How to Change the Folder Icon on a Mac

Did you know you could change the folder icon on Mac? Well, the process is closely similar to how you change the colors of folder icons. But yes, by following a few simple steps, you can create customized folder icons to personalize your Mac. You can easily organize the folders on your Mac in different colors or themes to boost productivity.


You can either use a custom image for the folder icon, like any picture saved on your device, or simply download anything from the web. So, are you ready to dress up your Mac in a new avatar? Let’s get started.

In this post, we have covered a step-by-step guide on how to change folder icons on Mac in just a few simple steps.

Also read: How To Change Folder Colour On Mac: Step-By-Step Guide (2021)

How to Change the Folder Icon on a Mac?

The image of the folder icon should ideally be in the.ICN format so that you can simply drag and drop the file on the folder to change its icon. But yes, you can also use PNG or JPG files to customize the folder icons on Mac. Here’s what you need to do:

Open the image file on your Mac that you need to use as the folder icon. To do so, you can simply double-tap on the file. Alternatively, you can also use Mac’s Preview app to load the image file.


Once the image file opens on the screen, tap on Edit> Copy. This will copy the image file on your Mac’s clipboard.

Now browse to your Mac’s library and select the folder whose icon you need to change. Select the folder and then tap File> Get Info.


In the “Get Info” window, you will see a tiny folder icon placed on the top left corner. Right?

Tap on the icon and then select Edit> Paste.


And that’s it! Right after you hit on the Paste button, the folder icon will be automatically replaced with the image that you previously copied on the clipboard.

Also read: How To Delete Downloaded Files And Folders To Clean Your Mac

How to Customize All Folder Icons at Once?

If you want to change the folder icon on Mac individually for each specific folder, then it’s alright but how about if you want to use one common image for all the folders on your Mac? Yes, you can do that as well.

Although, the process to change the default folder icon on a Mac is a little complicated and you might have to dig deep into Settings. Here’s what you need to do:

Before you begin, you will have to disable the “System Integrity Protection”. The default folder icon of your Mac is stored in a “Protected Area”. And hence, you will only be able to customize it or access it once you disable the System Integrity Protection.

Load your Mac in the Recovery Mode. Press the Command + R key combination while booting to load Mac in Recovery mode.

Once your device restarts, open Mac’s Terminal app.

Mac’s Terminal app

In the Terminal window, copy and paste the following command to disable the System Integrity Protection:

csrutil disable

After disabling the System Integrity Protection, reboot your device.

Now head on to this location:


Once you navigate to this location, look for the “GenericFolderIcon.icns” file.

Here comes the interesting part. Pick any custom image that you need to use as the folder icon on Mac. To change the folder icon on Mac, replace the GenericFolderIcon.icns file with your custom image file. Use the same file name for the new custom file.

After changing the folder icon on your Mac, don’t forget to enable the System Integrity Protection.

Boot your Mac in Recovery Mode. Launch Terminal and then execute the following command to enable the System Integrity Protection.

csrutil enable

And that’s it!

Also read: How To Organize Files And Folders On Mac



So fellas here was a step-by-step guide on how to change folder icons on Mac. You can either change the folder icons for individual folders or use the same custom image for all the folders, as per your preference.

Also read: Mac Smart Folders: All You Need to Know

Are you looking forward to dressing up your Mac in an all-new custom look? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section! Follow us on social media – FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

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