Avoiding Blurry Custom Icons In macOS Mojave

A common complaint from Mojave users is that when you copy and paste a file icon to create a custom icon for a file or folder, the result is blurry. It turns out that this only happens when the icon image is not square. Convert the image to a square one, or copy a square portion of the image, and the result is crisp and clear.

Video Transcript
Since Mojave came out a lot of people have been complaining that they can't create custom icons. They look blurry! Let me show you an example of what people are experiencing. So here I've got two regular folders. These can be files. It doesn't really matter what they are. I'm going to change the icon in them. Here I have an image file. Right. Actually the icon here, since it is an image file, is showing me the preview of the image. But if I do Command i I can see it's just a standard png icon there. So this has a customized icon because it's an image file. Image files have that special thing where they show you previews.

But if I want to apply this icon to one of these two folders I can open it up. I'll just double click it and open it up in Preview. I can select all, Command A and Command C to copy. Then I'll close that window. As a matter of fact I'll quit Preview altogether. I'll do Command i on this folder here and this is where I should be able to create a custom icon. I'll select the icon there and I will Paste this image and I get a blurry icon. So you can see there how it's blurry and this is what people have been complaining about. So is there a fix?

It turns out there is if you understand what is wrong. I did some experimenting. I found that this only happens if the image isn't perfectly square. Which most images aren't. So if you're using a square image it works just like it did before. So let's make this a square image. Since icons are square anyway so it would be a square image if you like it or not. So we can do this in Preview. You can use another imaged editing app and it might be better. What I'm going to do here is I'm going to Select and I'm going to hold down the Shift key so that it is a perfectly square selection. Then I am going to Copy that square selection.

So I could trim this, you know, and create a new image but I don't need to. As soon as I Copy, I'm ready to go. So now I can go over here. I'm going to select folder 2 here. In folder 2 I'm going to Paste this copied square instead of the entire rectangular image. You can see here I get a very crisp beautiful icon. So all you need to do to make sure you get crisp icons if you're using custom graphics for your icons is make sure the image is square. Either do that in the image editing app that you're using or if it's not square and it's somewhere else that you got it from copy a square section from it in Preview or an image editing app before pasting it in here. You'll be able to get crisp icons in the Finder in Mojave.

Comments: 7 Responses to “Avoiding Blurry Custom Icons In macOS Mojave”

    Jamesceary
    4 weeks ago

    Method No. 1 Enabling or Disabling Font Smoothing The first method of making those blurry letters look more like printed text is to enable or disable font smoothing in macOS Mojave.

    Ken
    4 weeks ago

    Gary,

    For years I have been changing folder icons and very much like being able to. I also changed application icons. When I switch to Mojave the icons for Mac apps went to default ( I had custom Icons for Safari, Mail, Itunes etc). I am not able to change these icons. Is there a way I can change them. Thanks
    Ken

    4 weeks ago

    Ken: I’m guessing that the new SIP (System Integrity Protection) would prevent you from changing app icons, especially for system apps. I would strongly recommend that you leave these icons as-is. It may be fun to change them, but definitely isn’t worth the security risk of turning off SIP.

    Ken
    4 weeks ago

    Thank you. I did like the icons that I had for the past several years, but I can understand not changing the. As always thank you and always love the quick videos.

    Ken

    Holly Graham
    4 weeks ago

    There were other sites that had complicated answers to this problem.
    I’m very visual and like my folders to have the image of the graphic I’m working on, on them.
    Thank you for explaining this in such an easy manner.

    Andrew
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks Gary
    What such an easy fix
    Only Guru’s like you work these cannot see the wood for the tree fixes
    You have a new Aias hope you like it Mr Macguru Maxspert

    Carlos
    3 weeks ago

    EXCELENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks a lot!

Leave a New Comment Related to "Avoiding Blurry Custom Icons In macOS Mojave"

:
:
:
0/500 (500 character limit -- please state your comment succinctly and do not try to get around this limit by posting two comments)