How to replace ugly OS X icons

Upgraded recently?  Noticed the garish, hideous, red iTunes icon that has infected your dock?  Does it make you think something is wrong with the application?  Want to change it back, or at least to something else that just doesn’t suck as much?  It’s easy.

Red Icon in Dock

Changing icons for applications in OS X isn’t hard.  There is the ‘right’ way (which involves inspecting packages and substituting .icns files) and then there is the easy way.  Here’s the easy way…

Let’s say you want to change this iTunes Red Icon back to this iTunes Blue Icon.

The first step is to copy the icon you want into the clipboard, so just right-click the blue iTunes icon above and select Copy Image.

You can use nearly any image as an icon, but medium-resolution .png files (say 256×256 up to 1024×1024 pixels) with transparent edges work quite nicely.

Next, we want to find the iTunes application.  Right-click the iTunes icon in the dock, select Options > Show in Finder.

Show in Finder

Now select File > Get Info.

iTunes Info

Click on the small icon in the top-left corner of the Info window to select it.

Selected Icon in Info Window

Now simply Edit > Paste.

Enter your password if/when prompted.

The Info window should now show the better icon in action.

Back to Blue

Close the Info window and you’re done.

The next time you launch iTunes from the dock the icon will update and the awful red icon will be gone!

Task Bar Back to Normal

If, for some reason, you go insane and want to undo the above and restore the normal icon to iTunes (or any application), all you need to do is Edit > Cut the icon from the Info window and it will return back to normal.



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