Apple is known for its super slick application icons, but sometimes you just need a change. And you don’t want to dole out $30 for Candybar. While there’s nothing in System Preferences that makes it drag-and-drop simple to change an app’s icon, there’s still a way to do it, and it’s pretty painless.
Before you ask, no you can’t change your apps’ icons on your iPhone or iPad. Only app developers can change those icons. Unless you jailbreak your device of course, but you would never ever do that, right? Right.
On my MacBook Pro, I’m bored with Apple’s built-in icon for iPhoto, so I’m going to change it to this nifty Steampunk icon I found here.
1)Â In Finder, go to Applications, and then Ctrl-click (or right-click, if you have that turned on) on iPhoto’s icon, which looks like this.
2) Click “Show Package Contents.”
3) A new Finder window opens. Click Contents > Resources. Your current iPhoto icon will be located in this folder. Every program gives its icon a different name, so you’ll need to search for it, but Mac icons usually end in “.icns,” so just search for that term, and restrict your search to this “Resources” folder. It should come right up.
4) Make a backup of the current icon. I created an “icon backups” folder on my Desktop, and just dragged the current iPhoto icon file (which is named “NSApplicationIcon.icns”) into it.
5) In a separate Finder window, go to the new icon you want to switch to. Click on it, and then after a moment click on it again, and you’ll be able to change its name. Give the new file the same name as the original .icns file you’re replacing.
6) Drag the .icns file over into your iPhoto > Contents > Resources folder.
You’re done! You’ll probably need to restart your Mac to get the changes to show up, but that’s pretty much it. Not too hard, eh?