Change The Notification Center Menu Bar Icon In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Change The Notification Center Menu Bar Icon In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

With the profusion of menu bar icons in the upper right of our Mountain Lion screens, it might be time for a change. If you’re bored with the same old Notification Center icon that everyone else who’s upgraded to Apple’s latest Mac operating system has, this tip’s for you.

First of all, head to your main system Library folder. You can use the Go To Folder menu in the Go menu in the Finder. Or you can hit Command-Shift-G to bring up the same Go To Folder field. However you choose to do so, paste in the path /System/Library/CoreServices/ and then scroll down to Notification Center. Right click on it and select Show Package Contents.

Open the Contents folder, then the Resources folder. Find menuitemNormal.tiff and copy it. Click out to your Desktop folder and Paste it as a backup. You can Option-Click and drag it out to the desktop, or just hit Command-C and Command-V like you would any other file or text you want to copy and paste.

Now, either open the TIFF file and modify it in any image editor, or create your own 54 X 44 pixel image to suit your whimsy. I grabbed a picture of the 1Up mushroom off of Google images, and resized it in Preview to 54 X 44, with a resolution of 72 pixels per inch.

Now, head back to the package contents folder and delete the menuitemNormal.tiff file. Save this new file in the same place, renaming it “menuitemNormal.tiff.” If you need to make it a TIFF file, use Preview, or just rename in the finder. You’ll need to enter your administrative password when you do each step, from deleting, to moving your new file in, to renaming your file.

Now let’s relaunch the Notification Center process. Head to your Utilities folder and open it to find Activity Monitor. Launch that app and find the Notification Center process. Click on it to select, then click on the Quit Process icon that looks like a stop sign in the upper left. The process will quit and restart, adding your image to the top corner of your screen. Pretty sweet, yeah?

If you want to put it all back to default, simply do the steps again, but this time, put the original file you copied and pasted to your desktop in the Resources folder for Notification Center. Kill the process in Activity Monitor, and you’ll be good to go.

Thanks for the tip, Mithilesh!

  • Jairo

    Great advice Rob

  • mcskrzypczak

    Everything works as described. The only one problem is that my new icon seems to be too big. I can see that yours mushroom icon also looks like too big. Is there any way to fix it?

  • mcskrzypczak

    Everything works as described. The only one problem is that my new icon seems to be too big. I can see that yours mushroom icon also looks like too big. Is there any way to fix it?

    Seems like there is a mistake in your article. To make NC icons look properly you need to set the canvas to 54×44 px with 144 dpi (not 72).

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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