How to Customize App Icons on your Mac

Getting an iPhone is a major deal these days, as it is one of the most popular phones for the current generation of mobile tech users. With a fast, reliable and user-friendly interface, the iPhone has ultimately grabbed its position as the top dog against the competition from other brands.

But what makes your iPhone any different from the iPhone your boss or your friends own? Of course, your apps and your playlists may differ; or, externally, the cases that protect it and the trinkets that hang from it. Did you know, though, that you can go one step further in giving  your trusty iPhone a little more personal flavor?

Customize your phone’s app icons. This doesn’t improve the app’s performance, but, hey, if someone borrows my iPhone (no opening of messages or restricted apps or there will be chaos) and notices that the Safari icon looks like a cat looking through a telescope, I’ll probably snort and brag about it. The best part of this tweak is that your iPhone doesn’t need a jailbreak, so you can go all out on this personal project.

app icons

How do you create you’re a personalized app icon? If you’re familiar with using basic graphic software like Adobe Photoshop then you’re good to go. Here’s the step-by-step procedure:

Creating the Icon

  1. Launch Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Go to File and select New. If you’re using a Windows PC, you can also just press Ctrl+N.
  3. On the New window, change Preset Sizes into Custom. Change measurements to 512 pixels for both width and height. Keep Resolution at 72 pixels/inch then click OK.
  4. At the toolbar, select the Rounded Rectangle tool by right-clicking on the Rectangle Tool, as this is in a single family group. Or you could just press Shift+U like the beginner ninja you are.
  5. At the top of the screen, you should see a toolbar. Next to the Custom Shape tool (the one that looks like a blob), click on the small black triangle. Select Fixed size set both width and height at 483 pixels.
  6. Found on the same toolbar, the Radius pertains to curviness of the rectangle’s edges. Change it to 80 pixels.
  7. Paste a graphic into the rectangle by selecting the Vector Mask. This will activate a marquee selection of the shape or the dotted lines around the shape.
  8. Go to Edit and select Paste Special, then Paste Into. Resize the image if to fit into the shape by pressing Ctrl+T. Enter it if you’re satisfied with the result.
  9. Add a Drop Shadow or a Stroke to give the icon a look that complements iOS 7. Do this by double clicking on the current layer until the pop-out menu appears. Adjust settings according to your preferences.
  10. Save this icon into a .png24 file to give your image a transparent background.


So now you have your first custom icon for an app. Now what? Installing it in your iPhone is actually easy if you follow the right steps and proceed with caution, as your tweaks may affect your app. If you’re ready, go ahead and follow these steps.

Installing the image as an Icon

  1. Open iExplorer and select the name of your device.
  2. Go to Apps.
  3. Find the App Name.
  4. Select

Confused? Here’s an example. If you want to change your Safari icon, you need to follow this path: AJ’s iPhone > Apps > Safari >

Once you find the file location, all you need to do is locate is the one entitled icon@2x.png. Some apps however have different file name, but it generally categorizes into a .png file. Now, go back to your new custom icon and change its filename so that it replaces the app’s original icon. Create a backup or delete the existing icon and replace it with your custom one.

If you want to edit the rest of your icons, just go back to step one and repeat the process. Now go forth and brag about how you single-handedly customized your iPhone’s icons! Just don’t tell them how you did it. That will be our secret. *wink, wink*

For any other technical problems or questions with your iPhone and other Apple devices, visit MacMall’s retail stores at Santa Monica, Torrance or Huntington Beach. Let our Apple-credited experts take a look at your device and give your professional advice and recommendations. Visit for amazing deals and limited offers that you will surely enjoy!

For the latest news from MacMall, follow @MacMall on Twitter and connect with MacMall on Facebook.

You may also like...