Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In Mac OS X, suppose you open your root disk, following folders/directories will have different icon (thumb) on it.

  • Application
  • Developer
  • Library
  • System

How to apply a thumb image on my specific folder/directories?

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted
  • locate the image file you want to use
  • press Cmd-C (Edit:Copy)
  • locate the folder you want the thumbnail applied to
  • press Cmd-I (File:Get Info)
  • click on the top left icon until it gets a colored outline
  • press Cmd-V (Edit:Paste)

You can also copy existing icons, use the Get Info window as source.

Edit: If this doesn't work, open the image in, select part of or the whole image and press Cmd-C (Edit:Copy). Then proceed with step 3.

share|improve this answer
Excellent one. ! never mentioned in documents. – Sagar R. Kothari Aug 11 '10 at 8:52

I'd go with drag'n'drop:

  • open info of file(s)/folder(s) to set icon on
  • locate your icon (it can be an icon file or just any file, which icon you see for that file will be the one you will set)
  • drag icon and drop it on top left icon in info window
share|improve this answer

You need to create a special Folder-type icon (the usual app bundle .icns won't work here). Img2icns will give you an option to create this type of icon, despite its name.

share|improve this answer

Customizing file and folder icons in Mac OS X presents a more involved process utilizing an .icns file which can contain several versions of an icon for display at different sizes. While less elegant than the + C, + I, + V method, it's useful in cases where scaling a single icon produces unacceptable results (such as when the 16x16 icon is an indistinct blur).

share|improve this answer

So it cannot be like thumbnail for Pictures folder in Windows? I mean, if I've set the display option to Thumbnails, then if a folder contains images i.e. photos, wallpapers then it gives a preview on the folder icon. I guess it's not there in OS X or any other OS for that matter..

share|improve this answer
Mac OS X auto generates thumbnails for PDFs, images and other file types in the Finder in any view. – Chealion Sep 10 '10 at 16:01
Only when you place the folder in the Dock (as a "Stack"), and then it's still rather unusable. – Daniel Beck Feb 17 '11 at 13:38

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.