The Iconfactory


Freeware Support Item

What are custom icons used for exactly?

The most common use of custom icons is as a replacement for the standard file and folder icons that are built into your computer’s operating system. Many people find that it is much easier to find a file that you are looking for by spotting a cool, colorful icon rather than by its name. Custom icons are a way for users to personalize the look and feel of their desktop and many people collect hundreds, even thousands of them for fun.

Icons can be cut and pasted onto almost any item on the Macintosh. As for how to apply them, here is the most straight forward way:

  1. On your desktop, select the icon you would like to use
  2. Select “Get Info” (command-I) from the File Menu for that icon
  3. Click on the icon in the upper left of the window
  4. Choose “Copy” (command-C) from the Edit menu
  5. Close the window
  6. Select the file/folder to which you want to apply that icon
  7. Select “Get Info” (File menu) for that icon
  8. Click on the icon in the upper left of the window
  9. Select “Paste” (command-V) from the Edit Menu
  10. You’re done!

Please keep in mind that certain icons such as the Finder icon or the Trash Can icon can only be changed with helper apps like our very own CandyBar utility. Please visit the CandyBar homepage at to learn more.

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