No More Grey – Bring Back Color iTunes Icons to OS X Lion

Aug 26, 2011 - 58 Comments

Color iTunes Icons

Mac OS X and iTunes has been slowly going the way of minimalism with subdued grey interface elements and icons, some people like the change and others don’t. We just showed you how to get color icons back in the OS X Lion Finder sidebars, and in the comments, Prescott Perez-Fox posted a resource file that works to bring the color sidebar icons back to the latest version of iTunes in Mac OS X Lion too. Here’s how to use that file.

Bringing Back Color iTunes Icons to OS X Lion

The best thing about this tip is that it doesn’t require SIMBL or any additional installations, making it very simple. This has been verified to work with the latest version of iTunes 10.4.1 in Mac OS X Lion 10.7.1.

First things first, you need to download a new color iTunes icons resource file and rename it:

Now that you have that ready to go, you can proceed with the actual resource file change:

  • Hit Command+Shift+G and enter the following path:
  • /Applications/

  • Locate the file “iTunes.rsrc” and rename it to “iTunes-backup.rsrc” – you will need to authenticate renaming the file, and this is important because you want to be able to revert the changes
  • Now drag the newly downloaded version of iTunes.rsrc into the open /Resources/ folder – you will again need to authenticate
  • Relaunch iTunes and enjoy your new color icons again

A big thanks to Prescott for pointing this out in the comments.

Don’t forget you can change the sidebar icons to color in Mac OS X Lion too.

Update: Apparently we covered a similar tip for iTunes 10 under OS X 10.6 a while back too.


Related articles:

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


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  1. tom says:


    I just tried this on Lion 10.7.5 and itunes 10.7 – It did not work.

    All it changed was the ‘apps’ tab in itunes red. Everything else is the same.

    Any ideas why?


  2. Trogdor says:

    Would love an update for iTunes 10.7, the icons really aren’t lining up properly. Works fine in all other senses – thanks!

  3. plsh2me says:

    Yes, The icons on Mountain Lion seems not tuned smoothly, not in line up. need to update it.

  4. viper says:

    This has been working great but it seems like the icons don’t quite line up properly. For example, the store, I have only the top part of the bag and it is in the lower half of the icon area and above it is the bottom part of a book.

  5. James Low says:

    I had a go at modifying the Mails icons application bundle on Lion.

    1) All the icons for mail are done as separate images, not the end of the world, but makes it slightly harder to update the iTunes.

    2) Even when I made the icons colored, Mail seems to put a monotone filter on them. I tested it was definitely using my icons, by changing them to a completed different one, and it showed up, just it was in monotone.

  6. Adven says:

    Doesn’t work on my MBP Lion 10.7.4 + iTunes 10.6.1.

  7. Bryan says:

    OS X 10.7.3 + iTunes 10.6.1 + OS X Firewall On = ‘Do you want the application “” to accept incoming network connections?’ prompt EVERY TIME you launch iTunes.

    To fix it – Remove the new “iTunes.rsrc” that was downloaded (the file you renamed to “iTunes.rsrc” after backing up – renaming – the original file), rename “iTunes-Backup.rsrc” (or whatever name you renamed the original file to) back to “iTunes.rsrc” and launch iTunes again.

    I was no longer prompted to allow accepting incoming connections. This is definitely a cool feature, but I’ll wait for Apple to introduce colors back into the iTunes sidebar again. Not worth the annoyance…

    • Lanz says:

      You’re making things complicated. To stop, ‘Do you want the application “” to accept incoming network connections?’ prompt, just go to Advanced > Turn OFF home sharing…… that’s all dude

  8. Lanz says:

    Don’t believe in this one. I just tried it. It will crash some of the options including preferences. Beware!

  9. Ian says:

    Not gone well… My iTunes now has a black background, and all the text is white. It’s as if accessibility has been turned on in iTunes alone. Tried to revert back to the old file, changed the logos back to grey, but still black background. Downloaded iTunes again and reinstalled. Still black. HELP!!!

  10. jamieorc says:

    Just tried this on Lion 10.7.2 and iTunes 10.5.3. No go. Wondering if iTunes.rsrc changed in 10.5.3

  11. Kyle says:

    I did not get the “Authorize” prompt but this worked like a charm. Thank you!!!

    • Lanz says:

      haha. it looks like it worked but some of iTunes options will crash… try open preferences…hahaha. It looks funny right?

  12. Danco says:

    Daz ! Thanks. Finally works perfectly.

    I tried the file posted by Scott Perez which worked great at first, but once I upgraded to Lion, my iTunes began crashing when ever I connected my daughters’ iPod Touches or my iPhone 4.

    I tried the file provided by Daz and everything worked fine.

    Two other things I did (but to be honest, not sure if it was required): After the install I ran the following commands on the command line:
    su – root (authenticate)
    cd /Applications/
    chown root:wheel iTunes.rsrc
    xattr -d iTunes.rsrc

    It’s all good !!!!!

    • Danco says:

      Just to clarify, my iTunes was only crashing after I connected either an iPod Touch or my iPhone 4, highlighted the Touch or iPhone in the iTunes sidebar and then selected the Apps tab. That was the only time it crashed. All other tabs worked fine.

      I’m running iTunes 10.5.1 and Mac OS X Lion (10.7.2)
      iPhone 4 iOS 5.0.1

  13. Dino says:

    Yes, I’m getting that inbound connection popup as well.

    Also noticed it doesn’t support the iCloud cloud icons anymore.

