I recently setup all-the-icons with dired (all-the-icons-dired) and the appropriate icons do appear but they're all white for some reason. I tried reducing my ~/.emacs down to just the dired settings and still see the issue. I'm running a custom build of emacs 27.1 with GTK+ and I do see colors and graphics from various other packages just fine.

Oddly, I see the same exact issue on the brew version I have installed on MacOS. This leads me to believe I may not be configuring dired or all-the-icons correctly.

This is what I have in my ~/.emacs:

(use-package dired
  :ensure nil ;; Don't try to load pkg since it's built-in.
  :commands (dired dired-jump)
  :bind (("C-x C-j" . dired-jump))
  :custom ((dired-listing-switches "-lBgaGh --group-directories-first")
           (delete-by-moving-to-trash t))
  (use-package dired-single
    (define-key dired-mode-map [remap dired-find-file]
    (define-key dired-mode-map [remap dired-up-directory]
  (use-package all-the-icons-dired
    :if (display-graphic-p)
    :hook (dired-mode . all-the-icons-dired-mode))
  (use-package dired-hide-dotfiles
    :hook (dired-mode . dired-hide-dotfiles-mode)
    :bind (:map dired-mode-map
                ("." . dired-hide-dotfiles-mode))))

enter image description here

  • Have you M-x all-the-icons-install-fonts Apr 9, 2022 at 8:06
  • I've also run into this same issue (looks like you might also be watching the system crafters videos ha). I tried C4ffeine Add1ct's suggestion but had already done that so it didn't fix it. It appears this is the same issue on reddit: reddit.com/r/emacs/comments/djcgov/… I tried adding the suggested font-lock+ package from that and it also didn't work. Will update here if I find a solution.
    – ice1080
    Apr 9, 2022 at 23:11
  • @C4ffeineAdd1ct If you haven't yet run that command then you won't see any icons at all.
    – foobrew
    Apr 16, 2022 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


The cause and solution turn out to be rather simple. There's a boolean var in the all-the-icons-dired package named all-the-icons-dired-monochrome which does exactly what it says and forces a monochromatic display of all icons. For reasons I can't imagine, this var is true by default. Simply set it to nil and the icons will be displayed in color, as expected.


(use-package dired
  ..other setup stuff here..
  (use-package all-the-icons-dired
    :if (display-graphic-p)
    :hook (dired-mode . all-the-icons-dired-mode)
    :config (setq all-the-icons-dired-monochrome nil)))

While troubleshooting this issue, I ended up discovering treemacs-icons-dired which is a much better solution for reasons pointed out in the post announcing it (aside from the fact that the icons look much nicer, IMHO).

Example config:

(use-package dired
  (use-package treemacs-icons-dired
    :if (display-graphic-p)
    :config (treemacs-icons-dired-mode)))

The treemacs-icons-dired package is available in MELPA and I don't think you need to have treemacs installed for it to work..but I could be wrong about that since I already had treemacs installed in my config.

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