Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

I have created a couple of automator scripts. I was curios if there is a way to change the application icon, on those scripts, to something other than the robot.

share|improve this question
up vote 29 down vote accepted

After the script has been created do the following :

  1. Find the source app with the icon you want

  2. Get Info of the source app (cmd-i)

  3. Click on the icon inside the source app's info window (Not the one in the big Preview section at the bottom, if you have one of those; the little one in the top-left corner.)

  4. Copy it (cmd-c)

  5. Get Info of the automator script (i.e., the destination app) (cmd-i)

  6. Click on the icon inside the destination app's info window

  7. Paste the icon from the clipboard (cmd-v)

This method works for every files in Mac OS X.

picture to illustrate instructions

share|improve this answer
+1 for your brief and complete explanation, but if you add some image it's become better. – Am1rr3zA Aug 22 '10 at 21:23
I like this solution better. Much less hassle. – percent20 Aug 22 '10 at 22:04
That doesn't do anything. There's no action when i type the cmd-c or cmd-v. – BetaRide Jun 13 '14 at 6:40
This does not behave as it should in Mavericks – qed Aug 7 '14 at 9:53
@qed I also thought it wasn't working in Mavericks, but then realized to copy and paste the little icon at the very top of the Get Info window, not the one in the Preview section... Studer might want to update step 3 to indicate which icon to focus on. – Nathan Beach Sep 2 '14 at 20:19

I found a hacky way to do it after you have created the applet

  • (Create your icns icon file - however you want)
  • Open Applications Folder
  • Right-click on automator script
  • Click on view package contents
  • Add your icon to resources folder
  • Rename it to AutomatorApplet.icns

I am sure there is a better way, but I figured out how to do it this way.

share|improve this answer
This is the way I think it should work, but for some reason, it is not working for me. I am OS X 10.9.2, and after replace the icns file, I have already try to log off and log in again, still not helps. – chenyi1976 Apr 20 '14 at 5:39
I just got percent20's method to work by adding one more operation: 1. Follow the "hacky way to do it" process above 2. Close the app bundle and once again do a Cmd+I Get Info on the app icon 3. Delete the current (now legacy) icon in the Get Info sheet 4. The icon in the .icns file you inserted in 1. above will appear. S – Simon Pride Dec 5 '14 at 21:52
I tested this answer on OS X Mavericks (10.9.5) and it worked... after a reboot! Seems there is some icon caching going on that a reboot must clear up. I didn't need to follow @SimonPride's additional steps above. – TrinitronX Jan 6 '15 at 23:44

You can also change the icon just as you would normally for any other folder or file in Mac OS X:

  1. Copy the image you want to use as your icon. Ideally it should be 512x512 already.
  2. Choose Get Info on the file/folder/app in Finder
  3. Click on the Icon and you'll notice a blue outline on the icon - now press Command-V or choose Paste from the Edit menu.


(Screenshot taken from Super User question 37811)

share|improve this answer
+1 for your reference! – Am1rr3zA Aug 22 '10 at 21:24
For a visual demo, see – qed Aug 7 '14 at 10:07

To complement the existing, helpful answers:

  • The accepted answer works in principle, but:

    • relies on extended attributes of the HFS+ filesystem, which are lost when copying the bundle to a filesystem that doesn't support them. For instance, you cannot store a custom icon in a Git repository.
    • the icon displayed by the bundle itself, such as when showing an alert, is still the original icon.
  • percent 20's answer is more comprehensive and portable in principle, but comes with two caveats:

    • Any changes to AutomatorApplet.icns are lost whenever you modify and re-save the bundle in Automator.
      Thus, for instance, you'd need a script to put the updated icons in place programmatically every time the bundle is saved.
    • As others have noted, there are icon caching issues, which can be tricky to resolve; as of OSX 10.10.4:
      • Even a reboot doesn't make the new icons appear in Finder (though it does appear in other contexts such as in the Dock), but there are two workarounds: either (a) move the bundle to a different folder, or (b) rename the bundle; given that reverting to the original path and name makes the problem reappear, you'd have to plan ahead: create your bundle in a different location or with a different name, then move / rename to the desired location / name.
      • Alternatively, you can use a tool such as OnyX and check IconServicesunder Cleaning > User to clear the cache.
share|improve this answer

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.