File Icons Not Displaying Correctly?

Typical Finder file behavior is that the icon for the file displays in color, which helps you know what type of file it is or what is its App origin. Occasionally, the color file icon disappears, leaving only a generic looking icon. If you are experiencing this problem, then read on for a simple solution.

Finder View Options

If you are experiencing this issue, your icons have this generic appearance.

There are a couple of ways to resolve this issue. Click on your Desktop to activate the Finder. Then click on the “View” menu and select “Show View Options”.

In the next window, check and see if the “Show icon preview” box is unchecked.

Just go ahead and check that box.

Now, your file icons should display in color.

There is another thing to try that might address this issue. Sometimes, “Relaunching” the Finder can resolve this. To relaunch the Finder, hold down the Command Key ⌘, the Option Key ⌥ and the Esc Key ␛ to activate the “Force Quit Applications” window.

Select the Finder App and click on “Relaunch”. Occasionally, this will fix the generic icon issue.


If your Finder file icons have a generic appearance, there are ways to restore them to their colorful selves.