Change Your Mac’s Folder Icons and Give Them Some Personality

We know that most of you out there have got a lot of folders on your Mac. We’re guessing they’re in your home folder, but you have also added a few to your dock. One holds all your games; and another contains all the things you are currently working on.

Unfortunately, they all look the same.


Today, I’ll be showing you how to change that, and the way external hard drives look on your desktop. First take a look at some alternative icons, and then I’ll explain how to do the replacing.


Change that, and the way your external hard drives look on your desktop. I’ll show you how to do the replacing, but first lets take a look at some alternative icons.

Finding Alternative Mac Icons

Custom Folder Icons

First and foremost, if you’re looking to replace your folder icons with custom ones that blend into your exising Mac’s look and feel, be sure to check out Myssynen’s Leopard Extra Folder Icons. Don’t be fooled by the name, this set offers visual highlights for everything from games to movies, all matching perfectly with your Mac’s existing icons, whether you’re using OS X Leopard or Mavericks:


This set will be perfect for you if you’re looking to add a custom games folder to your dock, or for anything else. The same artist also offers coloured folder icons that match Apple’s default look, so check those out if you want to extend your variety beyond the standard blue.

But if you’re in for more customisation and less default colours, we’d recommend check out the following  folder icon page at Icon Archive. You’ll be sure to find a lot, including these type of comic publisher folder icons:


Or if you’re looking for something, let’s say a bit more natural, these wood folders icon set:


Hard Drives

By default, all of your hard drives, whether internal or external, basically look the same. That’s okay for some, but if you give your drives a little personality, it’s easier to tell them apart at a glance. We’d recommend Slick Drives by Thvg as a place to start:


Three different colours are offered with the set mentioned above, and various icons mean you can change things up.

Those of you who own a SSD for your mac, can happily settle for these custom solid state drive icons for Mac:


And of course, if you’d like your traditional drive to have an accurate icon, you should check out this set of realistic internal drive icons. It’s, simply stating, extensive.

Random Stuff

If you’re on the look out for random stuff, we’d recommend Appstorm’s excellent roundup of alternative Mac icons. The set includes everything, from pirate flags to various devices from Star Trek. Check it out for yourself:


How To Replace Mac Folder Icons

Now onto the real part. Apple does officially explain how to replace icons on their own website, but here’s a quick and simple visual guide. Replacing icon is really easy: Just simply right/control-click the folder, drive or app you’d like to change the icon for, and then click “Get Info”. The equivalent keyboard shortcut is “Command + I”.


A window with loads of information will show up, but the only thing you should be currently interested in is the icon of the item located at the top-left of the windows. Click it and you can paste any image to become that item’s icon:


Even easier, however, is to drag an icon here:


Don’t like the new icon? Want to go back to normal? Simply click the icon in the “Get Info” box, and then press your Mac’s Delete key. The folder/item will then revert to its default look.

And this process doesn’t just work for folders and drives – you can do it for apps too – but it’s worth noting that this process won’t work for apps you download from the Mac App Store.

Apps For The Tiresome Job

We get it; you don’t want to replace all those icons manually. Luckily, there are apps for that, that can even replace an entire set of icons.

You might want to check out Icondubber, which makes managing icons and themes for Mac simple.


There’s also another app named Candybar, which is now a free icons manager for Mac. It can manage entire collections of icons, which you will find in many of the download links discussed above.


Enjoy your new icons!