Customising OS X Mavericks: Icons, wallpapers and some answers.

Customising OS X Mavericks: Icons, wallpapers and some answers.

Customising OS X Mavericks: Icons, wallpapers and some answers.

So, the new version of OS X (10.9 Mavericks) is finally available for the consumers. If you haven’t updated yet, then you might want to do so now, since it’s completely free to do so. I myself just updated when it rolled out and had the pleasure of tinkering with it for a day or so.

Anyhow, lets get to the point of this post. While OS X Mavericks is packed with amazing new features and the looks are tweaked here and there, there are still some things that could be “better”, depending on the taste of each person. Thus, here’s a guide to customising the looks of OS X Mavericks!

Changing the Icons

Since OS X Mavericks is completely new, most of the tools for changing icons are no longer supported (including CandyBar). However, there is a relatively simple way on how to change the icons.

Application Icons

The very first thing that you want to do is go ahead and find some icons that you would like to use. Me personally, I didn’t like the Messages icon on Mavericks as I felt it didn’t go too well with the style (like many others). I used this modest icon set from DeviantArt.

  1. When you have the icons that you want, go ahead and open one up. Whether it’s .ICNS or .PNG format.
  2. Press CMD+A and CMD+C afterwards. This will copy the icon to your clipboard.
  3. Fire up Finder and navigate your way to your Applications folder. It should be clearly visible on the left-hand sidebar in the Finder window.
  4. Find the App that you want to change the icon for.
  5. Right click it and select Get Info from the menu.
  6. The go ahead and simply left-click the small icon on the top left corner of the Info window. You Should have something like this:
    OS X Mavericks Get Info Screen

    Get Info screen for changing an icon.


  7. When you have the result above and the icon has a blue tint around it, simply hit the keys CMD+V to paste in the new icon.
  8. The icon should now have changed. Close the window and change any other icons that you want. After that, remember to logout and login to your system for the changes to take effect!

Folder and Hard Drive Icons

Changing folder icons and the icons of hard drives is pretty much the same as changing an icon of an App. Just fire up the Get Info window of a folder or a drive and just paste in (CMD+V) the icon. If you’re stuck, just follow the guide above or drop a comment below the post ;)

Dual Screen (or more) Wallpapers

Mavericks Wallpapers

Each of these on every monitor.

One other HUGE improvement, at least for me, that Mavericks delivered is the proper dual monitor support. The feature of setting two different wallpapers on different monitors isn’t that new, but it’s definitely a lot pleasing to do so when you have the proper monitor support.

  1. Launch System Preferences.
  2. Go to Desktop and Screensaver.
  3. You should now have windows open on every monitor with the preferences of choosing a wallpaper. This should let you choose a wallpaper for individual desktops.
  4. Choose the wallpapers, close the windows and you are done!

Changing Mission Control Background

In every previous version of OS X we were able to change the Mission Control background rather easily. All it took was simply swapping two files around and you had a nice new Mission Control background. But how do you change it in Mavericks?

You don’t. Well, not at the moment anyway.

Word on the tubes goes that Mavericks is using a single colour to draw the Mission Control background and adds some shading to it. The colour is likely to be buried somewhere in the code, meaning there is no easy way to change the background. For now.

Changing Dashboard Background

Mavericks Dashboard Background

Mavericks Dashboard Background

Unlike the Mission Control, the Dashboard is still available to be changed. Now some might think “Why? The two look the same!”. If you observe closely, Dashboard actually has an overlay of small squares and these small squares are an actual image!

Here’s how you change the Dashboard background in OS X Mavericks:

  1. Find a .PNG image that you would want to use as your Dashboard background. I just used one of the previously posted gaming wallpapers. Keep in mind that this image will be duplicated vertically and horizontally until it fills out the whole screen! You might want to use a pattern as well.
  2. Name your file as dbgrid.png
  3. Open up Finder and press Shift+Command+G.
  4. A small window will pop out, enter the following: /System/Library/CoreServices/
  5. Find dbgrid.png there and copy it. This will serve as a backup in case you want it back.
  6. Now go ahead and copy the dbgrid.png you got previously into the Resources folder.
  7. If asked, replace the old file and enter your password.
  8. Open up Terminal app and enter: killall Dock
  9. This will restart your Dock app and your dashboard should have a new background!

I think this pretty much sums it up for now. If you have any other changes that you’d like to perform or share, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll definitely add it to this post!


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