Mac Os Custom Icons App Rating: 5,8/10 5237 reviews

Custom Icons

In macOS 11 and later, prefer using SF Symbols to represent tasks and modes in your app. If your app is running in macOS Catalina or earlier, or if you need to create custom bitmap icons, follow the guidance below.

Create simple, recognizable designs. Too many details can make an icon appear sloppy or unreadable. Strive for a design most people will interpret correctly and won’t find offensive.

App Store, Maps, Notes, and Reminders provide icons for macOS and iOS that are recognizable, yet distinct from one another. Reexamine the way you use images and metaphors in your iOS app icon. For example, if the iOS app icon shows a tree inside the rectangle, consider using the tree itself for your macOS app icon. Use color judiciously.

  1. Favorite Apps. The largest part of the Dock holds shortcuts to your favorite apps. They’re easy to add, remove, or reorder by clicking and dragging the icons. To remove an app, drag it off of the Dock or into the Trash — don’t worry, it’ll still be available to in Spotlight or Finder.
  2. On your Mac, select the file or folder whose icon you want to use, then choose File Get Info. At the top of the Info window, click the icon, then choose Edit Copy. Select the other file or folder, then choose File Get Info. Click the icon, then choose Edit Paste.
  3. Jul 06, 2020 Designer Stijn de Vries has created a custom icon pack for some popular macOS apps like Twitter, Pages, Keynote, and Visual Studio Code. These custom icons follow the same style as the new icons.
  4. May 13, 2018 App & system icons can make or break the visual feel of an operating system. While OS X defaults aren’t ugly by any means, they can be boring and often lack flexible configuration options.

Mac Os Custom Icons App Free

Keep your icons consistent. Whether you use only custom icons or mix custom and system icons, all icons in your app should be the same in terms of size, level of detail, perspective, and stroke weight.

Avoid including text in an icon. If you need to show text, display a label beneath the icon and adjust its placement accordingly.

Don’t use replicas of Apple hardware products. Apple products are copyrighted and can’t be reproduced in your icons or images. In general, avoid displaying replicas of devices because hardware designs tend to change frequently and can make your icon look dated.

Mac Application Icons

Provide alternative text labels for icons. Alternative text labels aren’t visible onscreen, but they let VoiceOver audibly describe what's onscreen, making navigation easier for people with visual impairments.


Consider creating icons as template images. A template image is a monochromatic image with transparency, anti-aliasing, and no drop shadow that uses a mask to define its shape. Template images automatically receive the appropriate appearance—including coloring, highlighting, and vibrancy—based on the context and user interactions. A variety of interface elements support template images, including buttons, segmented controls, sidebars, and toolbars.

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Consider outputting custom icons in PDF format. The system automatically scales PDF-based icons for high-resolution displays, so you don’t need to provide high-resolution versions. PNG format is recommended only for intricate designs that require effects like shading, textures, and highlights.

Provide icons at appropriate sizes. If your icons are in PDF format, only the @1x size is needed. If your icons are in PNG format, then both @1x and @2x sizes are needed.

Segmented Control Icons

If you design icons for use in segmented controls, use the following sizes.


Control sizeIcon size (@1x)Icon size (@2x)
Regular17px × 17px (17pt × 17pt @1x)34px × 34px (17pt × 17pt @2x)
Small14px × 13px (14pt × 13pt @1x)28px × 26px (14pt × 13pt @2x)
Mini12px × 11px (12pt × 11pt @1x)24px × 22px (12pt × 11pt @2x)

For related guidance, see Segmented Controls.

If your app includes a window with a sidebar, you can supplement the items in the sidebar with icons that add clarity. For example, the icons in the sidebar of the Mail viewer window make it easy to identify different types of mailboxes at a glance, including the Inbox, Drafts, Sent, and Junk mailboxes.

Design sidebar icons with transparency and appropriate levels of detail. Sidebar icons should be small, streamlined template images with more internal detail and realism than toolbar and control icons. Imagine an X-ray of an object using a straight-on perspective: capture the details, and form a sharp outline of the object’s shape.

