I want to use a custom app dock icon, and followed instructions found online, which specified the following:

  • Find image in Finder
  • cmd-i on file to "Get Info"
  • Click the little icon in the top corner
  • cmd-c to copy ... something.
  • Open the Applications list in Finder
  • cmd-i on the application to "Get Info"
  • Click on the little icon in the top corner
  • cmd-v to paste ... something.

This worked great. Except, not really.

The problem: It appears some app, in associating itself with images, has set all those "Get Info" icons to generic "PNG" and "JPG" icons, like so:

my dock with a crummy generic image for my app

The only image app I've installed is GIMP, and I've played with its and X11's settings but didn't find anything.

Perhaps there's a way to reset PNG / JPG icons? The things I've found online for resetting icons seemed to be about undoing what I'm trying to do, e.g. "I want to bring back the original icon for [someapp], how do I do that?" Which doesn't help me.

  • What's the file type you want to change? PNGs and JPGs? Jun 26, 2012 at 15:46
  • The filetype thing may be a red herring. I just know I'm trying to change an app's icon and instead of displaying the PNG it's displaying a generic document image. Jun 26, 2012 at 16:26

2 Answers 2


You might want to make sure your app is correctly associated (for that you can use the free RCDefaultApp panel).

If you fancy changing icons, you can try the arguably pricey Candybar from Panic inc. which is excellent if you love playing with your icons, but that's all it does, so for 6 Starbuck's Coffee Latte you can do that :p

Please note that if you change an icon, you will probably have to restart the finder (and/or the Dock) for the change to be reflected (Logoff also works).

  • Without doing anything, I tried again and it worked. I planned on just deleting the post, since clearly it's some kind of user error, but your answer cracked me up, so here's a couple SO-bucks. ;-) Jun 26, 2012 at 17:15
  • ;) Thanks, and glad that you solved your issue. In any case, I do recommend RCdefaultApp, it comes handy. :)) Jun 26, 2012 at 18:09

If you made your own PNG to use as an icon in GIMP, the method you described actually shouldn't copy that PNG as an icon. Instead it copies the PNG icon which you showed in your screenshot above.

Pinki is a free app I use to create icons from images and copy them to other apps. Their homepage also lists a couple other options to convert the image to the icon.

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