I am using Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8. I tried changing a folder's icon using this well known method. I used a png image as my target icon. The icon does get changed, but not to the picture itself, but the icon of a png file.

The Icon I want to be there:

What I Want

What I get:

What I get

You see? That is not the png itself, but the icon of a png file.

I want the png to be the icon. Am I missing something?

(If it is important, "Show Icon Preview" is turned on in Finder view options. This folder was read-only for everyone but after seeing Problems changing drive icon I changed it to Read Write for everyone)

  • Exactly what version of Mac OS X are you using?
    – user9290
    Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 14:37
  • Snow Leopard. 10.6.8 to be precise.
    – Nivas
    Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 14:39

2 Answers 2


I've had a similar problem in the past.

First, open the file you want to use as an icon in Preview. Select all, then copy.
Close Preview.

Navigate to the folder whose icon you want to change. Go to File-> Get Info. Select the icon at the top left of the info window and paste. The folder's icon should be changed.

Basically, by copying the image directly from Preview, we don't have to worry about how the image has been saved and whether the image's icon is a generic one or a rendered preview (which was likely the problem originally).


LiteIcon is another good choice. I had the same problem, and ended up using LiteIcon. I highly recommend it, as it has an easy to use interface and is also free. (Note that the link goes to the home page of the developer for LiteIcon. You'll have to click on "LiteIcon" at the top of the web page)

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