I have a .icns file. I want to make the icon of folder to be this .icns.

How can I make that?


The .icns file that I use does not have the .icns file as its icon.

I have tried to copy the .icns file in Preview and paste it to the icon, but it copies the 1024x1024 image.

4 Answers 4

  1. "Get Info" of the folder you want the icon to be replaced,
  2. using Finder, drag and drop the *.icns file to the current top, i.e. smaller icon of the folder in the "Get Info" window.


  • 1
    Or open the "Get Info" inspector (CMD + I) of the folder and the one of the icon. Click the icon copy it (CMD + C) and click the folder icon then paste the clipboard content (CMD + V). PS: You may paste any kind of image althought better to use a square image of at least 1024px and a format that includes transparency such as PNG.
    – llange
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 19:56
  • @llange Your method works only if the .icns file the .icns file as its icon, which is not the case for my file :(
    – Colas
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 20:32
  • @piobyz Great, it works like a charm!
    – Colas
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 20:32
  • I must have poorly explained myself, and I'm sorry for that (my apologies). If you have an "icns" file (icon) you may use the inspector on both files and copy paste (because some times drag and drop isn't convenient). If instead you have an other type of image copy the image (e.g.) from Preview.app : select all (CMD + A) copy (CMD + C) and paste the clipboard content to the folder inspector (the PS part of my previous comment).
    – llange
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 23:18
  • Did not work for me in Mojave.
    – Cai
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 14:47

Open the .png file in Preview (or convert image to png) or open .icns in Preview

Press command+A to select the entire image

Press command+C to copy the selection

Control+Click on the file/folder you would like to change and "Get information"

Click the icon (so there is a blue frame around it)

Press command+V to paste the image into that.

*Sometimes you can go straight from the Get Info window of the .icns and copy the image icon there into the Get Info of the item you want to change. This works for most Apps except Finder.

  • I think it does not copy the .icns but the 1024x1024 image...
    – Colas
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 16:38
  • Have you tried it because I have done what you are talking about multiple times with success each time. Mac OS is kick ass and so is Preview. Open the .icns in preview and copy it. It'll work
    – Andrew U.
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 16:48
  • 2
    I checked: it does not copy the .icns, it copies the 1024x1024 image.
    – Colas
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 17:34

I had this problem myself and the only solution I found was to use Cocoa: [[NSWorkspace sharedWorkspace] setIcon:image forFile:filePath options:0];

I've written a simple app that just asks for an icon, then a file or folder on which to apply that icon. You can download it here: http://d.pr/f/2qRK/1k0UHTJ6

  • Have you checked @piobyz's answer?
    – Colas
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 16:56
  • 1
    Well @piobyz's answer is certainly easier, thank. I just take any opportunity to write an app :) Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 22:29
  • Note: As of this writing, the link in the answer is dead.
    – mklement0
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 20:36
  • Link is alive again. Commented May 23, 2018 at 13:47
  • This worked for me where the accepted answer didn't. Thanks!
    – Cai
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 14:50

Here's how I solved this problem:


I created an empty app with the .icns inside and then copy/paste from the info of the app to the info of the folder.

  • Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone.
    – nohillside
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 9:47

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