How to Change Folder Colors on Mac

Ben Stegner 12-12-2019

Want to add some personality to your Mac? A great way to do so is by changing the color of a few folders.


Whether you do this to dress up your desktop a bit, make Finder easier to use Reduce Finder Clutter and Mac Junk With Aliases, Tags, and More A thorough cleanup every now and then is necessary, but it can only take you so far. You need a good strategy for dodging clutter as well as clearing it. Read More , or want to use color to easily identify certain types of folders, you can do it in just a few moments. Here’s how.

How to Change Folder Colors on Mac

  1. Create a new folder if you don’t want to change an existing one.
  2. Right-click on the folder you want to change and choose Get Info.
  3. At the top of this dialog, you’ll see a picture of a folder next to the name of the folder. Click this image, then choose Edit > Copy from the menu bar.
  4. Open Preview. You can do this quickly by pressing Cmd + Space to open Spotlight, then typing Preview.
  5. With Preview open, select File > New from Clipboard.
  6. Click the Show Markup Toolbar button; it looks like a marker and is next to the Search box.
  7. Choose the Adjust Color tool that looks like a prism with light shining through.
  8. Use the sliders on the right side to adjust the folder’s color to your liking.
  9. When you’re satisfied, choose Edit > Select All from the menu bar.
  10. Press Cmd + C to Copy the new folder.
  11. Jump back to the Info tab of the folder from earlier. Click the folder’s image again, and hit Cmd + V to Paste the new folder over the old one.

Preview gives you basic options for changing a folder’s color. If you want more control, you can follow the same process in Photoshop or another image editing app.

You can make additional tweaks by installing tools designed specifically for the job. Pair this up with more hidden productivity tricks and customizing your Finder view options, and you’ll be working more efficiently than ever before. You can even change the way files are automatically saved to the Finder, including when taking screenshots in macOS Mojave.

Looking for additional tips for making your Mac work for you? Check out these hidden settings that you can unlock 11 Hidden Mac Settings You Can Unlock With the Defaults Command The defaults command unlocks tons of hidden preferences on your Mac. Here's how to use it and some of our favorite preferences. Read More on your own:

Related topics: Mac Feature, Mac Tricks.

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  1. matilda
    April 30, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    here's a video of how to do it with Mojave, since the method listed in the article doesn't work on Mojave.

  2. we
    December 5, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Thank you so much you're the boss!

  3. Irene
    November 18, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Used to work. Does not work in Mojave.

  4. Nitin Amin
    November 15, 2018 at 8:03 am

    This method appears to be for old Mac OS but it does not work for Mac Mojave OS. I have searched many links but no one knows how to change folder colours for Mac Mojave OS.

  5. Connie
    May 26, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    I cannot believe there is not an easier and less time intensive way to change folder colors.....colors!....not just hues. I want red and green and dark blue and purple. Come on Apple, you can make this happen with a right click and choose a color and ZAP.... there you have it a red folder! I wish I knew how to program, I would fix this up for everybody who wants a little variety! Thanks for listening.

    • Robert Sheldon
      October 4, 2018 at 9:30 am

      Good article really helped me solve a problem...but... when I color the folder on my work machine the colours do not get to my home machine over dropbox - any ideas there?

  6. Vanessa Dunbar Peters
    March 11, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    How do not use messager to send or read textes. Send how to undo it please