This solution from Apple replaces the generic, blue folder with the specified graphic element.

Is there a way to add a custom graphic 'over lay' to the generic, blue folder? Dropbox is an example of this.

** edit **

I want to do this for one folder. An alias to the folder should retain the icon as well.

I would prefer to do this without the help of a 3rd-party application.

  • So that it becomes a default or just for a given folder?
    – Thecafremo
    Jan 9, 2014 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


The simplest way of doing it is just making it yourself. And there is a quite simple way of doing it.

  1. Select a folder which has the Generic icon.
  2. Do Edit / Get Info or Command+I.
  3. Select the folder's icon, at the top of the Info Window, and copy it. enter image description here

  4. Open Preview.app

  5. Do File / New from Clipboard or just Command+N. All of the actual icon's image sizes will appear. Select the first one as it's the biggest one. enter image description here

  6. Copy, from elsewhere, the image you want to use as overlay and paste it in the Preview document. For pasting it you'll have to click on the actual image, instead of Preview's selecting panel. enter image description here

  7. Now, either after clicking in the preview's panel or the actual image, do Edition / Copy.

  8. Select the folder you want to change and do the Get info thing as you did before.
  9. Select the folder's image at the top of the info window and paste the new icon by doing Edition / Paste.

This is the final result: The result

It's quite nasty, from a designer's point of view, but it will definitely do the trick.

  • This assumes that there is a folder with the desired 'overlay' image. If there isn't, this won't help.
    – craig
    Jan 9, 2014 at 20:26
  • @craig No, you can use any image you want as overlay image Just copy and paste it on the preview's document.
    – Thecafremo
    Jan 9, 2014 at 20:27
  • #5 produces 10 folder-shaped images of various sizes in Preview. I don't understand what #6 means--I'm not able to paste another image.
    – craig
    Jan 9, 2014 at 20:39
  • Those are all of the icon's different sizes. Just choose the first one. Copy an image from elsewhere, the one you're going to use as overlay. Then click on the folder's actual image, instead of the panel on the right, and paste it. Let me edit the post with some clarifying pictures!
    – Thecafremo
    Jan 9, 2014 at 20:42
  • 1
    Awesome! Love the icon choice, too.
    – craig
    Jan 9, 2014 at 20:59

You can do this with Folders Factory:

Folders Factory Stamp

Contacts might not be the best image for this, but you get the point.
You can also just overlay an image, or stamp a texture or text, but based on the Dropbox I guess this is what you're going for.

  • 1
    Is there a way to do this without this application?
    – craig
    Jan 9, 2014 at 20:28
  • @craig Sure, you can just place a picture on top of the image and edit it yourself using Photoshop/Pixelmator/etc to recreate the stamp effect, but this is the simplest way.
    – grg
    Jan 9, 2014 at 20:31

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