In Catalina and earlier, the path for Finder folder icons (e.g. Applications, Desktop, Downloads, Developer…) was:


But as of Big Sur and later, the current icons aren't stored there anymore. Not even in the assets.car catalog — it contains some of the icons used by Finder, but not the folder ones.

What is the current path?

Edit: To be clear, the folder still contains folder icons, but these are LEGACY ICONS from Catalina and earlier, not the new ones being currently in use.

  • Have you found them?
    – 118218
    Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 14:39
  • Nope, and as per this sibling question and Gilby's response there, the custom folder icons for Home subdirectories (Downloads, Documents etc…) don't seem to exist as openable icns files anymore.
    – isametry
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 13:30
  • What you can access is the generic, blank folder icon without any symbol – it is found in this .car catalog: /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/IconFoundation.framework/Versions/A/Resources/Assets.car. Like mentioned by another user, something like "AssetCatalogTinkerer" is needed to browse it. But no luck for the others.
    – isametry
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


As of Big Sur the generic disk icons is in a .car file. It can be found in here /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/Assets.car

You will need something like this GitHub project to open the .car file.

  • Yes, that's where some of the disk icons are, however I was looking for folder icons, not disk ones.
    – isametry
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 13:44

This likely is not the answer you're waiting for but you can define your own personalised icons for the Finder folder icons (e.g. Applications, Desktop, Downloads, Developer…), using copy paste in the Get Info window.

They are then, as usual, stored in the directory the icon is used for.

  • Note, from macOS Big Sur and above, this won't work on any files/folders located in /system directory without first disabling authenticated root (i.e. breaking the signed system volume), mounting the system volume, then making the changes, creating a new snapshot of the mounted system volume and then blessing the changes. Essentially, it ain't worth it unless you really know what you are doing.
    – AVelj
    Commented Dec 12, 2023 at 18:32
  • You're right, but it still does work without disabling anything for the folders inside your home folder that have a default appearance defined by the Finder: Documents, Music, Images, Videos, Downloads, Library...
    – Hugues
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 12:06
  • Home (ie user) directories are fine as they are not part of the system volume. It’s safe to make most modifications to files located in the /users/ (also known as ~/) directory, but some changes to files located here may result in reinstalling some of your non-Apple software (ie if you delete various plists in ~/Library/Application Support or ~/Library/Group Containers. It can also break your system settings specific to that user account. Worse case scenarios, it will just make that particular user’s login inoperable. Mind you most plists will rebuild themselves if you’ve deleted them
    – AVelj
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 19:34

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