macOS lets you set custom icons for drives and folders, a nice way to customize and distinguish otherwise identical items from one another. But you might find that some drives resist change. Here are the types of drives where you can’t change the icon:
- ExFat: Drives formatted with the ExFAT filesystem, used as a compatible format for Windows and Mac files, typically won’t accept custom icons. Some people have involved complicated workarounds that may involve erasing the drive. It doesn’t seem worth it and doesn’t always work.
- Time Machine volumes: Volumes dedicated to Time Machine in the Finder will always override whatever icon you choose, resetting to the Time Machine drive icon the next time macOS performs a backup to the disk. This is distinct from volumes set for network sharing as Time Machine destinations, which can retain a custom icon.
This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Nikki.
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