How to create custom desktop icons on imac OSX

From miscellus

How to change the desktop icons on an iMac (OSX)

A set of custom desktop icons for iMac OSX

Using your own custom icons on a Windows system is easy to do and very obvious. There is even a utility named 'Desktop Icon Settings'. On a Macintosh it's not very obvious that it can be done at all and there is certainly no special utility to assist you. However, it can be done and it is very easy to do as you will see:

Simple stages for the confident

Copy the image to use for your icon

  • View your chosen icon in Preview by double clicking the image icon
  • Ensure the image is selected by pressing Cmd + A while the image preview is the active window
  • Copy the image to the clipboard by pressing Cmd + C

Paste the icon image into the application'

  • Right click the desktop icon you wish to change and select Get Info
  • In the info panel, left click the current icon until it is outlined
  • Paste the clipboard image by pressing Cmd + V
  • That's it, you've changed a desktop icon!

Step by step screen shots

Use Preview to view the image you want to use for the icon and press Cmd + A to highlight the image, then Cmd + C to copy the image to the clipboard
Right click the icon you wish to change and select Get Info
Get Info properties panel
Click the icon (top left) in the Get Info panel until it is selected (glowing blue or gray outline), press Cmd + V to paste the copied icon and change it
Showing changed icon

Useful tips

  • Preferably use a square image for your icon
  • Use a reasonable large image for the icon or it will be pixelated. There does not seem to be a size limit
  • A transparent image looks better than a non-transparent image. Compare the two Calendar icons in the first desktop screenshot.
  • .png & .gif are the most common transparent image file types
  • Use https://openclipart.org/ to find free-to-use Creative Commons icons for your Mac

Good luck!