  14. Jason says:

    Crashes the apps for iPhone 4s, iPhone 4 is fine, but due to me having both phones, I reverted back to the dull colours
    /Users/desley67/Desktop/Screen Shot 2011-12-04 at 10.47.14 AM.png

  15. Albert says:

    Tried Daz’s link but the graphics of the side bar not perfect. Some of the icons overlap and the upper corners of iTunes are bent.

  16. Daz says:

    I’ve just found this updated version that works with iTunes 10.5

    I’ve tried it and so far, so good! :)

    • Hans says:

      Works for me too, at least the preferences issue. Also had an issue with synching iphone where iTunes crashed when I was switching to apps tab on the iphone panel.
      iTunes 10.5, OSX 10.7.2

    • PuckMonk says:

      Daz Thanks or this new rsrc file :) works like a charm.
      Macbook Pro 15″ 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iTunes 10.5 OSX 10.7.2

  17. Daz says:

    Same problem here. I can get the colours to show up, but when I try to open the Preferences it crashes every time, on 2 different Macs.

    After I’ve put the old iTunes.rsrc file back, I can open the prefs again.

    I think we need a new iTunes.rsrc created using most current rsrc file.

  18. Fundy33 says:


  19. Ruby says:

    Hmm… my fresh install of iTunes 10.5 has an iTunes.rsrc file that is 9MB in size. Perez-fox’s files (there are two posted here) are 5.2MB and 6MB respectively. So, some data is missing.

    When I re-start iTunes with the new file, the colorized items show up perfectly, but when try to load iTunes preferences, the app crashes EVERY TIME.

    I’d rather just get my hands on the actual graphics files and add them myself in using Themepark (

    which lets you edit just that aspect of the rsrc file without importing someone else’s ENTIRE rsrc file, which in this case looks like it has been seriously modified.

    • Matt says:

      Ruby is correct – I just had to re-install iTunes 5.0 on MAC OS X Lion because opening preferences causes a crash after replacing the .rsrc file. Too bad to – I hate the grey!!!

    • Jason says:

      Only crashes apps with iPhone 4S, works fine with iPhone 4.
      I reverted back due to me having both phones.
      I also noticed the Picture of the iPhone in Summery is not there for the iPhone 4S

  20. Kip says:

    I followed the steps and now have a colorful sidebar. However, the header strip where the delete in color used to be in Snow Leopard and the trash can is in Lion stayed greyed out. Is there anyway to get color back here as well?

  21. mac user says:

    Hi I followed the steps but it doesn’t seem to work for me the same happens when i try to change the icons in finder but in finder it does change until i restart the computer. does anyone know what could be the problem cuz i really don’t like the grey icons. thanx

  22. rammer says:

    this works great except that every time iTunes starts you now get an allow/deny incoming connections dialogue box.
    This is very annoying. I think it has something to do with the iTunes checksum being different and this triggers the firewall even with connections allowed setup.
    Anyone have any ideas?

  23. Craig Farr says:

    Hate the grey, loved getting colours back!
    Thanks a lot!

    I´d really like to get the coloured icons back in Mail too. Any ideas?


  24. […] if you don’t have a good reason to be removing iTunes, such as to downgrade or ditch the colorized version, than you should keep it […]

  25. art says:

    well just tried it now its working now i have itunes with color icon hope for more tricks Thanks

  26. Dave says:

    works for me – when it comes to color, I’m pro-choice, you can have your gray, no prob, but the Cosmos is full spectrum.
    make sure to rename scott perez’s downloaded file to iTunes.rsrc !

  27. […] Check out this from OS X Daily […]

  28. grant says:

    Thanks to all
    Love having the colours back.
    Would like to have mail colours back as well.
    Any thoughts ?

  29. zhuangshuchun says:

    it does not work althought i carefully followed the process

  30. […] OS X Daily Podobne artykuły:Przywrócenie kolorowych ikon w iTunes 10 iTunes 10 wniósł sporo zmian, […]

  31. stuart says:

    Worked fine on a core duo macbook pro with the latest snow leopard but I did not have to do any authentication at any point.

  32. Bill says:

    This does NOT work on latest OSX updates.

  33. Russell Tolman says:

    The color goes away after every restart. Any ideas on what I am doing wrong?


  34. marc11 says:

    Anyone else having issues with iTunes asking for inbound connection access when Firewall is turned on after this change? Seems several others have this issue, any one find a solution?

  35. Russell Tolman says:

    Any one have an idea how we can get this to work with the size set to large. those of us with old yes would be in eternally grateful.


  36. rascal01 says:

    What about Mail? Would it be possible at all to get color icons there?

  37. Chip says:

    i’m neither here nor there on the matter i suppose. color or no color there are pros and cons to both, i’ll just roll with it.

  38. bigpics says:

    What about the old scrollbar look? Any ways to bring that back and tune the behavior/size/etc?

  39. Darren says:

    Ahhh, albert’s post reminded me — the Small/Large source text is the little glitch that tripped me up. It works when I set it to small text. Ironically, I remember posting a tip on that in the comments on some other site, back in the 10.6 days….

  40. albert says:

    Why does source text have to be set to “small” to work?

  41. Kent Allard says:


  42. Ben says:

    Love the new color look, thanks!

  43. Darren says:

    Doesn’t work for me. I get the “authorize iTunes” warning that you always get when you’ve messed with the program, but the sidebar icons are still gray.

    • Ben says:

      * Quit iTunes

      * Rename the old one and authorize

      * Authorize and move the iTunes.rsrc file to the /Resources/ folder

      * Open iTunes

      Worked for me!

  44. Thanks for linking to my article!

  45. Peter says:

    I prefer the new gray look

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