Customize The Dropbox Syncing Icon To Whatever You Want

Customize The Dropbox Syncing Icon To Whatever You Want

You can create your own icons to replace the Dropbox badges that appear that the bottom-right of folders in your Dropbox.  All you need is an image editor and an app to convert images to icons.

Creating A Custom Dropbox Syncing Badge

In the image above, I changed the “sync complete” badge to be the symbol of the Rebel Alliance.  There are four different badges that you can change and they can be found here:


  1. overlay-error.icns
  2. overlay-ignored.icns
  3. overlay-syncing.icns
  4. overlay-uptodate.icns

Note: There are also the same icons found at /Applications/, but replacing the ones in the first path seems to do the trick.

How To Replace The Dropbox Syncing Icons

First, copy the icons to another folder in case you don’t like the change and you want to restore the original badge icons.

All you need to do is replace your custom-made images with the ones that are already there.  Just drag-and-drop your icons into the folder and choose Replace when the warning dialog appears.

I will explain below how to actually create your own .icns file.  But as you can see, I changed just the green badge in this example.

Steps To Create Your Own Dropbox Overlay Badge Images

I used Pixelmator for this trick, so that’s what the screenshots will reflect, but any semi-advanced image editor should be able to accomplish the same result.

1. Find An Image To Use

You can use any image you like, but complex ones might not be as recognizable as you want when they are reduced in size.  For example, I tried to make a badge using a picture of Goku.  It looks OK in badge size:

but the minimal Dragonball image below is easier to recognize when shrunk down, compared to the more complex image above.  Having a less complex image will also make the editing a bit easier as you will probably need to work with alpha channels (transparency).

For the step-by-step example, I will show you how I made the Rebel Alliance badge at the top of this post.

2. Paste The Image Into Pixelmator To Use It As A Guide

1. Open the file in Preview

2. Click on the image at the right

3. Press Command+A to select the entire image

4. Press Command+C to copy it to the clipboard

5. Open Pixelmator

6. Select Create new image…

7. The size should be pre-filled to 1024 x 1024 since that is the size of the image in your clipboard

8. Click OK

9. Paste the image into your new Pixelmator file

Edit Your New Icon

1. Reduce the opacity of the original icon so you can use it as a guide

2. Paste in your new image and align it within the confines of the original icon

3. Continue to edit the file until it is to your liking

4. Save the image as a PNG (to preserve transparency)

Convert Your PNG To An .icns File

1. Open

2. Drag and drop your saved image in the window

3. Click Export

4. Choose ICNS

5. Save the file to your Desktop

Replace The Original Icon With Your Custom One
  1. Rename your .icns file to overlay-uptodate.icns if it isn’t already
  2. Open /Applications/ in a new Finder window
  3. Drag-and-drop your icon into the folder
  4. Choose Replace when prompted
  5. Quit Dropbox completely
  6. Launch Dropbox again
Your new icon should now appear!

You can also download this template I made so you can just paste your images over the badges.