Fill your Mac desktop with emoji instead of regular folder icons

You could turn all of your desktop clutter into poop emoji (if you really wanted to).

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Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Nelson Aguilar
Nelson Aguilar is an LA-based tech how-to writer and graduate of UCLA. With more than a decade of experience, he covers Apple and Google and writes on iPhone and Android features, privacy and security settings and more.
Alison DeNisco Rayome
Nelson Aguilar
2 min read

You can change the folder icons on your Mac desktop to emoji.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

The folders that live on your Mac desktop help to hide your clutter, but as you continue to add new folders, your screen might suddenly be filled with an ocean of blue. It's a bit of a boring look, but luckily you can customize these folders (and any other files on your desktop) by replacing them with emoji.


Yeah, emoji may seem frivolous, but they've become an important way to express yourself, whether it's via conversation or on social media. Since Apple computers offer limited customization (you can choose a wallpaper) it's difficult to fully capture your essence, but this offers you a simple and fun way to share who you are.

Here's how to change your Mac desktop folder icons to emoji

  1. Create a folder by right-clicking anywhere on your desktop and selecting New folder (or skip this step if you already have folders and other files that you want to customize on your desktop).
  2. Next, do a Google Image search for the emoji you want (for example, "heart emoji" or "star emoji").
  3. Look for a PNG, which will have a checkered background.
  4. Drag the image you want to your desktop to save it.
  5. Double-click the image to open it in Preview. 
  6. Click Edit > Copy.
  7. Go back to the original folder you created on your desktop, and right-click on it.
  8. Click Get Info
  9. In the screen that pops up, click the blue folder icon in the top left, and press Command + V
  10. You should see your emoji appear.

You can also delete the text under the folder and replace it with a blank space to show only emoji on your desktop, without any labels. 

For more, check out 10 Mac apps everyone should be using

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