Weird OS X Problem Desktop icons disappeared

Discussion in 'OS X' started by Ollie Cromwell, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. macrumors member

    Ollie Cromwell

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #1
    Anyone come across a problem where all the desktop icons disappear? I also cannot right click on my desktop to bring up a contextual menu, my machine appears to be running faultlessly apart from that. I have run Onyx to reset permissions and have checked the disk but cannot seem to find anything wrong.

    Help!!!


    Running OSX 10.10 on a quad core 2.66 Mac Pro.
     
  2. macrumors G4

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #2
    One thing that could cause this to happen is accidentally renaming the Desktop folder in your user folder to something other than "Desktop".
     
  3. macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
  4. macrumors 68000

    pianoman

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    #4
    or the computer.
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #5
    Have you by chance been connected to an external monitor recently?

    Had a co-worker "lose" a folder on his desktop this weekend due to it simply being off-screen. View->Arrange By->whatever brought the folder back to the screen.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Ollie Cromwell

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #6
    I have tried all the basic stuff like resetting permissions reasing all preference files and restarting the machine.

    It seems weird the desktop is locked off, I cant right click on the desktop, (I can on an application window and even on the dock, just not on the desktop itself?)
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Ollie Cromwell

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #7
    My Mac pro is connected to 2 external monitors, neither of them is the issue, it is not just a single folder that has disappeared, all my drive icons, folders and files have disappeared, I have a blank inaccessible desktop...

    I cant go to view and sort my icons by the way as I cannot right click on my desktop. Part of the problem that I mentioned......
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #8
    Sorry about that, I think of laptops most of the time... what it should have read was additional monitors rather than external.

    You don't have to right click to be able to do View->whatever, the View menu is in the menu bar and accessible by left clicks as well.

    I realized it was a long-shot but thought I'd offer the idea just in case it was a similar problem to one I'd seen recently.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Ollie Cromwell

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #9
    What is weird is that the whole View menu is greyed out and inacessible, other menus are working but not that one? Hmmmm..
     
  10. macrumors G3

    Kilamite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #10
    What happens when you take a screenshot? (CMD+SHIFT+4)

    OSX should save the screenshot to your desktop (unless you have changed that with a 3rd party hack).
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #11
    I've had this problem...very rarely...but sometimes my external HD icons will disappear but if I go into Finder I can see them. This is on a MacBook, if it makes any matter.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Ollie Cromwell

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #12
    I can take a screenshot, if I open a finder window and navigate to my desktop folder it is there (along with everything else that should be on my desktop)

    This is really causing me a lot of head scratching!
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #13
    Here's a MacFixIt Forum's Thread with some suggestions for a problem that sounds identical to yours.

    Another question: Do you have any 3rd party Finder modification/navigation tools installed?
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    #14
    Similar issue

    I had some app icons disappear .. and then my entire profile vanished. Not sure if this is the same thing you are experiencing, but a heads up that if you haven't backed up in a while, do it now.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #15
    My hard drive icon disappeared when I took a screenshot (like the screenshot file was written to the desktop in the place where the hard drive should have been, and hard drive was gone). Restarting finder did the trick!
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    #16
    Here's how you fix this. Close all open apps except for Finder. You can Command+tab to cycle through them. Use Command+q to quit each one. Once you are sitting at your desktop with Finder having focus on the top menu bar, go to View > Clean up. Voila, they should return. Apple REALLY needs to fix this problem. Any time you move your icons around on the external monitor, they seem to "stick" to that monitor and when you unplug your laptop from the external monitor, they don't automatically move back to where they were previously located on the laptop screen. It's been a problem ever since OSX came out. Apple knows about it, but apparently don't care enough to fix.

    Welcome to Apple - think different. YAY! :rolleyes:
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    #17
    official fix

    I had this problem too - running 10.5.7

    Clears up by logging out and back in.

    But this solution from Apple support seems to have fixed it: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1916

    "Make sure the computer name in Sharing preferences is not blank. Also, make sure the computer name only includes ASCII characters from following set:
    0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ"
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    #18
    official fix not

    Eh, thought that fixed it. Went over a week without seeing it, but it happened again this morning. Weird. Logging out and back in always fixes it - but would be nice to see resolved.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #19
    Same problem here

    MacBook Pro 2.33, ghz 3 gb ram
    connects to an Xserve
    system 10.5.7

    run Entourage, Mail, Photshop, QXpress, Irritator, typical design crud. Methinks it is an OS issue.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #20
    me too

    This just happened to me after a restart. Weird. I just upgraded iphoto, but i doubt that has something to do with it. M$ entourage is doing som kind of update as well, i put the blame that way.
     
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #21
    me too

    I had this problem twice now. The first time I restarted and everything appeared again as it should but re-aligned to the right, not in my customized pattern.

    They disappeared again, this time I relaunched Finder and everything came back as they should in their customized places.

    I went back and renamed my computer in the shared section underneath system preferences. I had a "." in my name, so I am hoping this doesn't happen again after the renaming. If it does I'll let you all know.

    I'm currently running 10.5.7 on a MBP
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    muffinman

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    #22
    Yeah, restart and shutdown. My computer acts funny if I don't shut it down once in a while
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #23
    Solution

    Try going into

    /Users/username/Library/Preferences/

    open up

    com.apple.Finder.plist in textedit.

    look for the "CreateDesktop" entry and change "false" to "true".

    Hope this worked
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #24
    This worked for me...

    Had this problem----desktop unresponsive, no context menus, icons disappeared, etc ----to be completely honest this happened hours after installing Snow Leopard on my Macbook Pro AND , I'm sure not coincidentally, uninstalling Path Finder. I tried everything on this and other forums and nothing worked.
    Tried editing Finder Plists, nothing worked, but...
    This did:

    1. Go to user/library/preferences/ and
    2. Remove (move/delete/whatever--I originally just moved them but they are not needed so ended up deleting) these two files:
    com.apple.finder.plist
    and
    com.apple.FolderActions.plist

    3. Force quit to relaunch Finder.

    Everything back to normal (in my case).

    Good luck, hope it works for you, this was driving me crazy.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    #25
    Try this...

    Start Terminal from Spotlight (Apple+Space). In Terminal type "killall Finder." This will restart all instances of Finder. The icons came back on the desktop for me.
     

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