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How to change app icons on macOS

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App icons on macOS don't always look the way you want. Here's how to change them, from start to finish.

There are lots of reasons you may want to change the icon of an app on macOS. Maybe the developer recently changed one of the icons and you don't like it as much as the old one. Perhaps you've got a great idea for a new themed appearance that you'd like to make. Whatever the reason, we can help show you the easiest way to change your icons.

We're not going to teach you how to make your own icons, as that can be an involved process. However, if you want to find ready-made icons, you can check out our favorite resources in our Customize your iOS 14 Home Screen article — they'll work just the same.

Important: You can only change the icon of third-party apps, such as Google Chrome, Slack, Photoshop, etc. You cannot change the app icon for Apple-related apps, such as Messages, Calendar, Music, and Podcasts.

You must click the small icon at the top left corner of the information window

How to change an app icon on macOS

  1. Find an image you would like to use for your App icon and save it to your desktop. Square PNG and JPG files work the best.
  2. Open Finder
  3. Click Applications
  4. Right click on the app whose icon you'd like to change
  5. Select Get Info
  6. Right-click the desired icon image on your desktop
  7. Select Open With
  8. Select Preview
  9. While in Preview navigate to the top navigation bar
  10. Click Edit
  11. Click Copy
  12. Navigate back to the app's Get Info window
  13. Click the small icon at the top left of the window (see above image)
  14. Press Command + V on your keyboard
  15. Close the Get Info window
  16. Close the app, and if needed, clear it from your dock
  17. Reopen your app
Chrome's original icon (left) and the user-set icon (right)
Chrome's original icon (left) and the user-set icon (right)

Important: You must copy the image you wish to use from Preview, as merely left-clicking on the icon and copying it from your desktop will insert macOS's default placeholder image file.

Without copy and pasting from Preview, you'll be given an ugly placeholder image instead
Without copy and pasting from Preview, you'll be given an ugly placeholder image instead

Of course, if you change your mind, you can always reset the app icon to the ones the developer intended you to use, as well.

How to reset an app icon on macOS

  1. Open Finder
  2. Click Applications
  3. Right click on the icon you'd like to change
  4. Select Get Info
  5. Click the small icon at the top of the window
  6. Tap the Delete key on your keyboard
  7. Close the app, and if needed, clear it from your dock
  8. Reopen your app

Of course, these aren't the only icons you can change, either. If you'd like, you can easily change the icons for folders this way, too.

 

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