How to change the default app icons on macOS

If there’s one thing to hate about the new version of macOS Big Sur, most of you would surely agree that these are the default app icons. The standard app icons on Big Sur have received polarizing ratings. Many users even describe them as downright “ugly”.

How to change the default app icons on macOS

If you feel the same way, you’ll be happy to know that Apple has a way to change the default app icons in macOS, and it’s pretty easy once you know it.

Set custom app icons on macOS Big Sur

Step 1: collect custom icons for your apps in PNG format

Before changing the default app icons, you’ll need to collect the custom icons that you will use as replacement icons for your apps on macOS.

You can do this from a variety of sources. Many web-based icon repositories offer free downloads. While some allow you to download icons directly in various formats, others may require you to sign up for a free account. Popular icon repositories that you can download a variety of icons to include IconsDB, PNGTree, FlatIcon, Icons8, and more.

Make sure to download your icon images in PNG format and save them in a specific location on your Mac. Apple uses a unique format for its icons on macOS. Let’s just say it’s easier to convert and set up when your images are in PNG.

Step 2: Convert symbols from PNG to ICNS

Apple uses a proprietary file format called Apple Icon Image Format (ICNS) for icons on macOS. To convert our downloaded symbols we can use a web-based PNG to ICNS converter tool. Here we are using the free image converter tool from CloudConvert. The following steps will guide you to convert the PNG files with CloudConvert PNG Converter.

  1. Navigate to the CloudConvert PNG to ICNS Converter web app on your Mac.
  2. Click on “Choose file” and look for the downloaded icons in PNG format. You can select multiple PNG files at the same time. Alternatively, you can drag and drop multiple PNG files into the web interface.
  3. click “Convert” and wait for the conversions to finish.
  4. When the conversions are done, you can either download the converted files one by one by clicking “Download” Click the button next to each file or download them all at once as a ZIP file by clicking “All files” from the lower right corner and choose “Download all”.

Step 3: Set custom icons for macOS apps

To change the default app icon for apps on macOS, do the following:

  1. Open Finder on the Mac and navigate to “Applications” Folder.
  2. Select an app that you want to change the icon for. Right click on it and choose “Get information”.
  3. Drag the desired custom icon file (in ICNS format) that you previously converted from the Finder into the app icon placeholder in the upper left corner of the info window.
  4. Close the info window when you are done.

The app icon should be changed to the new icon you want and displayed in macOS. Repeat the same steps for all apps that you want to change the default app icon for.

Note: You can use a similar approach to change the icons of a file or folder on macOS. For more information, see Apple’s support article.

Go back to the default app icons on macOS

If you don’t want to keep custom icons for your apps, you can easily revert to the original app icons. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Finder on the Mac and navigate to “Applications” Folder.
  2. Select an app for which you want to remove the custom icon. Right click on it and choose “Get information”.
  3. In the info window, select the placeholder for the app icon in the upper left corner and click “Clear” Key.
  4. Close the info window when you are done.

The app icon of the respective app should be reset to the original one. Repeat the same steps for all apps for which you want to reset the app icons to their originals.

Changing the default app icons would probably eliminate one of macOS Big Sur’s biggest hassles. If this was a helpful tip to you, let us know in the comments below.

#How To #macOS #Tips & Tricks

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