System Icons

In macOS 11 and later, prefer using SF Symbols to represent tasks and types of content in your app. macOS 11 automatically maps AppKit shared images — such as Action, Add, and Bookmarks — to specific symbols. In some cases, a symbol might not have the same size or alignment as the AppKit image it replaces, so it's a good idea to check your layout.

If your app is running in macOS Catalina or earlier, follow the guidance below.

The system provides built-in icons that represent common tasks and types of content in a variety of use cases.

In apps that run in macOS Catalina or earlier, it’s a good idea to use these built-in icons as much as possible because they're familiar to people.

Use system icons as intended. Every system-provided image has a specific, well-known meaning. To avoid confusing users, it’s essential that each image be used in accordance with its meaning and recommended usage.

Provide alternative text labels for icons. Alternative text labels aren’t visible onscreen, but they let VoiceOver audibly describe what's onscreen, making navigation easier for people with visual impairments.

Design a custom icon if you can’t find a system-provided one that meets your needs. It’s better to design your own than to misuse a system-provided image. See Custom Icons.

Control Icons

Use the following icons in bordered controls—primarily in toolbar controls.

Image Name Meaning API
A gear. Action Displays a menu containing app-wide or contextual commands. NSImageNameActionTemplate
A plus symbol. Add Creates a new item. NSImageNameAddTemplate
An icon that appears as an angular capital Bee. Bluetooth Initiates a Bluetooth connection. NSImageNameBluetoothTemplate
A silhouette of an open book, displaying the left and right pages. Bookmarks Shows app-specific bookmarks. NSImageNameBookmarksTemplate
A rectangle with two vertical partitions. Column View Displays content in a column-based layout. NSImageNameColumnViewTemplate
Two diagonal arrows pointing away from each other. Enter Full-Screen Mode Enters full-screen mode. NSImageNameEnterFullScreenTemplate
Two diagonal arrows pointing in toward each other. Exit Full-Screen Mode Exits full-screen mode. NSImageNameExitFullScreenTemplate
A rounded rectangle with two wave lines on the left and right sides. Cover Flow View Displays content in a Cover Flow layout. Note that the system doesn’t provide a standard Cover Flow view. NSImageNameFlowViewTemplate
A chevron that points to the left. Go Back Navigates back. NSImageNameGoBackTemplate
A chevron that points to the right. Go Forward Navigates forward. NSImageNameGoForwardTemplate
A chevron that points to the left. Go Left Navigates left. NSImageNameGoLeftTemplate
A chevron that points to the right. Go Right Navigates right. NSImageNameGoRightTemplate
Four squares arranged side by side with two on the top and two on the bottom. Icon View Displays content in an icon-based layout. NSImageNameIconViewTemplate
A chevron that points to the left. Left-Facing Triangle Navigates to the left. NSImageNameLeftFacingTriangleTemplate
Four lines, stacked evenly on top of each other. List View Displays content in a list-based layout. NSImageNameListViewTemplate
A padlock with a closed shackle. Locked Denotes that an object is locked. When activated, unlocks the object. NSImageNameLockLockedTemplate
A padlock with an open shackle. Unlocked Denotes that an object is unlocked. When activated, locks the object. NSImageNameLockUnlockedTemplate
Four lines, each starting with a round bullet, offset and cascading downward to the right. Path Shows the path of the object. NSImageNamePathTemplate
An icon in the shape of an eyeball. Quick Look Previews an item using Quick Look. NSImageNameQuickLookTemplate
An open curved line with an arrowhead at the top. Refresh Refreshes content. Use this icon sparingly, as your app should refresh content automatically whenever possible. NSImageNameRefreshTemplate
A minus symbol, or an elongated hyphen. Remove Removes an item (from a list, for example). NSImageNameRemoveTemplate
A chevron that points to the right. Right-Facing Triangle Navigates to the right. NSImageNameRightFacingTriangleTemplate
A square, containing an arrow that points upward. Share Shows a menu or view containing share extensions, action extensions, and tasks, such as Copy, Favorite, or Find, that are useful in the current context. NSImageNameShareTemplate
A rounded rectangle containing a Play button. Slideshow Displays content in a slideshow mode. NSImageNameSlideshowTemplate
A gear. Smart Badge Denotes the ability to create a smart item, such as a smart folder. NSImageNameSmartBadgeTemplate
An Ex, or multiplication symbol. Stop Progress Stops media playback or slides. NSImageNameStopProgressTemplate

Use control icons in bordered controls only. These icons aren’t intended for use as freestanding buttons or toolbar icons. If you need a standalone button, use one meant for that purpose. See Freestanding Button Icons.

