Pin Me

How to Change or Restore the Mac Snow Leopard Default Hard Drive Icon

written by: ktolliver•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 5/23/2011

Learn how to change the icons in Mac OS X Snow Leopard not only for the hard drive and other volumes, but for files and folders, too.

  • slide 1 of 5

    Copying a New Icon to the Clipboard

    The creative soul that is the Mac user cannot leave well enough alone. Despite the wonderful graphic Apple has chosen for the Snow Leopard hard drive icon, users want to spice up their Mac visuals and change it. Here’s an easy way

    The first step is to copy a new icon graphic to the Mac OS X clipboard. There are a couple of ways to do this. Like a package meal at a restaurant, choose one:

    1. Copy an icon from another volume, file, folder or app.

    a. Highlight the icon you want to copy and click the File menu, Get Info – or press Command-I. The Info box for that icon appears.

    b. Click the graphic in the Info box in the upper left corner to highlight it. Click the Edit menu and click Copy – or press Command-C. Now this icon is on the Clipboard ready to be pasted onto the hard drive icon.Copying an icon from an application 

    2. Copy an icon file on your computer. There are numerous Mac icon downloads available on the web. You can even create your own. The icon files must have an extension of .png or .icn.

    a. Browse for the icon file in Finder or Preview. Click on the file or image to highlight it.

    b. Click the Edit menu and choose Copy – or press Command-C. Now the icon file is on the Clipboard ready for pasting.

  • slide 2 of 5

    Pasting the Copied Icon to the Hard Drive Icon

    Whichever way you put the icon on the Clipboard, here is how to paste it to the hard drive icon.

    a. Click on the Mac Snow Leopard hard drive volume icon on the desktop to highlight it. The default icon is a picture of, well, a hard drive. Click the File menu and choose Get Info – or press Command-I. The Info window for the hard drive icon appears.

    b. Click the graphic for the hard drive icon in the upper left corner of the Info box to highlight it. Click the Edit menu and choose Paste – or press Command-V. The icon is now changed. Close the Info box.Pasting a new icon on the Mac hard drive. 

  • slide 3 of 5

    What if it Didn’t Work?

    If the icon didn’t change, you probably don’t have correct permissions to do it. Try this:

    a. Click the lock graphic at the bottom of the Info pane if it is locked to unlock it.

    b. Change the properties in the Permissions section at the bottom of the Info tab of the hard drive so that Everyone has Read and Write permissions.

    Change the icon then change the permissions back to the way they were and re-lock it.

  • slide 4 of 5

    What if I Want to Undo it?

    If you ever decide you hate your new icon, just open the Info window again, highlight the graphic in the upper left corner and press delete. The icon reverts to the default graphic instantly.

    By the way, you can change the icon for any volume, file, folder or application using these same steps. So now go and customize your Snow Leopard to your heart’s content.

  • slide 5 of 5

    References

    Author’s own experience

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2493

    http://www.workingwith.me.uk/articles/changing_a_files_icon_in_mac_os_x_in_5_easy_steps

    Screen shots provided by the author