Changing Icons in OS X

I've had a few readers write asking how to change the look of icons in OS X since I posted the set of glass folders last week. The easiest way is to buy a copy of CandyBar 3. That, however, will cost you $29. If you want to do it by hand that is also possible with the following steps.

First you will have a file for which you want to change the icon. Here is a rtf file that deserves some attention.

Icon 1.jpg


Next you need to find a new icon. There are a variety of sources on the interweb. One of my favorites is Interfacelift where I got this clone soldier icon.

icon 6.png


Now copy the new icon by clicking once on it and then pressing ...

command c.png


Now go back to the file that is to get a new icon. First click on it and then press ...

command I.png


This opens the information panel for that file which should look something like this.

icon 3.png


Now comes the tricky part. Click on the icon in the information panel once. It should then have a faint little blue halo on it.

icon 5.jpg


Once the icon has the blue glow then you paste the new icon you copied by clicking ...

Command v.png


That is it. Close the information panel and you should be good.

icon 7.png


Sometimes OS X is a little slow updating the icon but it generally happens right after you close the information panel.

If you decide you want to return a file to its default icon, you just give it the blue halo in the information panel and then click ...

command x.png


Just to give an example of how crazy this can get, here is my daughter's dock. Whenever I use her computer it takes me five minutes to find Safari ... which is coincidentally (this week) the peace symbol.

Sams Dock.jpg