Replicate a Commercial App Easily: Step-by-Step Guide

Recently, Circus Ponies, a veteran developer for Apple, unveiled a new application named iTrash priced at $4.95. This application addresses the issue of the trash icon moving around on the Dock when the magnification feature is enabled. Initially, my reaction was to simply disable the Dock’s magnification via System Preferences. However, I then considered whether it was possible to mimic iTrash’s functionality myself.

The challenge was to create a stationary trash icon on the desktop that could be customized with various icons. I managed to achieve this in roughly five minutes using Terminal, offering a free alternative to iTrash.

While iTrash provides additional features and animated icons for those less inclined to use Terminal, its modest price tag might be worth considering for the added convenience and functionality.

Let’s get started!

First, locate the hidden .Trash folder in your Mac, which is in your User folder. Open Finder, go to Go > Home, and then open Terminal from the Utilities folder within Applications. Enter the following commands in Terminal:

After executing the commands, a folder named Trash will appear in your Home folder, typically indicated as a hidden folder by its lighter icon color and grayed-out name. Right-click this folder and choose Make Alias from the menu that appears:

This action creates an alias named “Trash alias” on your desktop.

Next, we’ll re-hide the hidden files and folders. Type the following commands in Terminal and press Return:

You now have a plain folder on your desktop named “Trash alias.” If aesthetics aren’t a concern, you can leave it as is—dragging files to this folder will function just like using the Dock’s trash.

However, to enhance its appearance, we’ll change the icon and the name.

A quick online search for “Mac icons” will reveal various options. I particularly enjoy the work of David Lanham at Iconfactory, and you can find some of his icons available for download here. Download these icons and place them in a folder where you can view each icon individually.

Right-click on an icon you like and select “Get Info.” Near the top of the info window, you’ll see a small version of the icon. Click this to highlight it, then press Command-C to copy the icon. Navigate to your Trash alias folder, right-click it, and select “Get Info.” Click the small icon near the top of the info window to select it, then press Command-V to paste your chosen icon.

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Justin is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the Apple news community. With a keen eye for detail, Justin covers everything from the latest iPhone releases to in-depth reviews of the MacBook Pro and Apple Watch. His insightful articles help readers stay informed about the ever-evolving world of Apple products. Justin’s expertise and approachable writing style make him a trusted voice for Apple enthusiasts everywhere.