Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Nov 30, 2012 4:26 PM by william98
sapsmith Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

How do I choose the safari icon on my doc on the macbookpro mountain lion

MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • red_menace Level 6 Level 6 (14,900 points)

    Don't use the Dock, select the Safari application from the Finder.

  • sapsmith Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry I made a typo, so that was not the question I had.  I meant to ask, how do I CHANGE the safari and other icons on my MacBook Pro?

  • red_menace Level 6 Level 6 (14,900 points)

    That Mac 101: Change your icons article explains how to do it.  For items in the /Applications folder (or other folders owned by the system), you may need to authenticate as an administrator.

  • sapsmith Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yea, I looked at this. This option only replaces with excisting icons already used as other applications on the comp. I'm looking for new icons

  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)

    Then you need to create the icon in a photo editor or graphics application and save it with the .icn suffix.

    Or you can resize an existing photo and do likewise.

    Then follow the procedure as stated.

  • red_menace Level 6 Level 6 (14,900 points)

    You will need to download additional icons from sites such as those mentioned on that support page, or create your own.

  • william98 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Changing icons in ML may not be possible yet if I understand what Apple told me. I have SL, and I've always been able to change icons very easily using the Get Info method and pasting the new icon over the old one. Well, all of a sudden I couldn't do it anymore - simply would not work, the new icon would not appear when I did Get Info. Called Apple - over a half-hour discussion involving multiple people and being put on hold while they tried to find out what was going on. They couldn't do it either. Turns out that an update of SL must have deleted the ability to change icons! No really! It's gone. They didn't even know it.


    They had no explanation for why they did that - but get this: They couldn't change icons in ML either! They had somehow left that ability out in writing ML. They weren't even aware of it, and they said they'd get to work on it and would probably include it in an update of ML. I told them I thought I deserved some kind of reward for leading them to this discovery, but they just laughed - and I wasn't even joking.

  • red_menace Level 6 Level 6 (14,900 points)

    I don't know who you were talking to, but changing icons has always worked, and still does even in Mountain Lion.  The only issue would be permissions, since changing an application icon involves adding an icon file to the application bundle - an application bundle is more or less a folder, so you would need write access to that folder/bundle.

  • william98 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OK, I just got off the phone with Carol at Apple, a senior rep - about a 40-minute call. She was in ML, and she tried and could not change the icon using the standard method of Get Info for the old icon and Highlight it, Get Info for the new icon, Copy the new and Paste on the Old. That did not work, in ML, and it wouldn't work anymore in SL either. I went through this also in my previous call and they couldn't do it then either. If it's fixed now it's because the engineers went in and fixed it and did an update. This almost certainly had something to do with a Java update, though reversing the suspicious updates didn't make the standard icon-change method work.


    BUT - through trial and error she found another way to change the icons, and she did it in ML - and it also worked in SL, for which I am very grateful (kind of like making a green light or getting a parking space in Los Angeles!). These are the steps. NOTE: This had to do with changing the icons of websites so you can have something besides the generic dish antenna or @http icon on your dock (depending on whether you use Safari or Firefox - I use Firefox). I usually use an alphabet letter to tell them apart easily. I haven't tried this method with apps, but I've never really wanted to change app icons.

    1. Highlight and drag the entire URL - NOT the little world icon to the left of the URL- of the site you want to change onto your desktop.

    2. Get info.

    3. Highlight the generic icon in the upper left corner by clicking on it once.

    4. Open the icon you want to copy in Preview.

    5. Highlight it by dragging the cursor. Don't use Select All - it didn't work for us.

    6. Copy.

    7. Paste onto highlighted generic icon you want to change.


    I get my icons from sites like or Whether all this is pertinent to this discussion I don't know. I hope so.

  • red_menace Level 6 Level 6 (14,900 points)

    I don't think anything is/was broken, since I have been able to change icons using Get Info in every OS since at least 10.4 Tiger (maybe earlier, but I can't remember that far back).  The main thing is that you need to have write permission for the application bundle, which you do not have with the default applications since they are owned by root (there may also be other extended security attirbutes).  You should be able to change the icons of your files and applications you have installed by dragging from a disk image, since you normally are the owner of those.

  • william98 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was talking only about file/website icons, which are always generic in the dock unless you change them. And the official Apple way of Get Info doesn't work. Did you try that? I've been doing it that way also since forever, and for the first time, starting roughly early-mid October, that way stopped working - and like I said, that's also the standard way for ML, and she was in ML and it wouldn't work for her or for the senior reps in my previous call. That's why Carol the Apple rep figured out this new, slightly more cumbersome way, but it works.


    But I don't understand the disk image one, and if it's less complicated I'd just as soon use it. But I don't know from disk image (I'm not tech at all, just a writer) - I've seen it in places but don't know what it is or how it got there. By disk image you're talking about the icon you want to use to replace the generic one? How do you get a disk image from an icon you've downloaded and placed on your desktop, ready to be used? I don't see any way using control-click on the icon (I don't have left-right click). Thanks.

  • red_menace Level 6 Level 6 (14,900 points)

    You need write permissions for whatever item you are wanting to change the icon.  The original poster was talking about application icons, which can have different permissions based on how they are installed.  Something like a web URL that you dragged from a browser address bar would be owned by you.  The icon pasted into the Get Info window can be copied from anywhere, including Preview, so maybe you are having an issue with copying the icon from Get Info - you should be able to look at the clipboard to see if it is being copied.


    Mountain Lion just has a generic blank document icon (no more springy thing) for the URL, but I have no problem changing the icon.  You might take a look at the permissions of your problem item(s) to see if there is something that is restricting the icon change, although I was able to change the icon even on a quarantined item.

  • william98 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm surprised you can use the standard Apple method to change icons when  even the Apple techs couldn't. The trouble with copying the icon from its Get Info window is that the icon doesn't appear in the upper left corner. Instead of the icon itself, its generic form appears, like a jpg or png icon. So you can't copy and paste it like you used to be able to. If you can still do that, I'm surprised because like I said the Apple techs couldn't do it and after consulting with the engineers told me the engineers didn't know about this and are now working to fix it - just not in SL. Are you fully updated with OS X and Java and stuff? Because it seems one of those updates removed the standard Apple capability from my SL. But at least this new way works.

  • red_menace Level 6 Level 6 (14,900 points)

    Java wouldn't have anything to do with pasting icons, but all my machines are up to date.  Copy and paste of document and application icons using the Get Info window works just fine on both my Snow Leopard and Mountain Lion machines.  You might try creating a another user and see if it does the same thing in the new account - this would narrow down whether it is a system or user settings issue.

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