How to customize your Mac’s hard disk icons

Yes, you can customize your Mac’s hard disk icons in just a few steps in MacOS. Why use Apple’s boring default icons when you can use your own?


If you find yourself a little bit bored with the default hard disk icons in MacOS, you can change them easily. This can help spice up your Mac’s desktop and give you a chance to have a little bit of fun.

I recently did this after reading instructions on the MacStories blog, and I didn’t miss Apple’s rather bland icon after I got rid of it. I’ll share my thoughts about this in more detail below, but here’s how you can change your Mac’s hard disk icons.

TJ Luoma reports for MacStories:

You’ll want something square, and ideally at least 1024x1024. Fortunately, Google Images will almost certainly turn up something that you want. For example, I wanted an icon of the El Capitan “X” logo for my SSD, so I searched for “os x El Capitan” and then clicked on “Search Tools” and and then “Exactly” and put in “1024” in each box.

1. Find the image you want to use

2. Open it in Preview

3. Select All

4. Copy

5. Go to Finder

6. Select the drive you want to customized the icon of

7. Do “Get Info”

8. Click on the existing icon at the top-left corner

9. Press ⌘V to paste the image from Preview

10. Enter your administrator password, if required

More at MacStories

Changing my Mac’s hard disk icon to the Dark Lord Sauron

A while back I decided to use some names from the Lord of the Rings for my Macs, and I opted to use Sauron as the name of my 5K iMac. Well what could be better than using a Sauron icon for my hard disk?

I did a few Google Image searches, and managed to find a cool image of Sauron. Initially I wanted the Eye of Sauron but I couldn’t find an image that was the right size and that I liked. So I finally went with Sauron himself, before he lost the One Ring.

I followed the instructions listed above, and had no problems replacing Apple’s boring hard disk icon on my 5k iMac. It’s very cool to see this image of Sauron on my desktop instead of the bland default icon.

Here's a before and after look at my hard disk icon:

default macos hard disk icon
customized macos hard disk icon

You can also do this for network drives and external drives. I think I may add one soon for Gandalf, Frodo and some of the other Lord of the Rings characters. Hey, why not right? It's a lot more fun staring at Lord of the Rings icons than seeing Apple's default icons.

And once you've changed your hard disk icon in MacOS, you'll see it appear in the Finder and also the About This Mac menu. Here's what it looks like in the About This Mac menu:

customized macos hard disk icon in About This Mac

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