Use ICNS Images To Change Folder Icons

Back in days gone by, us old Mac guys used to customize our macOS more than we do today. It was fun and a totally Mac thing to do. One of the things we did was to install custom Folder Icons. It was a bit of a complicated process, but it yielded a custom folder look. These days the macOS uses its own icon format called ICNS. If you have an ICNS image you like, you can use it to customize a Folder, File or App Icon. Here is how to do that on a Folder, it is the same process for Files and Apps.

Folder Icon Change

Recent versions of the macOS use an icon format called ICNS. If you can find an ICNS icon image you like online, you can use it to change the appearance of a folder on your Mac very easily. The ICNS format is not as common as JPEG or PNG, but you can find them online if you search. Here is one site to get your search started. If you cannot find a ICNS image you like, there are plenty of sites online that allow you to convert a PNG to ICNS format. Just do a search on “convert PNG to ICNS” and you will come up with several conversion websites.

Once you have your ICNS image downloaded to your Mac, all you have to do is select the Folder in your Finder:

Then click on the “Get Info” command1 in the Finder File menu:

You will come up with a Folder Window similar to this one:

All you have to do is drag the ICNS image onto the Folder Symbol in this window and your Folder Icon will be changed:

It is just that easy. You can change the Folder Icon using PNG and other image formats, but the process is a little more complicated. It is much easier to just get your images in the ICNS format or convert them into it and go from there.


This tip is not exactly a workflow enhancer, but it is fun to tweak our macOS sometimes. Having fun is what Macs are for, among other things.

  1. Keyboard Command Key ⌘ plus the letter “I”