Change iCal Leather Interface Back to Aluminum in OS X Lion

Jul 23, 2011 - 73 Comments

Change iCal Leather Interface to Aluminum in OS X Lion

Do you hate the way iCal looks in Mac OS X Lion? The leather interface of iCal looks like it’s right out of an iPad has definitely caused a split with users, people either love the way it looks or hate it with a passion. For the sake of this article, we’re going to assume you’re not a fan of the leather UI,

Replacing iCal’s Leather User Interface with Aluminum

To ditch the leather, you are going to replace the leather image files with aluminum versions:

  • Download the iCal aluminum replacement files by clicking here and unzip them, place this directory in an easy to access location like your desktop
  • Navigate to /Applications/ and find iCal
  • Important: Make a copy of iCal by selecting the app and hitting Command+D to create “iCal” – this is important because it allows you to revert the changes
  • Right-click on the original and select “Show Package Contents”
  • Open “Contents” and then open “Resources”
  • Drag all of the previously downloaded iCal aluminum UI replacement files into iCal’s “Resources” folder, replacing the contents (click ‘Apply to All’ and then select “Replace”)
  • Launch iCal and enjoy your aluminum interface

I have tested this and it works flawlessly. Just remember to backup the original iCal app (it’s only 42mb) in case you ever want to change back to good old cowhide. Keep in mind that future iCal updates will probably overwrite your changes too.

OS X Lion iCal replaced with Aluminum interface

A huge shout out to MacNix for creating the files to replace the UI. If you are not comfortable messing with apps resource contents, MacNix also offers an ‘automatic installer’ version that just writes over the files for you, but you’ll still want to duplicate as a backup.

If you want to get everything back to how it was before, all you need to do is swap in your backup copy of the app and rename the aluminum version again, and voila, back to leather:

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Posted by: William Pearson in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Parakeet says:

    Finally! I don’t like the bound desk calendar look, keep it consistent Apple

  2. psycho077 says:

    leather look was terrible… thanx… hope that it will be same with AdressBook…

  3. douglas says:

    Great tip

    BTW aluminium is the proper spelling

    • MacBill says:

      Either your spelling or the authors is correct. Just depends what part of the world you are in. =)

      • Alberto says:

        Call it Bauxite……

      • Nathan says:

        Lol indeed Aluminium is Dutch but Aluminum is English isn’t it?

        well, we spell that as “Bauxiet” so there still is a difference between those

        • George says:

          US English and British English varies massively in spelling and pronunciation of certain words.

          Both of you are correct.

          Aluminum is correct in the US
          Aluminium is correct in British English

          The method you use depends on who told you English should you be from a non-English speaking country.

  4. […] Via: Change iCal Leather Interface Back to Aluminum in OS X Lion. […]

  5. It was only a matter of time. Thanks for this.

    However, I still prefer the old iCal sidebar. This new one makes it tougher to immediately hide and show certain categories. Also, the colours are fainter and the typography is different. Basically they made a bunch of changes that I, for one, don’t enjoy.

    The new address book is a complete mess. The old one was so much easier where you could easily see three columns: categories, names, and info. Now there’s pages to turn? Cmon.

  6. Dirk says:

    Hmm, seeing both side by side, i think Apple made the right decision ;-)

  7. Pam says:

    I can not find how to turn the to-do list on the new iCal. Am I missing something?

  8. talltree says:

    Great hack, thank you!

    Now if someone can figure a way to show the Calendars, like in Snow Leopard (vs. Lion’s need to click each time in order to see your calendar list), I’ll be fully on with Lion’s iCal.

    • John says:

      I would love to see this, as well! I’m not a developer, so I’m making a request to the world that this gets created! Thanks.

  9. Melanie says:

    Yay!!! Many thanks — I *hated* the beige pleather. Happy now. :)

  10. Paul says:

    Oh thank you thank you thank you!!! OS X is generally the most beautiful GUI i’ve used, but sometimes apple gets it horrifically wrong…

  11. Nash says:

    I’m on OSX Snow Leopard and I want this leather skin, Is it possible? please make an article about it. Thanks!

  12. […] that’s not minimalist enough for you, a second tweak takes the interface all the back to familiar […]

  13. Mandy says:

    The Leather was awful – thank you! Is there a way to change the color of the titles so that they are gray instead of brown? The brown on the aluminum doesn’t look exactly right.

  14. John says:

    Shouldnt be too hard to know up some themeing software for this then 8)

  15. steve says:

    I agree – it looks much better it just needs that brown drop shadow changing and its sorted.

  16. […] – Ripping Out iCal’s Torn Page – How to remove the “Turn page” elements from iCalOS X Daily details how to return iCal to the non-leather appearance.Please keep in mind, that these changes […]

  17. […] archivos descargados y descomprimidos para sustituirlos por los actuales. 6. Abre iCal. Visto en: OS X Daily iCalInformacionInterfazMac OS X […]

  18. tboehrer says:

    Oh thank you thank you. That leather look was hideous.

  19. drycen says:

    thanks mate, exactly what i was looking for.

  20. giantJELLYFISH says:

    Unless yanks have too much of the element SODUM in their diet and it’s obscured the ability to spell…

    all chemical elements have IUM at the end,

    it’s SO DUMB to write ALUMINUM when it’s ALUMINIUM!!!

