I would like to replace the standard icon for an Automator application that I created with a PNG. Unfortunately, the resulting icon is the generic PNG icon, not the actual PNG image.


  • downloaded the desired image (512 x 512)
  • verified that the image had a transparent background
  • Opened the file's inspector window (+I):

enter image description here

  • Dragged the PNG to the image well:

enter image description here

The final result:

enter image description here

Is there a way to get the actual icon to be used?

  • 2
    Have you tried copy-pasting the image? I.e.: open .png in Preview,select all, copy, open inspector on automator app, click on icon and press cmd+v. – Saaru Lindestøkke Jan 30 '15 at 14:25
  • 1
    OK, that worked. Why? What's difference between the two approaches? – craig Jan 30 '15 at 14:32
  • Is your Finder configured to show the icon or the preview of an image file? If it's set to show the icon, then this might be the culprit. – Saaru Lindestøkke Jan 30 '15 at 15:21

Copy paste the .png image onto the icon shown in the Inspector.

  1. Open the .png with Preview
  2. Select all with CMD+A
  3. Copy with CMD+C
  4. Select the application of which you want to change the icon.
  5. Press CMD+I to open the Inspector
  6. Click on the icon and paste the copied image using CMD+V

I have no clue why that works differently compared to dragging and dropping the image.


Also, the above worked for me, but only after I was still having some puzzling difficulties, so if that's you, on your desktop (make sure you are clicked on your desktop) go up to the top, to Finder - View - Show View Options

... and use the little slider to adjust the size of your icons, slide it back and forth, even back to where it started and I found for me that for some strange reason my icon just popped up. (I was trying to get a new transparent icon the image for a Hard Drive and all I was getting was a standard PNG graphic but when I used the slider, it changed to my new icon. Go figure.)

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