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I've just created an AppleScript simple application and I'd like it to have a nice icon (besides the rolled paper it is by default). How can I change an icon for this application (or any other application in my dock)?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 49 down vote accepted

Open the Info window for the application (File » Get Info, or Command-I), click the icon in that window (a blue border will appear), and paste in a new icon.

iTunes Get Info with selected icon

Any image you can open in Preview can be used as an icon: open it in Preview, select it, and copy it. That will put an image on the clipboard that includes a format that can be pasted as an application icon.

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2  
I dragged and droped an jpg image over the icon, but the icon now is the "preview application" icon with JPG text bellow... :-( –  Daniel Cukier Sep 8 '09 at 15:31
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Ah, never mind. The icons can be cached, apparently. Restarting my machine brought up the new icons. –  Eric Nguyen Apr 27 '11 at 17:09
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I have found that getting an .icns can be a bit tricky. You will need to open the icon in "Preview" as show. but be sure to SELECT ALL of the listed images. Copy them ALL. You might also need to unlock the app in the bottom right corner of the info window and use your password if needed. Also, might want to try iconverticons.com –  Thorn007 Feb 6 '12 at 16:34
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@Thorn007 - Thanks, this was what was needed for me. Else it kept showing just the Preview logo with 'ICNS' below it, and even a system restart didn't refresh the 'cache' if it was indeed cached. –  DMan Jul 17 '12 at 4:40
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@DanielCukier you would think drag-and-drop would work, what with it not being the 1980s anymore, but apparently it doesn't. Dragging a png or icns file also led to the "Preview Image" icon replacing the application icon. Opening with Preview, then copy and pasting (as this answer suggests) seems to work, though. –  mlms13 Jul 17 '12 at 11:06
  1. Right Click on app in Applications folder
  2. Click on Show Package Contents
  3. Go to Contents > Resources
  4. Check for icon file in the info.plist file located in Contents folder.
  5. Replace the icon file (icns) file with the desired icns file.
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According to macosxhints.com, it seems that in 10.6 the icons for standard Mac OS X applications (or even Apple software in general) might no longer be easily changed, as the application folders are kind of read-only.

One could of course change those access rights, but changing the package contents might break the Code Signing's signature for that application. And if the signature becomes invalid, then applications might no longer be allowed to access the keychain, will no longer be permanently allowed an exception in the firewall if it's known to check its own integrity (known to have caused trouble for configd, mDNSResponder and racoon), or might cause trouble when using software update.

(Above, might indicates that I am not sure. Some quick tests changing the iTunes, Safari and Activity Monitor icons did not break the Code Signing, though for some other, yet unknown reason the firewall might repeatedly ask Do you want the application “iTunes.app” to accept incoming network connections? For more details see If Mac code signing is tampered with, what might fail?)

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I would at least try out a trial version of Panic's CandyBar 3 application. Tuned up for 10.6, I haven't had any problems with it and I changed quite a few icons, including system applications like Finder and System Preferences.

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Aha, so CandyBar is changing the icons again? Some time ago they disabled that option because they were afraid to break Apple's Code Signing (which CandyBar indeed does, but so far it's unknown if it causes any problems). –  Arjan Oct 7 '09 at 4:43
    
I only found a couple of apps that I couldn't change, and surprisingly enough two are Transmit and Coda (two Panic apps). There were a couple more "core" apple ones that it doesn't change, but finder and sys pref's work fine. –  Josh K Oct 7 '09 at 13:32

Old topic I know, but better than raising a new one. This is relevant to the question.

If you're having trouble getting this to work, like me, then I found a solution. A Firefox update a long time ago brought back the classic icon - I, like many others, use a custom Tails icon (google it, it's really cute!) and I tried to set it back, but it wouldn't have it. Pasting over the icon didn't work. Just this evening I found the problem - within Firefox.app was an Icon file, but when viewed from Terminal it had an unprintable character on the end. Turns out there was a Windows line-ending in the filename (possibly a bug in the update) that prevented the icon being modified ever since. Deleting this file allowed me to change the icon again.

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