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Quick Tip: How to Change Your Drive Icons in OS X

ExtremeIcon[Update: Check out the new OWC icons here!]

Recently, OWC Chris S. demonstrated how to create custom Mac icons for use with folders and apps among other things. However, if you’re looking for pre-made icons from OWC, we have you covered.

OWC ships all of its drives with a custom drive icon to help differentiate it from your other FireWire and USB devices. But when you reformat your drive, you’ll lose the icon along with it and you’ll be left only with the generic orange FireWire or USB icon for your drive.

If you have reformatted your drive and would like access to the drive icon (or some of the other custom icons we’ve created), simply head to our Custom Hard Drive Icons page to download them now.

Once you’ve downloaded OWC’s custom hard drive icons, just follow this step-by-step guide to changing your drive’s current icon. (Note: This tip is compatible with macOS Sierra!)

How to change your drive icon:

1) Begin by clicking on your chosen icon and selecting “Get Info” from the File menu (Or, press Command-I). That will bring up a window that looks like this (some dropdown menus may be open, in our image they are all collapsed).

UsingIcons_12) Then, click on the picture in the top left corner and press Command-C – or pull down the Edit menu and select “Copy” to copy the hard drive icon.

UsingIcons_23) Perform the same “Get Info” (Command-I) on your drive you wish to paste the icon onto.

UsingIcons_34) Click on the picture in the top left corner and press Command-V – or pull down the Edit menu and select “Paste” to paste the new icon onto your hard drive.

UsingIcons_45) Your drive is ready to go!


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  • Quick tip for anyone trying this with years later with modern macOS: Forget about Command V. Drag and drop the .icns file into the info pane right on top of the previous icon.
    Peace & Chicken Grease,

  • Once ejected, then remounted, external drives are not keeping the icon per these instructions. It looks fine, but then I eject and then reinsert. No icon. I have even made sure to “unclick” the lock icon at the bottom of the “Get Info…” dialog. Very annoying.

      • I have same problem!!! I did change the new icon, then wanted to change another new icon again. Once ejected the external drives and remounted, it will change back the first icon.

        I already followed the guideline to create own icons! Does anyone know why?

  • it works once. When i replace the icon with a .png image and then delete it and then try to add a different png image it shows the first one again. I will not add the new PNG image.

    Plugged in external drive. Dragged PNG image into the address bar of Safari, then dragged that image to the (get info) top left image of the external drive. It changed just fine.

    Second image:
    Right clicked on External HDD and went to “Get Info” highlighted top left image and hit delete showing the default external hdd image. Clicked and dragged NEW PNG Image from Safari to the top left (get info) image but it didn’t add the new image it reverted to the 1st PNG image i added.

    Anyone else have that issue? Any solutions if so?

  • Thanks. Did exactly what it said on the tin. Easy. If you have any more I’d love to download them.

  • I also had to paste from the website, rather than the way the blog states. OSX 10.10.5

  • Following the instructions didn’t produce the results. The image in top left corner is an unattached .png. I had to “Copy Image” direct from the ICON page to make it work.