Icons File For Mac

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  1. Mac folder Icons - Download 5036 Free Mac folder icons @ IconArchive. Search more than 600,000 icons for Web & Desktop here.
  2. Copying an Image: Copy an image from another file. If you like the look of another file icon, navigate.
  3. To change the size of icons on Mac, firstly go to its desktop and press the Command + J keys at the same time. If you want, you can also go to the “View” menu on the top and click on the “Show View Options” feature. This will open view options for desktop on the screen. Here, you can see a slider for “icon size”.
Icons File For Mac
Apple Icon Image
Filename extension
Type codeicns
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)com.apple.icns
Developed byApple Inc.
Type of format

The Apple Icon Image format is the icon format used in Apple Inc.'s macOS. It supports icons of 16 × 16, 32 × 32, 48 × 48, 128 × 128, 256 × 256, 512 × 512 points at 1x and 2x scale, with both 1- and 8-bitalpha channels and multiple image states (example: open and closed folders). The fixed-size icons can be scaled by the operating system and displayed at any intermediate size.

Download 201 vector icons and icon kits.Available in PNG, ICO or ICNS icons for Mac for free use.

File structure[edit]

The file format consists of an 8 byte header, followed by any number of icons.


04Magic literal, must be 'icns' (0x69, 0x63, 0x6e, 0x73)
44Length of file, in bytes, msb first

Icon data[edit]

04Icon type, see OSType below.
44Length of data, in bytes (including type and length), msb first
8VariableIcon data


012711281128 bytes
1282551 byte3130 copies

Over time the format has been improved and there is support for compression of some parts of the pixel data. The 32-bit ('is32', 'il32', 'ih32','it32') and ARGB ('ic04', 'ic05') pixel data are often compressed (per channel) with a format similar to PackBits.[1]Some sources mentioned that the OS supports both compressed or uncompressed data chunks.

The following pseudocode decompresses the data:

Example: 02 01 02 02 80 03 81 04 82 05 should decompress to 01 02 02 03 03 03 04 04 04 04 05 05 05 05 05

Icon types[edit]

OSTypeLength (bytes)Size (pixels)Supported OS VersionDescription
ICON128321.032×32 1-bit mono icon
ICN#256326.032×32 1-bit mono icon with 1-bit mask
icm#48166.016×12 1 bit mono icon with 1-bit mask
icm496167.016×12 4 bit icon
icm8192167.016×12 8 bit icon
ics#64 (32 img + 32 mask)166.016×16 1-bit mask
ics4128167.016×16 4-bit icon
ics8256167.016x16 8 bit icon
is32varies (768)168.516×16 24-bit icon
s8mk256168.516x16 8-bit mask
icl4512327.032×32 4-bit icon
icl81,024327.032×32 8-bit icon
il32varies (3,072)328.532x32 24-bit icon
l8mk1,024328.532×32 8-bit mask
ich#288488.548×48 1-bit mask
ich41,152488.548×48 4-bit icon
ich82,304488.548×48 8-bit icon
ih32varies (6,912)488.548×48 24-bit icon
h8mk2,304488.548×48 8-bit mask
it32varies (49,152)12810.0128×128 24-bit icon
t8mk16,38412810.0128×128 8-bit mask
icp4varies1610.716x16 icon in JPEG 2000 or PNG format
icp5varies3210.732x32 icon in JPEG 2000 or PNG format
icp6varies6410.764x64 icon in JPEG 2000 or PNG format
ic07varies12810.7128x128 icon in JPEG 2000 or PNG format
ic08varies25610.5256×256 icon in JPEG 2000 or PNG format
ic09varies51210.5512×512 icon in JPEG 2000 or PNG format
ic10varies102410.71024×1024 in 10.7 (or [email protected] 'retina' in 10.8) icon in JPEG 2000 or PNG format
ic11varies3210.8[email protected] 'retina' icon in JPEG 2000 or PNG format
ic12varies6410.8[email protected] 'retina' icon in JPEG 2000 or PNG format
ic13varies25610.8[email protected] 'retina' icon in JPEG 2000 or PNG format
ic14varies51210.8[email protected] 'retina' icon in JPEG 2000 or PNG format
ic04varies1616x16 ARGB
ic05varies3232x32 ARGB
  • the values inside the brackets () in the length column is the uncompressed length.
  • the ARGB format consists of the ascii values for 'ARGB' and the four compressed channels tightly packed

