5 Easy Ways to Customize Your Mac's Desktop Icons

5 Easy Ways to Customize Your Mac's Desktop Icons

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Taryn Williford
Jan 27, 2012

In much the same way that moving your sofa from one wall to another can elevate your space, making some changes to your computer desktop can make your workspace a more pleasant place to spend time. And as a Mac user, customizing your desktop for efficiency and appearance can be as simple as pressing, Ctrl+click!

A wallpaper pasted from the web can do a lot for your desktop style (try matching your desktop wallpaper to your decor!). But if you're a Mac owner, here are a few easy ways to change the look and feel of your desktop's icons, too.


Resize the Icons
Ctrl+click on an open area of the desktop to bring up the View Options panel. There, you'll see an Icon Size slider that lets you make your desktop icons bigger and smaller. This can instantly change the feel of your desktop, but it's also a virtual de-cluttering tool. We like to keep our icons on the bigger side to prevent desktop hoarding.

Change the Font Size
In the same View Options panel, there's a drop-down menu labeled Text Size. If you find your icon's labels hard to read, or you want them smaller instead, mess around with this setting until you find your "just right," Goldilocks.

Move the Labels
This one's just a matter of personal preference. If you'd rather see your icons' labels to the right of the icons instead of beneath them, toggle between the options for Label Position in the View Options panel.

Show More Info
Want to know how many items are in that "Misc." folder? Or the size of that family photo? Click the Show Item Info box on the View Options panel to have your icons' labels display more details.

Sub Out a New Icon
Want that folder to be red and urgent? Do you want to change your Notes icon to a hipster-friendly Moleskine notebook? It's easy to change the display icon for anything on your desktop with these simple instructions from Apple Support. Plenty of third-party Mac icon creators make their designs available for download on sites like DeviantART, The Iconfactory and InterfaceLIFT. We hand-picked the Red Moleskine Icon above from pica-ae on DeviantART.

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