How to Change Folder Icons in macOS High Sierra?

In the last versions of macOS, users could easily change the names of the folder icons. However, after upgrading to macOS High Sierra, some complain that it is impossible to do that any longer. At least, it is not that simple, and a Mac owner may meet certain obstacles along the way.

change folder icons

Good Old Way to Change Folder Icons on Mac

Before upgrading to macOS High Sierra, a user had to take these simple steps to succeed in the process of modifying the folder icons on the Apple computer:

  1. Click on the image he or she plans to use in the Clipboard and copy it. The most popular method to do it is to launch the image in Preview, select Edit and then Select All. Finally, pick Edit and Copy.
  2. Choose the file/folder which icon you wish to remove. After that, select File and Get Info.
  3. Then, push the image of the icon. Pick Edit and Paste.

The offered step-by-step guide can be found from the official Apple’s Support website.

The truth is that a Mac user cannot modify the folder color or change the icons in macOS High Sierra. The last version, which allows doing so, is macOS Sierra 10.12. If one has an earlier version installed on the Apple computer, he or she can switch the icons and colors as well.

Working with Codes: A Bit More Complicated Solution

From one side, copy-pasting the given code is easier than doing anything manually. Hopefully, your copy-paste function on Mac works just fine after the update.

Anyway, they have developed an AppleScript/Objective-C code for all systems: from Yosemite up to macOS High Sierra. The folder icons in the given example are 1024×1024 at 144 DPI. Only if the icon you are trying to change corresponds to these specific parameters or an .icns with background transparency, the folder icon may show up as a bigger, tinier, ideal, or somewhat distorted.

Below you can see the consequence of applying this app to install a folder to a size of 512×512 .icns icon. In case that is not what you’ve expected, apply a Get Info to the folder, and pick the topmost icon to pick it. After that, choose backspace.

In the end, copy the full line of code provided below. Paste the command into the Launchpad tool à Other à Script Editor. Pick the compile. Open it. It is possible to save it as a script, bundle, or separate app.

property isImage : {“public.image”, “com.adobe.pdf”}

property adesktop : (path to desktop as text) as alias

property apictures : (path to pictures folder as text) as alias


use framework “Cocoa”

use AppleScript version “2.4” — Yosemite or later

use scripting additions


set theFolder to POSIX path of (choose folder default location adesktop without invisibles, multiple selections allowed and showing package contents)

set theImg to POSIX path of (choose file of type isImage default location apictures without invisibles, multiple selections allowed and showing package contents)


if my setIcon(theFolder, theImg) = true then

     display dialog “Folder icon has been set”


     display dialog “Folder icon was not set”

end if



on setIcon(theFolder, theImage)

     set img to current application’s NSImage’s alloc()’s initWithContentsOfFile:theImage

return ((current application’s NSWorkspace’s sharedWorkspace)’s setIcon:img forFile:theFolder options:0)

    end setIcon