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Setting Icons In Mac OS X

To customize a desktop icon manually in Mac OS X, you need to access the Finder's "Inspector". The inspector is shown or hidden when you press Command-Option-I with an item selected. Opening the Inspector for an item reveals various types of information including what the current icon is set to.

Here is a step-by-step guide for setting a folder icon:

  1. Select a file or folder that has the icon you want to use.
  2. Press Command-Option-I to bring up the Inspector panel.
  3. Click on the icon once. You should see a highlighted border around the icon.
  4. Press Command-C to copy the icon. Do NOT close the inspector panel.
  5. Select the file or folder that you want to customize.
  6. Click on the icon in the Inspector panel again and press Command-V to paste the icon.

That's it! If you don't see the icon immediately update, you may need to log out and back into Mac OS X for the change to take effect. You can now close the Inspector panel safe in the knowledge that your icon has been customized. If you ever want to clear any custom icon you've applied, just open the inspector for that item, select it and press the "Delete" key or Command-X to cut it.

You should note that there are certain icons in the operating system that simply cannot be changed. Still others can only be customized using a separate application like The Iconfactory's own CandyBar utility. CandyBar lets you quickly and easily replace all of the icons in the Mac OS X system folder as well as the Finder's toolbar icons, trash can and Dock icons. Please visit the CandyBar home page for more information about this product.