.ICNS File Extension

.ICNS File Extension

macOS Icon Resource File

Developer Apple
4.3  |  82 Votes
Category System Files
Format Binary

What is an ICNS file?

An ICNS file is an icon file used by macOS applications. It stores one or more images, which are often created from .PNG files, and supports 1-bit and 8-bit alpha channels. ICNS files are primarily used for displaying the application icon in the macOS Finder and in the macOS dock.

More Information
Screenshot of a .icns file in Apple Preview 10
ICNS file open in Apple Preview 10

ICNS files are generally located within the Contents/​Resources/​ directory inside the application package. They are also referenced by the application's .PLIST file (Info.plist) using the CFBundleIconFile property.

macOS icon files can be viewed with the Apple Preview program included with macOS. ICNS files support icon images of 16x16, 32x32, 48x48, 128x128, 256x256, and 512x512 pixels, as well as 1024x1024 pixels as of Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

NOTE: ICNS files are similar to .ICO files used to store icons in Windows.

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Programs that open or reference ICNS files

Microsoft File Explorer with the XnShell extension
Included with OS
Updated February 27, 2019

Verified by FileInfo.com

The FileInfo.com team has independently researched the macOS Icon Resource file format and Mac, Windows, and Linux apps listed on this page. Our goal is 100% accuracy and we only publish information about file types that we have verified.

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