Mac OS X: How to Use Custom Icons

This document explains how to add or delete custom icons for applications, folders, or documents.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
How to add a custom icon

Note: This document uses the Get Info command. On earlier versions of Mac OS X, this appears as the Show Info command. The function is the same.

After downloading or copying the custom icon file(s) to your computer follow these steps:
    1. Select the desired icon in the Finder.
    2. Choose Get Info from the File menu.
    3. Click the icon that appears in the Info window.
    4. Choose Copy from the Edit menu.
    Note: Leave the Info window open.
    5. In the Finder, select the application, folder, or document whose icon you want to change. Note that the Info window immediately updates to display the newly selected item.
    6. Click the icon that appears in the Info window.
    7. Choose Paste from the Edit menu.
    8. Close the Info window.

Note: You must have write permission to change an item's custom icon. See technical document 106712: "Mac OS X: Troubleshooting Permissions Issues" for more information.

How to delete a custom icon
    1. Select the item in the Finder from which you wish to delete a custom icon.
    2. Choose Get Info from the File menu.
    3. Click the icon in the Info window.
    4. Press the Delete key.
    5. Close the Info window.

Where to find custom icons

Mac OS X - "Downloads Icons, Screensavers, etc."

AppleCare Knowledge Base

Related information

For additional information, see these technical documents:

107343: "Mac OS X 10.2: Pasting Custom Icons Over Custom Icons Does Not Always Work"
106528: "Mac OS X 10.1: Hard Disk Icon Disappears After Changing the Icon"
106427: "Mac OS X: Pasting Custom Icons Does Not Work in All Contexts"
Published Date: Feb 17, 2012