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Automator allows to save a workflow as an application bundle. It uses an Automator specific icon for doing this.

I want to change this icon (using different icons for different workflows).

I can do this by going into the application bundle and change the icon with Icon Composer. The disadvantage of this solution is that if I open the application bundle in Automator and save it, it uses the default icon again. Is there a way to change the icon for good?

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Many years later: as of (at least) OSX 10.10.4, Automator now retains a custom icon (assigned as described in joe's answer) even when re-saving the application. – mklement0 Jul 30 '15 at 22:07

From Here

Go to any file, folder, or app on your mac and single click on it.

Press Apple-i.

Single click on the icon at the top of the info screen and press Apple-c to copy it.

Go to your automator app you made.

Single click on the icon.

Press Apple-i.

When the info screen comes up single click on the icon on the top left.

Apple-v to paste. Your app has a new icon.

Note that when you save your automator app again, the old icon will come back and you'll have to do the process again.

If you'd like to see a few of my automator apps, they're not quite ready for public consumption yet, but they're up, each with their on icon. You'll find them at

I don't use any icon builders, but have a few freeware utilities that are nice. I found them either at of apple's software site.

Cocoathumbx-Converts a file's content to an icon. Works with images and pdfs

Thumbscrew-Creates a nice little slanted icon of images dropped on it. Many things can be modified in prefs.

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Thanks for your answer. But I get it that you don't know an answer how to change the icon that it persists saving in Automater? – ashcatch Oct 21 '09 at 10:17
That bit is not possible. He definitely answered you as best as anyone can and deserves the Tick :) – Pie Jul 26 '11 at 8:04

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