Mac Os X Icon Sets

Icon size (@1x)Icon size (@2x)
16px × 16px (16pt × 16pt @1x)32px × 32px (16pt × 16pt @2x)
18px × 18px (18pt × 18pt @1x)36px × 36px (18pt × 18pt @2x)
32px × 32px (32pt × 32pt @1x)64px × 64px (32pt × 32pt @2x)

For related guidance, see Sidebars.

Toolbar Icons

If your app includes a toolbar, you can design custom icons to display within controls or as freestanding buttons. Pc or mac for photography.

Mac Os Custom Icons App

Freestanding icons

Use control icons or freestanding icons in a toolbar, but not both. Toolbars look best and are easiest to understand when they contain a consistent icon style.

Prefer control icons in most toolbars. Freestanding icons tend to be more common in preference window toolbars, where they are often used as pane switchers.

Design simple and recognizable toolbar icons. The best icons use familiar visual metaphors that are directly related to the actions they initiate. When an icon depicts an identifiable, real-world object or recognizable app task, it gives first-time users a clue to its function and helps experienced users remember it.

Make toolbar icons distinct, but harmonious. When icons are easily distinguishable, people learn their purpose and location quickly. Use variations in shape and image as primary differentiating factors. At the same time, maintain a similar perspective, size, and visual weight across your entire icon set.

For related guidance, see Toolbars.

Toolbar Control Icons

Use the system-provided control icons whenever possible. These icons are familiar to users, so if there’s one that meets your needs, use it rather than designing a custom icon. See System Icons > Control Icons.

Design control icons with transparency and appropriate levels of detail. Control icons should be small, streamlined template images with sharp outlines. Use a straight-on perspective, anti-aliasing, and transparency as needed to suggest dimensionality.

Maximum icon size (@1x)Maximum icon size (@2x)
19px × 19px (19pt × 19pt @1x)38px × 38px (19pt × 19pt @2x)

Freestanding Toolbar Icons

Design an inviting image that clearly communicates its purpose. Because freestanding icons don’t need to fit within controls, you have a little more room to express a concept. Make the outline sharp and use color judiciously to add meaning. Use a straight-on perspective with anti-aliasing.

Don’t redesign a toolbar version of a well-known interface element. Although you should generally use the straight-on perspective for freestanding toolbar icons, if you use a recognizable icon from elsewhere, don’t change its appearance or perspective.

Provide full-color freestanding icons in PNG format. Provide @1x and @2x versions.

Icon size (@1x)Icon size (@2x)
32px × 32px (32pt × 32pt @1x)64px × 64px (32pt × 32pt @2x)

App Icon

Beautiful, compelling icons are a fundamental part of the macOS user experience. Far from being merely decorative, icons play an essential role in communicating with users. To look at home in macOS, an app icon should be meticulously designed, informative, and aesthetically pleasing. It should convey the main purpose of the app and hint at the user experience.

Consider giving your app icon a realistic, unique shape. In macOS, app icons can have the shape of the objects they depict. A unique outline focuses attention on the object and makes it easy to recognize the icon at a glance. If necessary, you can use a circular shape to encapsulate a set of images. Avoid using the rounded rectangle shape that people associate with iOS app icons.

Design a recognizable icon. People shouldn’t have to analyze the icon to figure out what it represents. For example, the Mail app icon uses a stamp, which is universally associated with mail. Take time to design an engaging abstract icon that artistically represents your app’s purpose.

Embrace simplicity. Find a single element that captures the essence of your app and express that element in a simple, unique shape. Add details cautiously. If an icon’s content or shape is overly complex, the details can be hard to discern, especially at smaller sizes.

Provide a single focus point. Design an icon with a single, centered point that immediately captures attention and clearly identifies your app.

iOS icons

macOS icons

If you’re creating a macOS version of an iOS app, design a new version of your app icon. Your macOS app icon should be recognizable, but not an exact copy of your iOS app icon. In particular, the macOS icon shouldn’t use the same rounded rectangle shape that the iOS icon uses. App Store, Maps, Notes, and Reminders provide icons for macOS and iOS that are recognizable, yet distinct from one another. Reexamine the way you use images and metaphors in your iOS app icon. For example, if the iOS app icon shows a tree inside the rectangle, consider using the tree itself for your macOS app icon.

Use color judiciously. Don’t add color just to make the icon brighter. Also, smooth gradients typically work better than sharp delineations of color.

