  9. Go to "Edit" again and choose "Paste" from the drop-down menu.

That's all we can say about it. Once you close the folder's "Info" window, you will notice that your folder's icon has changed. This method is much faster than the others because you won't have to customize or adjust the icon in any way to make it compatible with your folder.



How to Change the Folder Color on a Mac

Another option is to change the color of the folder icon on your Mac. Changing the color of a folder icon is done with the Preview app. To do this on your Mac, follow the steps below:

  1. Find and right-click the folder you want to customize.
  2. Select "Get Info" from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click the folder icon in the upper left corner of your screen.
  4. Go to "Edit" in the top toolbar.
  5. Choose the "Copy" option from the drop-down menu.
  6. Close the "Info" window of the folder.

Now is the time to use the Preview app to change the color of your folder icon. This is how it's done:

  1. Launch the Preview app on your Mac.
  2. Go to "File" in the top menu bar.
  3. Select "New from Clipboard" at the top of the drop-down menu. This will open the folder icon you copied.
  4. Switch to the "Tools" tab in the top menu bar.
  5. Click on the “Adjust Color…” option.
  6. To change the color, go to "Tint" in the new window.
  7. Click the slider and drag it to the left or right of the scale to adjust the color. You can also adjust saturation, exposure, contrast, temperature, and other color settings to change your icon to a specific color.
  8. Close this window when you are done.
  9. Go to "Edit" in the top menu bar and select "Copy".
  10. Close the Preview app.
  11. Go back to the "Info" window of the folder you want to customize.
  12. Go to “Edit” then “Paste”.
  13. Close the "Info" box.

The folder icon color will be changed instantly. Although this process can be a bit time-consuming, you can literally create any color for your Mac file folders. It's a great way to organize all your file folders on your desktop. Not only will they be more accessible, but the entire desktop will also be visually pleasing.



Additional FAQs

How to restore the original folder icon on a Mac?

If you change your mind about a particular folder icon, you can always restore the default icon. It will only take you a few moments. Here's what you need to do:

1. Locate the folder you want to customize.

2. Right-click on the folder and choose "Get Info" from the drop-down menu.

3. Click the icon in the upper right corner of the window.

4. Go to the "Edit" tab in the menu bar.

5. Choose "Cut" from the drop-down list.

This will automatically return the folder to its default icon, which is the blue file folder.

How to create a custom folder icon on a Mac?

If you want to be more creative, you can create your own custom icons for all file folders on your Mac. Keep in mind that you will need a third-party app to do this. You can use Illustrator, Procreate, Photoshop, and various other photo editing apps.

Whichever third-party app you choose, you can select the dimensions for each custom icon. Square images are usually the best option for creating folder icons. You can also create your own design. Try to keep it fairly simple because adding too much detail will make it blurry when minimized.

Once you've created your design in one of these apps, all you need to do is export it to your device. Here's what you can do next:

1. Open your custom icon.

2. Press "Command" and "A" at the same time to select it.

3. Press "Command" and "C" at the same time to copy it.

4. Find the folder for which you want to use the custom icon.

5. Right-click on it and choose "Get Info" from the drop-down list of options.

6. Click on the folder in the upper right corner of your screen.

7. Go to “Edit” then “Paste”.

8. Close the "Info" window.

Your folder will now have a custom icon. You can do this for all your folders on your Mac.

Personalize your Mac desktop

Changing folder icons on your Mac will allow you to create a visually pleasing desktop, as well as organize all your folders and files. Besides making your folder icon an image, you can also change the color of the folder icon. To go further, you can create your own custom folder icons. There's no limit to what you can do to personalize your Mac desktop.

Have you ever changed a folder icon on your Mac before? Have you used any of the methods described in this article? Let us know in the comments section below.

Audio Video How to Change the Folder Icon on a Mac
add a comment of How to Change the Folder Icon on a Mac
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.