How to use iTunes 12 to quickly copy iOS app icons [Updated]

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Update

Unfortunately, as of iTunes 12.1.0.50, this feature no longer works. I don’t know if Apple saw it as a flaw and fixed it, or if it is something that is now broken. If it returns, I’ll update this here again.

iTunes 12 copy app icons
iTunes 12 copy app icons

I often need to quickly grab app icons, whether it’s for a post here or I’m doing work for AgileBits on the Apps ❤ 1Password page. While it would be great for developers and shops to make clean versions of their app icons more readily available, I found a quick way to snag them if you have the app downloaded in iTunes (large, rounded icons too. Not the square versions from App Store web pages or tools like this).

I believe this is new in iTunes 12, and though I don’t have older versions to check, Chris Ensor says it isn’t in 11.4. Here’s how:

  1. Click the Apps section (or press ⌘-7)
  2. Select the app you want
  3. Press ⌘-i
  4. In the info window that appears, click the app’s icon; a blue halo should surround it
  5. Press ⌘-c

The icon is now copied to your clipboard, and you just need a place to paste and save it. Apps like Acorn and Pixelmator are great choices, but you can also go with OS X’s own Preview.

In the first two, press ⌘-n to get a new file prompt based on the dimensions of the icon in your clipboard. Once the blank file opens, press ⌘-v to paste and you can save however you want from there (I recommend a transparent PNG, but you might need to use the Save for Web options and reduce dimensions to get a reasonable file size).

If you go with Preview, simply open the app and hit ⌘-n to create a new file and automatically paste the icon. Save how you like.