Avoid mixing actual text, fake text, and wavy lines that suggest text. If you want text in your icon but you don’t want to draw attention to the words, start with actual text and make it hard to read by shrinking it. This technique also results in sharper details on high-resolution displays. If your app is localized, prefer fake text or wavy lines over actual text in a specific language.

Avoid including photos, screenshots, or interface elements. Photographic details can be very hard to see at small sizes. Screenshots are too complex for an app icon and don’t generally help communicate your app’s purpose. Interface elements in an icon are misleading and confusing. If you want to base your icon on photos, screenshots, or interface elements, design idealized versions that emphasize specific details you want people to notice.

Don’t use replicas of Apple hardware products. Apple products are copyrighted and can’t be reproduced in your icons or images. In general, avoid displaying replicas of devices, because hardware designs tend to change frequently and can make your icon look dated.

Perspective and Textures

Design an icon with appropriate perspective and a realistic drop shadow. In general, an app icon should depict an object as if viewed through an imaginary camera that’s facing the object, positioned just below center, and tilted slightly upward. This camera should be positioned far enough away that the icon is nearly isometric, without appearing distorted. To achieve a realistic drop shadow, imagine a light source that’s also facing the object, but is positioned just above center and tilted slightly downward.


Mac Os X Icons

Consider tilting your icon after rendering it. A small amount of rotation can help people distinguish your app icon from documents and folders. A rotation of 9 degrees tends to work well.

Use only black in your icon’s drop shadow. In some contexts, such as Cover Flow view mode in Finder, app icons are displayed against a dark background. If an icon’s drop shadow uses colors other than black, the drop shadow can appear more like a glow.

Portray real objects accurately. Icons that represent real objects should look like they’re made of real materials and have real mass. Realistic icons should accurately replicate the characteristics of substances like fabric, glass, paper, and metal in order to convey an object’s weight and feel. For example, the Preview app icon incorporates glass effectively in its magnification tool.

Consider adding a slight glow just inside the edges of your icon. If your app icon includes a dark reflective surface, such as glass or metal, add an inner glow to make the icon stand out and prevent it from appearing to dissolve into dark backgrounds.

App Icon Attributes

All app icons should adhere to the following specifications.

Color spacesRGB
LayersFlattened with transparency as appropriate
Resolution@1x and @2x (see Image Size and Resolution)
ShapeSquare canvas; allow transparency to define the icon shape

Custom Icons Free

Don't provide app icons in ICNS or JPEG format. Add de-interlaced PNG files in the app icon fields of your Xcode project's asset catalog.

App Icon Sizes

Mac Os Custom Icons Apps

Your app icon is displayed in many places, including in Finder, the Dock, Launchpad, and the App Store. To ensure that your app icon looks great everywhere people see it, provide it in the following sizes.

Mac Os Custom Icons App Free

Icon size (@1x)Icon size (@2x)
512px × 512px (512pt × 512pt @1x)1024px × 1024px (512pt × 512pt @2x)
256px × 256px (256pt × 256pt @1x)512px × 512px (256pt × 256pt @2x)
128px × 128px (128pt × 128pt @1x)256px × 256px (128pt × 128pt @2x)
32px × 32px (32pt × 32pt @1x)64px × 64px (32pt × 32pt @2x)
16px × 16px (16pt × 16pt @1x)32px × 32px (16pt × 16pt @2x)

Simplify your icon at smaller sizes. There are fewer pixels to draw as icon size decreases. In your smaller icons, remove unnecessary features and exaggerate primary features so they remain clear. Even when a high-resolution size matches the pixel dimensions of a standard size, you should still consider simplifying the smaller rendered image. For example, the 128pt × 128pt @2x icon appears smaller onscreen than the 256pt × 256pt @1x icon, even though both icons have the same number of pixels. Visually smaller icons shouldn't appear drastically different from their larger counterparts, however. Any variation should be subtle so the icon remains visually consistent when displayed in different environments.

Keep high-resolution and standard-resolution artwork consistent. For example, the 256pt × 256pt @1x and 256pt × 256pt @2x images should look the same. Some people use multiple displays with different resolutions. When they drag your icon between their displays, the icon's appearance shouldn’t suddenly change.