Other types[edit]

OSTypeLength (bytes)Description
'TOC 'varies'Table of Contents' a list of all image types in the file, and their sizes (added in Mac OS X 10.7)
'icnV'44-byte big endian float - equal to the bundle version number of Icon Composer.app that created to icon
'info'259Info binary plist. Usage unknown


Various image viewers can load *.icns files, and free and open source converters from or to PNG also exist.[2][3]GTK+ can load *.icns resources since 2007.[4] Other tools supporting the format include the Apple Icon Composer and icns Browser, The Iconfactory, and IconBuilder.
MacOS[clarification needed] offers the built-in iconutil command line tool to pack and unpack *.icns files.

External links[edit]

  • IconFamily – Open source Objective C class to read and write Apple icns files
  • osxiconutils - Command line tools to work with Apple icns files

See also[edit]

  • ICO format on Windows
  • X PixMap format for X11


  1. ^Macintosh Icons
  2. ^'libicns'. SourceForge project icns. 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  3. ^'png2icns'. Moin Uddin. 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  4. ^Lyonel Vincent (2007). 'Mac OS X icons for GTK+'. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
Retrieved from 'https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Apple_Icon_Image_format&oldid=976274378'

Sep 28, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

'How can I hide desktop icons on Mac? There are too many shortcuts and icons on my Mac desktop and I wish to get rid of them – but I don't know how to do it!'

This is one of the queries that I have recently read on an online Mac community. Since I also use a Mac, it made me think of ways to change icons on Mac or hide them altogether. I realized that just like Windows, Mac users can also customize their desktop icons or completely get rid of them if they wish to.

In order to help you do the same, we have come up with this complete guide on how to remove icons from the desktop on Mac. Apart from different solutions to hide desktop icons on Mac, we will list some other techniques to manage your desktop as well.

Solution 1. Use the Finder Preferences to Hide Desktop Icons on Mac

If you are a regular Mac user, then you must be aware of the System and Finder Preferences. It involves all kinds of settings and options that can help us customize the way we use our Mac. If you wish to know how to remove icons from the desktop on Mac, then follow these simple steps:

Ifile For Mac

  1. To start with, just go to the Finder option on your Mac, which is on the top left corner. Click on it to get its context menu and choose the 'Preferences' option.
  2. This will open the Finder Preferences tab on the screen. From here, you need to go to the 'General' section, if you aren't there already.
  3. Here, you can view an option for 'Show these items on the desktop'. Just disable (uncheck) the feature for all the options here like hard disks, external disks, etc.

In the end, just close the tab and go to the desktop to verify. You will see that all the icons on your Mac desktop would be hidden now. You can follow the same approach and enable their options to unhide them. Although the same technique will work on every leading macOS version, the interface might differ from one version to another.

Solution 2. Use Terminal to Hide the Icons on Mac Desktop

Apart from the Finder Preferences, the system also allows us to hide desktop icons on Mac via the Terminal. The Terminal app works similarly to that of Command Prompt in Windows. Users can just enter certain commands to the Terminal and run it to complete a relevant operation. If you know the right commands, you can simply type them correctly and perform almost anything on your Mac. For instance, if you wish to learn how to hide desktop icons on Mac via Terminal, then follow these steps:

  1. Firstly, you need to access the Terminal app on your Mac. To do this, just go to the Spotlight and look for 'Terminal'. Just make sure that you are logged in as an administrator before running any command.
  2. Once the Terminal app is opened, just type the following command and press enter: defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool false
  3. After that, simply type 'killall Finder' and press enter. This will hide all desktop icons on Mac in one go.

