Insert Mac app icon in Photoshop / Affinity Photo: Here's how!

If you want to use the app icon of a macOS software in a graphic, there are several ways to do this. For example, you can search for the app icon on the internet. You can also take a screenshot of the Mac's dock or launchpad and cut out the icon you want. However, it is much easier to get clearer edges and app symbols without a background or with a transparent background. If the Mac program whose picture you want to use in Photoshop, Affinity Photo, GIMP or similar is installed on your hard drive, simply use the following instructions.

Find the app icon on the hard drive: In this folder!

For blog posts here at Sir Apfelot, I sometimes need the app icon from a Mac software. This is easy to find on the developer's website from time to time, but often not. However, if I have installed the program for a test or use it permanently anyway, I don't have to search the Internet. Because you can easily find the app icon on the hard drive:

  1. In the finder the hard disk (Macintosh HD) open
  2. The folder Program öffnen
  3. The desired App choose and right click
  4. At Show package contents here
  5. In the folder Contents -> Resources look for the .icns file
If you want to copy a Mac app symbol in order to use it in graphics editing, you can find it under Macintosh HD -> Applications -> Program name -> Contents -> Resources as an .icns file.

If you want to copy a Mac app symbol in order to use it in graphics editing, you can find it under Macintosh HD -> Applications -> Program name -> Contents -> Resources as an .icns file.

Insert Mac App Icon in Photoshop / use in Affinity Photo, GIMP, etc.

Not every graphics program can simply deal with an .icns file. For example, I can't open it in Serif's Affinity Photo. But that doesn't matter. If you have found the file with the program symbol, then simply open it with a double click with preview. A selection (of different sizes) will likely appear on the left and the icon will appear on the right. If you like what you see, do the following:

  1. In the menu bar Edit here
  2. At Copy click (or simply use cmd + C instead of the menu)
  3. Open Photoshop or another graphics program
  4. Edit -> Insert (or cmd + V) insert the app graphic
  5. Customize and edit as you want
To copy a Mac app icon and paste it into Photoshop, edit it in Affinity Photo or otherwise use it, open it in Preview and copy it there.

To copy a Mac app icon and paste it into Photoshop, edit it in Affinity Photo or otherwise use it, open it in Preview and copy it there.

Mission completed successfully: After copying the Mac app icon, you can simply paste it into a program for graphics editing - with a transparent background!

Mission completed successfully: After copying the Mac app icon, you can simply paste it into a program for graphics editing - with a transparent background!

Note: Some app icons are legally protected, so that the publication under their own direction - especially when installing in picture montages or after editing - may have to be approved by the rights holder.

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2 comments

  1. Corinna says:

    You can also unpack these things with `iconutil -c iconset`.

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      I still found a simple way: You call up the info window for the app with CMD + I (mark the app beforehand) and then click on the small app icon in the top left. Now press CMD + C to copy and paste it into the graphics program. Works wonderfully. : D

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