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How to change icons for files and folders on Mac

How to change icons for files and folders on Mac

Teknopedia - MacOS makes it easy to distinguish files from folders using icons. The file icon represents the file type. For example, a text file is a piece of paper and a ZIP file is a zipper. Folder icons are even simpler: These are folders.

What is not always clear is how to change icons for files and folders on a Mac. You might want the image as the file icon, or a different color for the folder icon. With just a few clicks, you can make these icons pretty much anything you want.

Step 1: Copy the image for the icon

You can use an image to represent a file or folder on your Mac. This is useful for finding what you need quickly.

There are several ways you can copy the image you want to use.
  • Open it in Preview and choose Edit > Copy from the menu bar.
  • Select the image and click Edit > Copy from the Finder menu bar.
  • Right-click the image and choose Copy.
  • Select the image and use the keyboard shortcut Command + C.
  • The image will then be copied to your clipboard.

Step 2: Open item information

Whether it's a file or folder, open its properties to access its icon. Select a file or folder and click File > Get Info from the menu bar or right-click and select Get Info.

This will open a window full of details about the item. At the top left of this window you will see an icon.

Step 3: Paste the image as an icon

If the image is on your clipboard, you can paste it.

Select the icon in the Get Info window to highlight it. Then paste the image by clicking Edit > Paste from the menu bar or by using the keyboard shortcut Command + V.

You will see the copied image replace the default icon for the file or folder. You can then close the Get Info window.

How to change folder color on Mac

If you just want to change folder icon color on Mac, you can do it with Preview.

Step 1: Copy the folder icon

Open the Get Info window for the folder as described above. Select it and click File > Get Info or right-click and choose Get Info.

Select the icon at the top left of the details panel to highlight it. Now copy the icon by clicking Edit > Copy in the menu bar or by using the Command + C keyboard shortcut.

Step 2: Open the icon in Preview

Open the Preview app on your Mac and choose File > New From Clipboard from the menu bar.

You will see a folder icon that you can edit.

Step 3 Change the icon color

At the top of the Preview app, click the Markup button on the toolbar. Then select the Customize Colors button. Use the Tint slider to choose the color you want for the icon.

Optionally, you can use another color matching tool if you want.

Step 4: Copy the new folder icon

Once the icons are colored the way you want, all you have to do is copy and paste them back into the folder details window.

Choose Edit > Select All, then choose Edit > Copy from the menu bar to copy the symbol. You can also use the selection tool in the preview to outline the icon and then click Edit > Copy.

Step 5: Change the folder icon

Return to the Get Info window you opened for the folder. Select the icon in the top left again to highlight it. Then paste the new symbol by clicking Edit > Paste from the menu bar or by using the keyboard shortcut Command + V.

Whether you use photos or logos for file icons, or decide to just change the color of folder icons, you have the ability to make items stand out in macOS. For more customization options, see How to change the background on a Mac.


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