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)?

  • Once you have changed the icon, you have to remove the folder's icon cache to see the result for most of the solutions in this ticket. Apart from booting your machine, you can also remove the .DS_Store folders in the app's folder.
    – Max
    Mar 28, 2015 at 10:43
  • There doesn't appear to be any .DS_Store in my app's folder. I'm looking in the terminal and seeing hidden files too
    – dessalines
    Jun 15, 2015 at 13:49
  • Good overview on Here's how to change icons in Mac OS X
    – KyleMit
    Aug 17, 2015 at 2:03

9 Answers 9

  • Select the application file in Finder.
  • Open the Info window for that file (File > Get Info, or I)
  • Click the icon in that window (a blue border will appear).
  • 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.

  • 4
    I dragged and droped an jpg image over the icon, but the icon now is the "preview application" icon with JPG text bellow... :-( Sep 8, 2009 at 15:31
  • 2
    Ah, never mind. The icons can be cached, apparently. Restarting my machine brought up the new icons. Apr 27, 2011 at 17:09
  • 10
    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
    – Kevin
    Feb 6, 2012 at 16:34
  • 3
    @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, 2012 at 4:40
  • 7
    @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. Jul 17, 2012 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.

Go to Applications in Finder, and right click Get Info for the app. Drag the image over the top icon, and it will be changed.

Don't drag it over the large preview on the bottom -- that will pass the image into the application as an argument. You don't want that.


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?)


First, open the app you want to change the image, then open the website https://iconverticons.com/online/

Into that website copy the image you want to use. The website will convert it into an .incs image which you need to download. After downloading it, drag it into the tiny image on top of the "get info" window. First, nothing is going to happen except that the big preview image is going to change.

IMPORTANT: After you completed all the steps, press the little "locked" checkbox, this is going to change the picture.

  • 1
    You don't need an app or shady website, your Mac already has the tool. Here's the command: sips -s format icns INPUT_PATH --out OUTPUT_PATH. You can feed it PNG files. Easy, free, private, secure, fast, guaranteed to produce good results.
    – Tom
    Apr 20, 2020 at 21:35

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.


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.

  • 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, 2009 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, 2009 at 13:32

Just perform this "Copy -> Paste":

  1. Open Information Panel of Application (Cmd+I), and Preview of image source.
  2. Copy (Cmd+C) image from Preview and Paste on icon in Information Panel of Application.

Here is the guide by Apple:

Use your own picture or a picture from the web

  1. On your Mac, copy the picture you want to use to the Clipboard.

    One way to do this is to open the picture in the Preview app , choose Edit > Select All, then choose Edit > Copy.

  2. Select the file or folder whose icon you want to replace, then choose File > Get Info.

  3. At the top of the Info window, click the picture of the icon, then choose Edit > Paste.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .