Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Custom icons for folders and files in Mac OSX

Have you ever wanted to personalize your Mac with custom icons for files and folders? It’s quite simple to do so, especially if you make use of existing icons from a site like I downloaded a set called “Flurry Extras” which saved to my “Downloads” folder. Inside, there is an “Icons” folder, full of icons for programs and folders.
So, on my desktop I’ve got a folder named “from_tascam” which has some audio samples in it. I’d like to make this folder stick out a bit more so I’ll use this icon for it.

First, I’ll right-click on the folder “from_tascam” and choose Get Info, keyboard shortcut ⌘+I. Then I do the same for the icon I want to use.
These window’s will pop up. Get info, is a useful command to know. You can quickly find out a lot of information about a file or folder, such as the Size, Last Modified Date and what is the Default Application to open files of the same type. Click on the icon in the top left corner of the window of the icon you’d like to copy. It’ll have a faint blue line around it which you can see somewhat in the screenshot below on the right.
Almost done, I’ll simply Copy this icon with ⌘+C, click on the icon I’d like to replace in the “from_tascam” Get Info window and Paste with ⌘+V. Beyond looking good, this is also a useful way to quickly visualize the contents of files or folders.

If you’d like to even take this a step further, you can create your own Icons. This site here has plenty of good information on how to accomplish this with the use of some third party software.


  1. You could also draw your own icon if you are a Photoshop whiz. Anyway, once you have your image, open it in Photoshop or a similar image editor and eliminate the background by deleting it. Amazing Adobe software!