This simple step would work seamlessly on every major macOS version. If you wish to show the hidden icons on your desktop again, then follow the same process. Just enter the following command instead and your hidden icons will appear again on Mac's desktop: defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool true; killall Finder

By following either of these two methods, you can easily learn how to hide desktop icons on Mac like a pro. While the Terminal command will hide all icons in one go, you can customize things via Finder Preferences. That is, you can handpick and select the icons you wish to show or hide. You can follow your preferred approach to change icons on Mac and customize your desktop. Besides that, there are so many things that you can do on your desktop. Here are some of these bonus tips that will let you manage your desktop like a pro.

Bonus 1. Change the Mac App Icons on the Desktop

By default, Mac displays all the icons on the desktop in a certain way, which would vary among different macOS versions. Though, if you want, you can change any icon on Mac and customize your overall experience. While the process is a bit different than learning how to hide desktop icons on Mac, you can easily get a hold of it. When you change an icon on Mac, it will reflect it everywhere, including the desktop.

  1. To start with, just go to the Finder and open your Applications to view all the installed apps.
  2. Simply select the app that you wish to customize and right-click it. From the context menu, click on the 'Get Info' section. You can also just press the Command + I keys as well.
  3. Make sure that you already have the new icon image that you wish to change. For instance, you can keep it on the desktop on a temporary basis.
  4. Copy the new image by pressing the Command + C keys and then click on the small icon of the existing image.
  5. Now, just press the Command + V keys at the same time to paste the image.
  6. Save your changes after the image is posted and close the screen. You can go to the desktop and view the changed icon on Mac.

While the solution to change icon on Mac would work smoothly, make sure that the image format you are taking is compatible. In most of the cases, JPG or PNG formats work quite smoothly.

Bonus 2. Make the Desktop Icons Smaller on Mac

  1. To change the size of icons on Mac, firstly go to its desktop and press the Command + J keys at the same time.
  2. If you want, you can also go to the 'View' menu on the top and click on the 'Show View Options' feature.
  3. This will open view options for desktop on the screen. Here, you can see a slider for 'icon size'.
  4. You can simply move the slider towards the left to make the icons smaller (and right to make them larger).

Once you are happy with an icon size, just close the screen. You can also alter the text and grid size from here as well.

Bonus 3. Recover Missing Desktop Files on Mac

This is one of the most important things to note if you do not wish to suffer from an unforeseen loss of data on your Mac. In case if you have accidentally deleted files from Mac's desktop or the files have been corrupted, then take the assistance of Recoverit Data Recovery software. It is a complete data recovery tool for Mac that can extract all kinds of files from your system, lost under numerous conditions.


Recoverit - The Best Word File Recovery Software

  • Recover Word documents from all storage devices like Mac.
  • Recover 1000+ types and formats of files in different situations.
  • Scan and preview the files before you recover them from MacBook hard drive.

If you have deleted a partition on Mac or have lost it due to any other reason, then you should use Recoverit Data Recovery. It can help you restore partition data on Mac by following these easy steps.

Step 1: Select a Source Drive

To start with, just Launch Recoverit Data Recovery on your Mac and select a source drive to scan. In this case, it will be the native drive of your Mac.

Step 2: Scan the Location

As the scanning for the lost and deleted content will progress, you can just wait for a while for it to be finished.

Step 3: Preview and Recover

When the recovery process is finished, you can just preview your files on the interface and select the ones you wish to get back. Click on the 'Recover' button in the end and save them to a secure location.

File Icons For Mac


Now when you know how to hide desktop icons on Mac, you can easily customize your desktop as per your requirements. We have also provided a quick solution to change icons on Mac and even alter their size. Apart from that, you can also consider using Recoverit Data Recovery application too. As a remarkable tool, it will make sure that you never suffer from any unforeseen data loss on Mac ever again.

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