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How to Install ICC Color Profiles on Mac El Capitan OSX

Written instructions for installing printer color profiles in Mac OSX


This tutorial is specific to Mac OSX 10.11 El Capitan.

Click here for the most up to date macOS profile install instructions

The process of "installing" an ICC color profile is nothing more than pasting (or drag and drop) into a specific folder in the operating system. Your printing software looks in that folder when it comes time to print. It then creates a profile list you can choose from in the print dialog.

If you use Photoshop CS4 or earlier, or Photoshop Elements, restart your computer after following these instructions.

Learn better with video? Click here.

Download and Unzip the Profile

You can find all Red River Paper profiles here

Profiles come from our website as zipped folders. Downloaded items usually arrive in your Downloads Folder or on the Desktop. This is computer specific and Red River Paper does not have control over where items are saved on your computer.

Double click the zipped folder.

An unzipped folder will appear next to the zipped item you just clicked. Double click this folder to see its contents.

A typical profile download will contain an ICC profile and an instructions PDF.

You will copy and paste the profile only. Do not attempt to copy the entire folder as that not work.

Copy the profile

Start by single-clicking on the profile to highlight it.

Go to the Edit menu and click on Copy

Locate the profiles folder

You are going to: Mac HD > Your User Name > Library > Colorsync > Profiles

Click on the Go menu.

(If you do not, you will not see the Library option)

The "Library" option will appear in the Go listing. Click it.

Clicking "Library" in the Go menu will launch a finder taking you to the Library folder under your user folder.

Once you are in the Library folder you will navigate to:
ColorSync > Profiles as shown above.

Paste the profile into the Profiles folder

Place your mouse over a white space in the profiles folder and click once.

Go to the Edit menu, locate and click on "Paste Item".

You may see an administrator authentication box appear when pasting the profile. Just enter your admin password where prompted.

The profile has now been "installed" into your system. It will be available in the profile selection of your photo editing / printing program.


Installing a profile is the act of putting a profile into the Profiles folder on your Mac HD.  

The path - Mac HD > Your User Name > Library > Colorsync > Profiles

If you do the above without error and the profiles still do not appear in your applications:

1. Restart your app 

2. Restart your computer 

3. Put the profiles into this alternative path - Mac HD >  Library > Colorsync > Profiles

Next Steps - Using Profiles

After the profile is installed, you will select them in the print dialog of your photo or editing software. Get Tutorials on how to use ICC printer color profiles.

Last updated: August 04, 2022

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