  21. kold says:

    thanks loads….fake leather thing looks fookin awful

  22. parmetmusic says:

    Easily done. Bravo. Thanks.
    (The leather interface change produced the same response to seeing a guy wearing a toupé and wondering, “Ok, besides you, who really thinks that was a good idea?)

  23. […] zmiana gui w OS X Lion Możemy zmienić sprawdziłem działa Change iCal Leather Interface Back to Aluminum in OS X Lion Komputer: Mac Mini, Intel Core 2 Duo 2,4 GHz, Pamięć 4 GB, Nvidia GeForce 320M, Lion 10.7 […]

  24. gigipeeps says:

    Thanks so much that new look was just not me. It’s like someone got really bored on their cowboy retreat.

  25. AlastairM says:

    thanks for the fix – why do Apple think we want to replicate old paper systems on high power computers. Please change this soon, we want the future.

  26. Sophie says:

    Thank you, what a relief not to have to live with someones misguided idea of design.

  27. […] you’re still on a customization kick, remember that you can also change iCals Leather GUI , enable Full Screen in unsupported apps, and much more in our series of ongoing OS X Lion tips and […]

  28. Phineas says:

    Great tweak. How about a way to change the brown text in the UI to black after this fix?

  29. yocheved says:

    thanks! I did not like the torn off paper pages things – that just annoyed me as I do lots of forward planning back and forth and do not want to see torn off paper pages. Small thing but I like it better this way – seems to me they should offer a few different skins you can switch between. Thanks so much – this was easy to fix with your help.

  30. Rudonja says:

    Thanks a lot for correcting this ugly mistake OS X Lion!

  31. Ricardo Guerreiro says:

    Hate the new iCal (with passion). Fix the leather is good already but can we also have the All Day Events witha solid color bar? Now the events are less prominent in the cal. All the interface seems so dull! Nothing stands out and that was handy… Any solutions? Thanks

  32. Marcos says:

    “This file is no longer available” :(

  33. Scott says:

    Anyone else have the files uploaded so that we can download again?

  34. JeremyB says:

    Anyone have a solution for getting rid of the animated page flip while in the month view in the new iCal?

  35. Tim says:

    The file is unavailable now. Any chance of getting it back? Cheers, Tim

  36. christopher says:

    excellent!! thank you.

  37. codeus says:


    I originally made this fix, I sometimes update the file but you can always find a live copy on


  38. TheAntibyte says:

    hey the files for this guide are missing can you repost them….

  39. victor says:

    You can also customize iCal’s look by replacing the “LeatherTile.png” and “LeatherTileFullscreen.png” files in resources, by another texture keeping the same files names and using the “Killall Dock” command in the terminal.

  40. […] tweaking OS X Lion on your own with all the defaults write commands? Don’t want to manually change iCals leather look back to aluminum? What about older tips like turning the Dock into 2D? Lion Tweaks to the […]

  41. JD says:

    Fabulous! Thanks! Lion iCal skin is very irritating.

  42. Matt A says:

    thanks for this – leather look calendar truly horrible and coming from the same horrible pastiche-y design sense I would normally associate with a PC…

  43. Matt B says:

    Yes, again, updated link no longer has files. Any chance to update again?

  44. […] van allemaal: als je echt niet kunt wennen aan de nieuwe look van Lion kunt u hier vindt de instructie hoe […]

  45. […] allerlaatste: als je echt niet kunt wennen aan het nieuwe uiterlijk van Lion dan kan je hier de uitleg vinden hoe je dat kunt […]

  46. benny says:

    looks like link expired again. please re-post.

  47. Andyt says:

    How can I change this on my iPad …. what a horrible design! Please, just give us skins or something more simplistic

  48. Jayson says:

    My camel’s back is broken with this hideous design. Making the move to Thunderbird!!

  49. Joan says:

    I cannot access the file to change my iCal back to the aluminium style in Lion! Where did it go?

  50. sean says:

    please repost the link… this horrible skin (and the one from address book) is the only thing keeping me from dumping outlook 2011, so maybe this will finally make it happen. thx!

  51. kat says:

    the link above no longer works. please upload the minimal design again! :(

  52. jen says:

    yes please please please re-upload!!!!!
    thanks so much

  53. Polly says:

    Thanks so much for this download- much better!

    Does anybody know how to make the ‘all-day’ events section larger. I usually have around 10 all day events in my diary and can only see 6 at a time. I can scroll to see the rest, but as I look at my diary all the time, it’s a real pain.

    Thanks to anybody who can help me!

  54. Chad says:

    It looks like the replacement aluminum files are no longer hosted at the linked site. Does anyone still have them anywhere?

  55. OpenMind says:

    Here is the iCal skin – will see if i have the address book one too:

  56. OpenMind says:

    And here is the Address Book skin”


  57. […] more manually changing iCal UI files, Lion Tweaks includes two simple one-button installers to change the leather user interface back to […]

  58. Tracey says:

    Why can’t they just give you a few options? Not everybody is going to like one or the other….I can change a billion other things on this to make it work the way I want but I can’t choose a different calendar screen without basically going back in time to an older app.

  59. Mono says:

    Thank you so much! I even stopped using the calendar because the interface got so icky. Thank you for the fix!!!

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