Mac tip: Copy app icons in high resolution


For me as a blogger, it is often necessary for me to get the icon of an app on the Mac in order to use it to design graphics for my posts. The problem is, when you see the app in the Applications folder in Finder, the icon is only available in a low resolution. For social media posts, however, a few hundred pixels are often “mandatory” if you want to share graphics there.

Instructions: this is how you copy the icon of Mac apps in high resolution to the clipboard
Instructions: this is how you copy the icon of Mac apps in high resolution to the clipboard

Instructions: How to get the high resolution icon of a Mac app

However, there is a simple way how to get the app icon or the program icon in high resolution (1024 x 1024 pixels) into the clipboard - and even transparencies are taken over. The transparency enables the app icon to be placed in front of a colored background later.

I show you how this works in the following screenshots. I'll do it using the Adobe Photoshop app as an example and then put the program icon in a document in Photoshop. You can then continue to use it in Adobe's graphics processing and export it for the web. You can of course also copy the graphic from the clipboard into other graphic programs such as Affinity Photo or similar.

Step by Step

First you look for the app on your Mac. Most programs can be found in the Applications folder. However, Adobe Photoshop has its own folder in which the actual program file is located. We open this folder and mark the corresponding program file with the mouse.


In the next step we will call up the file information about this app. This can be done using the key combination “cmd” + “i” or ⌘ + I. The window with the relevant information about the program will now open.

With the mouse we now click on the upper icon of the app. It is important that you do not select the lower, larger icon, but the small one at the top! If the icon in the file info window is clicked, it gets a thin blue frame. Now press “cmd” + “c” or ⌘ + C to copy the icon.


The program icon should now be in your clipboard. Now select the graphics program of your choice and open a new document. I did this in Photoshop and immediately got the suggestion that Photoshop open a new document with the size 1024 x 1024 pixels.


I confirm this and then copy the app icon from the clipboard to my new Photoshop document with “cmd” + “v” or ⌘ + V.


If I want to see the transparency, I can hide the white background layer in the Layers tab and then I have the cut-out icon of the app in high resolution for further processing.

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.