In general, use system APIs to support full-screen mode instead of the Enter Full-Screen Mode and Exit Full-Screen Mode icons. When a window uses the system APIs, the title bar of the window automatically gets a button that toggles between entering and exiting full-screen mode. This experience is familiar to most users.

Freestanding Button Icons

The following icons are intended for use as freestanding borderless buttons like the ones in the Safari downloads popover. For developer guidance, see the isBordered property of NSButton.

Image Name Meaning API
A round icon containing a right-pointing arrow. Follow Link Opens a URL. NSImageNameFollowLinkFreestandingTemplate
A round icon containing a left-pointing arrow. Invalid Data Indicates that a field contains invalid data (for example, the user entered a zip code in a phone number field). NSImageNameInvalidDataFreestandingTemplate
A round icon containing a curved line with an arrow near the top. Refresh Refreshes a view or restarts a process. NSImageNameRefreshFreestandingTemplate
A round icon containing a magnifying glass. Reveal Navigates to the parent container of an item and selects the item. NSImageNameRevealFreestandingTemplate
A round icon containing an Ex. Stop Progress Stops the progression of the current process. NSImageNameStopProgressFreestandingTemplate

You can use the following symbol icons in menus. For related guidance, see Using Symbols in Menus.

Image Name Meaning API
A dash, or elongated hyphen. Mixed Denotes an attribute that applies to only part of the selection. NSImageNameMenuMixedStateTemplate
A checkmark. On In the Window menu, indicates the active document; in other menus, an attribute that applies to the entire selection. NSImageNameMenuOnStateTemplate

Multi-Item Drag Image Icons

A multi-item drag image is displayed when the user drags multiple documents or items from one location to another. The system offers a default multi-item drag image.

Image Name API
A cascading stack of document icons. Multiple Documents NSImageNameMultipleDocuments

Prefer a custom multi-item drag image to the default one the system provides. Ideally, the image should show a stacked representation of the actual content being dragged. For related guidance, see Drag and Drop.

Permissions Icons

The following icons represent categories of user permissions. When applicable in your app, use these icons to clarify which users have access permission.

Image Name API
A silhouette of three people, with one in the foreground and two in the background, from the shoulders up. Everyone NSImageNameEveryone
A silhouette of a person, from the shoulders up. User NSImageNameUser
A silhouette of two people next to each other, from the shoulders up. Group NSImageNameUserGroup
A gray silhouette of a person, from the shoulders up. Guest NSImageNameUserGuest

Preferences Icons

Use the following icons as standalone items in Preferences window toolbars to represent familiar categories of settings. For related guidance, see Preferences and Toolbars.

Image Name API
A button in the shape of a gear. Advanced NSImageNameAdvanced
A button in the shape of a light switch. General NSImageNamePreferencesGeneral
A round button with an At symbol inside. User Accounts NSImageNameUserAccounts

Status Icons

Use the following icons to denote the availability status of a network or service. The Network system preference pane displays status icons.

Image Name API
A green dot. Available NSImageNameStatusAvailable
A gray dot. None NSImageNameStatusNone
A yellow dot. Partially Available NSImageNameStatusPartiallyAvailable
A red dot. Unavailable NSImageNameStatusUnavailable

System Entity Icons

The following icons represent system entitles, such as the network and the user’s computer. For the most part, these entities don't have related actions. However, if you needed to represent an action, such as creating a Smart folder, you could add a plus sign badge to the smart folder icon.

Image Name API
A generic app icon. App Icon (your app’s icon) NSImageNameApplicationIcon
An object with three loops. Bonjour NSImageNameBonjour
A folder with a radioactive symbol on its face. Burnable Folder NSImageNameFolderBurnable
A triangle with rounded corners, containing an exclamation mark. Caution NSImageNameCaution
An iMac. Computer (represents the current computer) NSImageNameComputer
A folder. Folder NSImageNameFolder
A silhouette of a house. Home NSImageNameHomeTemplate
A circle containing criss-crossing lines to indicate a network. Network NSImageNameNetwork
A folder with a gear on its face. Smart Folder NSImageNameFolderSmart
An empty trash can. Trash (Empty) NSImageNameTrashEmpty
A full trash can. Trash (Full) NSImageNameTrashFull

Toolbar Icons

Use the following icons as standalone items in the toolbars of windows other than Preferences windows.

Image Name Meaning API
A circle, showing a rainbow of colors. Color Panel Shows or hides the Color panel. NSImageNameColorPanel
An italicized uppercase A character. Fonts Panel Shows or hides the Fonts panel. NSImageNameFontPanel
A circle containing an italicized lowercase i character. Info Shows or hides an information window or view. NSImageNameInfo