Your Mac's desktop is a lot like your home; it needs to be personalized to make it seem like it's your place. Changing desktop icons is one of the easiest ways to bring a touch of you to your Mac's desktop, and it's as easy as a few mouse clicks.
Where to Get Icons for Your Mac
If you're going to personalize your desktop, you're going to need some new icons. That means either copying existing icons or creating your own. In this guide, we're going to look at copying icons from one of the many icon collections you can download and use on your Mac.
The easiest way to find Mac icons is to search on the phrase 'Mac icons' in your favorite search engine. This will return numerous sites that have icon collections for the Mac. One of the sites I often visit is The Iconfactory. Since I'm familiar with the site, let's use it as an example of how to change an icon on your Mac's desktop.
Download the Icon Sets
We're going to use two of the freeware icon sets from The Iconfactory. First up is the Doctor Who icon set. As part of this set, there's an icon of the TARDIS. As any Doctor Who fan knows, the TARDIS is the time travel vehicle the Doctor uses to get about in. It will make a great hard drive icon for your Time Machine drive. Get it? TARDIS, Time Machine!
The second icon set we'll use is Refresh Snow Leopard, which contains a few icons you can use for various folders on your Desktop.
You can find the two icon sets by clicking on their names below.
The links above will take you to a page that describes the icons. You can download the icons to your Mac by clicking the Apple icon under the pictures of the icons in the set.
Each icon set will download as a disk image (.dmg) file, which will automatically be converted to a folder once the download is complete. You'll find the two icon folders in the Downloads folder (or your default folder for downloads, if you save them somewhere else), with the following names:
- Doctor Who Mac
- Refresh Snow Leopard Mac
- Studio Ghibli Mac
To learn how to use the icon sets to change either a folder icon or a hard drive icon on your desktop, read on.