How to change icons on macOS Big Sur(3 Ways)?


macOS Big Sur was firstly announced at Apple’s WWDC on June 22, 2020, and it was launched with a significant user interface redesign for the public to use on November 12, 2020. As you can see, macOS is more and more like iOS. It’s a big step that Apple improves cross-platform integration between iOS and OS X.

Also, I found many people complaining about macOS Big Sur icons and how “ugly” they were. But luckily, macOS Big Sur built-in feature and the third-party apps make it much easier to customize icons on macOS Big Sur. So how to change icons on macOS Big Sur? In this post, I will show you three easy ways to change icons on macOS Big Sur.

How to change icons on macOS Big Sur(3 Ways)?

Before we get started, we need to prepare the custom icons compatible with macOS Big Sur’s UI style in advance. Fortunately, I find many options out there, such as icon packs, you can get what you want.

macOS Big Sur Icons Download Resources:

I highly recommend the macosicons website. This website specially provides a macOS Big Sur icon pack. And it’s an open-source program, which means that you can contribute to this project with your redesigned icons for macOS Big Sur if you are good at graphic design. Currently, macosicons has more than 4,500 icons for Big Sur. You can directly download the .icns file and apply it to your application.

Remember that these three ways may not work 100% for changing macOS default system icons, even you have disabled SIP.

Method 1: macOS Big Sur built-in feature

Change the icons

In terms of customizing icons, macOS Big Sur has a built-in feature to do it now. You can follow these steps:

1. Find the application

Find your app

Find your app in Finder or your Desktop, select the application and press ⌘+I or right-click on it, and then click on Get Info.

2. Change the icon

Change the icons

Next, drag the ICNS file onto the small icon in the top left of the Information Window. (Or ⌘+C & ⌘+V)

3. Close and reopen the application, done.

You should know that when the application is updated, the changed icon will restore to the original icon. So you can save your icons file in a folder to customize it again.

If you want to restore the original icon for the application, you can select the small file icon in the upper left corner of the Information Window and then choose Edit > Cut (Or ⌘+X ).

Method 2: Change icons on macOS Big Sur with Pictogram

Pictogram is an excellent software to allow you to use custom app icons on macOS Big Sur, it’s developed by Neil Sardesai. Unlike method 1, Pictogram even can keep your custom icons with Pictogram Helper after your apps update themselves.

Pictogram for macOS Big Sur - change icons on macOS Big Sur

However, Pictogram currently can’t work for pre-installed and AppStore apps, requiring macOS 11.0 or newer.

  1. Download Pictogram and open it.
  2. Select the application you want to change the icon for.
  3. Click ‘Select Custom Icon‘, and select the icon file on your Mac.
  4. Done.

If you want to reset back to the original icon, you can click ‘Restore Original Icon‘ to achieve it.

Method 3: Change icons on macOS Big Sur with Liteicon

LiteIcon is another simple software to change icons on macOS X. It’s a member of FreeMacSoft families. LiteIcon launched different multi versions for many macOS systems like macOS Sierra, Mojave, and Catalina.

LiteIcon for macOS Big Sur

And LiteIcon allows you to custom not only application icons but also folders. However, LiteIcon can’t replace system icons on macOS Big Sur. According to the latest announcement, LiteIcon has been discontinued.

  1. Download LiteIcon and open it.
  2. Drag and drop your png/ico/icns onto the application icon.
  3. Click ‘Apply Changes,’ and restart your application.
  4. Done.

I have tried LiteIcon latest version on macOS Big Sur, but it can’t work well. I would prefer to recommend Pictogram.

If you want to reset your icon, you can find options to go back to default icons. Or you can simply drag your custom icons out and click ‘Apply Changes.


When Apple releases the macOS Big Sur version, there are many changes for applications to be compatible with, and the macOS Big Sur icon is one of them. Thanks to the built-in feature and third-party apps, you can simply custom macOS Big Sur icons what they are like.

What do you think about these three ways? Do you have any other ways to custom icons on macOS Big Sur? Please let me know in the comments below.

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