How to add an image or color to a Finder folder on Mac

By , Jul 7, 2016

Mac OS X folder color Finder

Your Mac’s Finder windows always have a white background out of the box, but if you’re fancying a change, you can always give your Finder folders any background or background color you wish.

Believe it or not, your Mac comes with the ability to set any background color for any of your folders out of the box, and you can even set any image you may have as the background for your folders.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how.

Changing things up

Want to get creative with your Mac? Tired of looking at white all the time? Fortunately your Mac lets you customize things a bit.

If you don’t like seeing the white backgrounds every time you navigate your folders on OS X, you will be happy to know that you can configure colors and background images for all folders on your Mac that you’ll see any time you navigate them in Finder.

Setting a custom color or background

To change your Finder background, you can follow these steps:

1) Open a Finder window and navigate to a folder you want to change the background of.

2) Press Command + J on your keyboard and you’ll get the following window:

OS X Finder Background Change 1

3) In the Background section, click on the Color bubble, then click on the color box to choose a color:

OS X Finder Folder Options 2

4) Now, select a color from the infinite color picker:

OS X Finder Color Picker

5) Your color will be applied to the Finder window immediately so you can see what you think of it:

Mac OS X folder color Finder

So that’s how you set a custom color for a background… but you can also set an image if you wanted to.

Setting an image as a background

Setting an image as the background for a folder in Finder is equally as easy. Here are the steps:

1) Open a Finder window and navigate to a folder you want to change the background of.

2) Press Command + J on the keyboard to open the Finder settings window.

OS X Finder Background Change 1

3) In the Background section, select the Picture bubble, and then click on the image selector to add an image.

Note: You can use any image you have on your Mac. We’ve used a nice background we downloaded from the internet.

OS X Finder Folder Image Selector

4) The image you set as the background should be applied to Finder immediately.

OS X image finder background

And that’s all there is to setting an image as a background for a specific folder.

More details

Keep in mind that you would need to configure each and every folder on your Mac separately, as changing this setting does not apply to every folder you open in Finder.

If you’re wanting to color-match a background with a set of tags you’re using, the feature could be considered beneficial from an organizational point of view, but in terms of setting an image background, I think the focus is much more in the department of aesthetics and customization.

Wrapping up

Changing the background of a folder in the Finder window won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but some people like the added ability to customize things to their liking, which is why this feature is available in the first place.

Also read:

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  • Dave

    It’s strange… It doesn’t work on my Mac (El Capitan); The cmd-J-window doesn’t have the option “background” and even has some other differences like “Icon Size” (instead of a picker, it has 2 options to choose from).

    • Norbi Whitney

      Change fileview to icons, in the Finder window, that’ll make the other options appear.

      • Dave

        ohh okay thank you very much 🙂

      • Norbi Whitney

        No problem, you’re welcome.

  • Dave

    Here a screenshot: