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Old Aug 5, 2008, 06:13 PM   #1
Let's Sekuhara!
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Mysterious question mark in Finder

Has anybody seen anything like this: a random question mark that appears at the top of each of your Finder windows. When you click on it a dialog box pops up saying "The item cannot be found."

Is something supposed to be there that's missing? Did I mess up my settings somehow? I didn't see anything in the Finder prefs that gave any clue...
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Old Aug 5, 2008, 06:17 PM   #2
Virgil-TB2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Let's Sekuhara! View Post
Has anybody seen anything like this: a random question mark that appears at the top of each of your Finder windows. When you click on it a dialog box pops up saying "The item cannot be found."

Is something supposed to be there that's missing? Did I mess up my settings somehow? I didn't see anything in the Finder prefs that gave any clue...
It has to be an extra button that you added to the toolbar though the "customise toolbar" option that now no longer "points" anywhere. Probably you added an iDisk icon or an icon that connects to some remote resource that is no longer accessible.
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Old Aug 5, 2008, 06:19 PM   #3
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I used to get that when I had shortcuts to my iPod or Thumbdrives in the Finder Windows or the Dock. It is likely safe to remove.

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Old Aug 5, 2008, 06:19 PM   #4
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That's a space where you can drag folders to that act like alias shortcuts that work in the same way as the items in the sidebar. (why apple put duplicate functionality in two different but nearby places is a mystery) So you must've dragged an item into that area at some point (accidentally or on purpose) and subsequently deleted the actual item that that alias shortcut was pointing to, thus the question mark.
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Old Aug 5, 2008, 06:21 PM   #5
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To remove it, in Finder, click View > Customize Toolbar. Then just drag it off your toolbar.
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Old Aug 5, 2008, 06:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ggjstudios View Post
To remove it, in Finder, click View > Customize Toolbar. Then just drag it off your toolbar.
Even easier, just command-drag it off your tool bar.
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Old Aug 5, 2008, 09:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by motulist View Post
That's a space where you can drag folders to that act like alias shortcuts that work in the same way as the items in the sidebar. (why apple put duplicate functionality in two different but nearby places is a mystery) So you must've dragged an item into that area at some point (accidentally or on purpose) and subsequently deleted the actual item that that alias shortcut was pointing to, thus the question mark.
Thank you! That solved my problem and I learned something about customizing Finder! I didn't know you could drag aliases there too. Should've guessed since OS X is so drag-and-drop oriented.
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Old Jun 3, 2011, 10:38 AM   #8
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Is there any way to find out the path an alias like this points to? I had a popup ad from a web site earlier offering to protect my Mac, and the system's been rather slow since. It might just be a broken link and the fact that I'm running low on disk space, but I'm worried something might have contaminated it.
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Old Jun 3, 2011, 10:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by somnolentsurfer View Post
Is there any way to find out the path an alias like this points to? I had a popup ad from a web site earlier offering to protect my Mac, and the system's been rather slow since. It might just be a broken link and the fact that I'm running low on disk space, but I'm worried something might have contaminated it.
No viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any, since it was released 10 years ago. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install:
Mac Virus/Malware Info
The first section of that link deals specifically with the MacDefender/MacSecurity/MacProtector/MacGuard issue, which is not a virus. I encourage you to read it.
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Old Jun 3, 2011, 08:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
No viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any, since it was released 10 years ago. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install:
Mac Virus/Malware Info
The first section of that link deals specifically with the MacDefender/MacSecurity/MacProtector/MacGuard issue, which is not a virus. I encourage you to read it.

You completely ignored the posters actual question; is there a way to find out the path that those shortcuts lead to?
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 01:20 PM   #11
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You completely ignored the posters actual question; is there a way to find out the path that those shortcuts lead to?
No, I didn't ignore it. There's no way to find the path, but that's completely unrelated to the poster's real issue, which I addressed:
Quote:
Originally Posted by somnolentsurfer View Post
I had a popup ad from a web site earlier offering to protect my Mac, and the system's been rather slow since. It might just be a broken link and the fact that I'm running low on disk space, but I'm worried something might have contaminated it.
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 03:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by somnolentsurfer View Post
Is there any way to find out the path an alias like this points to?
This. A simple "there is no way" would have sufficed
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 03:07 PM   #13
GGJstudios
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This. A simple "there is no way" would have sufficed
No, it wouldn't, because it wouldn't have addressed the poster's real issue, which was far more significant than the path. I was answering that poster's question, not yours.
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Old Dec 19, 2011, 08:30 AM   #14
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Command + drag

Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
To remove it, in Finder, click View > Customize Toolbar. Then just drag it off your toolbar.
PERFECT answer, thanks. My "?" showed up when I installed Lion and of course made other change to file paths. It was really bugging me and dragging it away was so simple with the command key.
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Old Nov 7, 2014, 02:18 PM   #15
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Mysterious Question Mark - my solution

Hi everybody, just in case this helps others:
I also had this and it would not drag out of the 'customise toolbar' when I opened up the option to customise so I had to 'reset to default toolbar'. This then got rid of it.
I should add that I seemed to only have the basic toolbar (apart from the question mark symbol) so I didn't lose any aliases I needed/wanted.
Hope this helps in case of a stubborn 'mysterious question mark' for others and thanks for the help of posters here to get me to this half 'self brewed' solution!

ps: I had just upgraded from 10.6.8 to 10.7.5 when this happened though I have seen it on other machines with other systems.
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