How to change the color or icon of a folder on a Mac – Setapp

Your Mac relies on a soothing shade of blue for all folders. It’s okay for a few folders, but those of us who create multiple folders and subfolders end up flooded with cyan-colored sea.

Instead of reading folder names, you can change the icons or colors of the folder on your Mac, making it easy to quickly find the documents you need. It also enlivens your Mac’s home screen or Finder!

We’ll show you how to change the color of your Mac folder, change the Mac folder icon for easier navigation, and discuss the best ways to accomplish both tasks.

The easiest way to change the folder icon on a Mac

The best way to increase your productivity is through effective visual elements for organizing your desktop. A picture speaks a thousand words, so instead of relying on folder names to spot the right place, you can customize the folder icons.

Use the Image2Icon app to transform your annoying cluttered desktop with a bunch of blue folders into a fun collection of images and colors to fit content into your digital folders. All you need to do are just two simple steps. First drag the image you want to use as a folder icon in Image2Icon:

Then select the shape of your icon and drag the folder you want to use the image to in Image2Icon:

select the shape of your icon

Done. Your folder is now a unique representation of its content (or your personal visual concept for your digital workspace).

That’s all it takes!

You can also restore any folder to the original icon by clicking the Restore tab in the app.

Manual way to change the folder icon on a Mac

Can you change the Mac folder icon? Loading custom Mac folder icons for desktop use is fairly easy, and changing the folder on your desktop to turn on a custom icon instead is not difficult. Here’s how:

  1. Create a folder on the desktop by right-clicking on the desktop
  2. Select “New Folder” from the menu
  3. Name your folder
  4. Find an image from the web that you’d like to use as an icon for your folder (Note: macOS is picky about the images it will allow. PNG files are the most successful, but may not always work.)
  5. Download the image to your Mac
  6. Right click on the image and select “Copy”
  7. Right-click the folder you created on the desktop
  8. Select “Get information”
  9. In the menu that appears, select the folder icon. (Note: It will have a dark blue line around it to indicate that it has been selected.)
  10. With the icon selected, select “Edit” from the menu bar
  11. Select “Paste”

change the mac folder icon

How to change the color of a folder on a Mac using Preview

Now that you know how to change the folder icon, Mac desktops don’t allow it easily and how to change the folder color on a Mac in an easy way, can you do it all without the app?

You can – but it is a long and arduous process. There’s also no way to add custom Mac icons that just doesn’t allow it. But if you’d rather change the color of your desktop icons manually, here’s how:

  1. Create a folder on the desktop by right-clicking on the desktop
  2. Select “New Folder” from the menu
  3. Name your folder
  4. Right click on a folder
  5. Select “Get information”
  6. In the menu that appears, select the folder icon. (Note: It will have a dark blue line around it to indicate that it has been selected.)
  7. change the color of the mac folder

  8. With the icon selected, select “Edit” from the menu bar
  9. Select “Copy” from the menu
  10. change the color of the mac folder

  11. Open the Preview app on your Mac
  12. Select “New from Clipboard” in the menu bar
  13. With the preview open, select the Markup tool.
  14. Select a color adjustment tool
  15. Note: In macOS Big Sur, the color adjustment tool in the overview is the same as the color adjustment tool in applications such as Photos: Three sliders. In Catalina before, the color adjustment tool icon was a prism.

    change folder mac

  16. Adjust the temperature, shade, sepia and other items as you wish
  17. When you have finished adjusting the color in the Preview, select the folder in the Preview
  18. Press Command + C to copy it
  19. Repeat the first five steps of this process if you have closed the Get Information window.
  20. In the Get Information window, select the folder icon again
  21. Press Command + V to paste a new, colorful folder icon
  22. Close the Get Information window.

That’s a lot of steps! We’re not sure why Apple doesn’t want you to change folder or color icons, but they definitely don’t make it easy.

How to change the background of a folder on a Mac

You may not realize it, but you can actually change the background of your folders on a Mac. That’s right, you can set a different background color for your Mac folders than the default white, and you can even use an image as wallpaper.

Let’s see how to do it.

Open the folder you want to customize and find The view in the Finder top menu. Click on it and select Show display options.

Find the Wallpaper section and select Color or Picture instead of Default.

If you select Color, you will be able to select and view the background color for your folder on the color wheel or other color selection tools. To do this, just click on the box with the background color that will appear after clicking on Color.

folder background color

If you select Image, an empty square will appear instructing you to drag the desired background image onto it. Drag and drop your choice and that’s it!

folder background image

Wallpapers will only appear in the grid view, although list, column, and gallery views do not support background or image colors.

And if your first thought was, “Can I create animated backgrounds for my folders and add them as GIFs?” then we have great news for you because we have tried and it works! Yes, dragging and dropping the GIF to the Mac wallpaper background menu option resulted in an animated wallpaper for our selected folder!

Bonus tips for organizing your Mac

Organizing folders with quick colors and changing Mac icons is a great way to stay focused. Tracking all the files you work on can be difficult, but Trickster covers you.

Like Declutter, Trickster lives in your Mac’s menu bar, tracking all the files, folders, and applications you’re working on or have recently opened. Trickster can automatically track your desktop, but you can also manually configure it to track only the items you want; Trickster can target file types, names, destinations and folders.

In addition to finding your favorite files and folders, Trickster allows you to open them directly from the app. It’s like Spotlight, just more proactive and tailored to your needs. For keyboard warriors, Trickster supports switching hotkeys to really speed up your workflow.

trickster mac

Organization is important, but so is keeping your Mac healthy. Customizing files, folders, and documents can cause a lot of unnecessary data to accumulate on your Mac. That’s why you should have a CleanMyMac X.

CleanMyMac X protects your Mac from junk files, prevents privacy threats, and speeds up your Mac with its amazing Smart Scan module. Smart Scan helps you identify and clarify the simplest problems, but CleanMyMac X goes much further.

Clear malware, clear cache, optimize your file system for faster content discovery, uninstall or update apps – it’s all easy for CleanMyMac X. It even helps you reduce downloads and email attachments by dominating your Mac’s storage space .

speed up mac

The sea of ​​blue folders is boring, so why not revive them with custom icons and colors? Image2Icon is a great app for those who enjoy colorful folders that reflect their ideas, content and provide extra inspiration. Custom folder icons help you identify which map it is at a glance.

Trickster helps you stay productive, saving you tons of lost time searching for files on or off your desktop. CleanMyMac X is simply the best tool to ensure the performance of your Mac.

All three of these apps, as well as nearly 200 more, are available for free during a seven-day trial of Setapp, an amazing productivity suite for your Mac. During the one-week trial, you can try all the apps you want without paying. When the trial version is complete, continued access to the complete Setapp catalog is only $ 9.99 per month.

Don’t wait any longer; start your free trial of Setapp today!

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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