I've uninstalled my former default text editor which I used for many different file formats. Unfortunately the associated icons are not removed automatically. As a result, several file types still use the icon of the program, even though it's not on my machine anymore.

There a several similar questions around here and this one seemed to be most promising, but it doesn't work on El Capitan (version 10.11.5). Does anyone how I can achieve this on a current version of Mac OS X?

EDIT: After assigning a new default program (no matter if I do that via RCDefaultApp or Finder), the old icon remains. If, for instance, I choose Atom as the new default editor for XML files, the former editor icon (Emacs) is still there.


  • Did you ever find a good solution? I'm having the same problem.
    – Micrified
    Aug 28, 2017 at 13:31
  • @Owatch unfortunately no. It is really annoying.
    – beatngu13
    Aug 28, 2017 at 18:37

2 Answers 2


Run this command in Terminal: sudo rm -rf /Library/Caches/com.apple.iconservices.store And G'bye atom icon.

  • Thanks, will try this out. But could you please elaborate on what com.apple.iconservices.store exactly does? Are there official references available?
    – beatngu13
    Sep 19, 2017 at 8:45
  • 1
    It's the icon cache, more info here: eclecticlight.co/2019/01/30/…
    – tekumara
    Jan 12, 2020 at 6:06

Have you tried just setting a new default to one document, Get Info on one example, select a new app from the 'Open With' drop menu then hit the 'Change all' button below [hidden below drop menu in photo]

enter image description here

Alternatively, RCDefaultApp [freeware, old but still works well] can change many aspects of file association.

  • Assigning a new default program works, but it's annoying to do that manually. However, RCDefaultApp looks great! Seems to give the overview I'm looking for. Is there no such service pre-installed (e.g. within system preferences)? Unfortunately I'm not able to upvote with a repuation less than 15, but I'm gonna checkout RCDefaultApp later and accept the answer if it does what I want.
    – beatngu13
    Jul 21, 2016 at 13:21
  • Strangely, there's never been a Mac 'service' of any kind that could do this task. Last App I recall that could do it [possibly back in OS 9 days], was Netscape. RCDefaultApp has kind of become the unofficial de-facto standard.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 21, 2016 at 13:23
  • Unfortunately I have to withdraw accepting your answer (see edit).
    – beatngu13
    Jul 27, 2016 at 7:26

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