"Desktop" folder appears on all external drives

Discussion in 'macOS' started by daleremote, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. daleremote macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Can't find an answer to this...

    An empty folder called "Desktop" spontaneously appears on most of my external drives. This happens with both Firewire drives and USB sticks. So I start up or plug in the drive and, as if by magic, there it is amongst the other folders.

    It's no problem to delete it, but it's an annoying thing.

    This happens on my Dual 2.0 G5 running 10.4 (did it on 10.3, too).

    Any idea why this is or how to stop it?

  2. superspud macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2007
    is it an actual folder within the drive or jsut on the sidebar? what happens when you open the folder?
  3. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2007
    Never heard of this before... sure it's not just a link to your desktop?
  4. daleremote thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    It's a real folder, not in the sidebar. If I double click on it, it opens, empty folder.

    I'm wondering if this is some weird phenomenon invovling non-Mac formatted drives. Some of my drives I haven't reformatted before using, so they whatever default formatting...Fat 32?
  5. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
    Just came across this myself tonight. I have 3 externals, 1 formated FAT32, the other HFS. There was an empty Desktop folder on each of the HFS drives. Had no idea where they came from or how long they had been there. I access those drives daily and had not seen them before.
  6. nodmonkey macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Hampshire, UK
    I have this too. Appears on my external FireWire800 Lacie drive. I delete it, but it just keeps popping back, that mysterious empty folder. It's not a big problem, but irritating.

    If anyone discovers the cause (for my curiosity), or a solution (for returning me my totalitarian control over my filespace empire) then please reply to this thread.

    Thank you.
  7. myuserid08 macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Got the same problem, thought I may have done it by mistake, obviously not. Looks like another bug apple need to fix!
  8. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I've seen this happen many times, including on my iDisk, Time Capsule and certain other external drives. Hasn't appeared on internally mounted drives. Not sure if its a network issue or not, but I'm thinking it most likely is related to networked volumes. I believe, but not certain, that its a Leopard phenomenon -- I don't recall seeing it with 10.4.x, but can't be sure.

    Deleting the folder seems to have no ill effects, but it will eventually return. For now I'm ignoring it, but I too am curious as to why it happens.
  9. beige matchbox macrumors 6502a

    beige matchbox

    Mar 16, 2005
    Oxfordshire, UK
    I've not tried recently, but back in ye oldern days you could put files in a removable disks Desktop folder, these files would show on the desktop itself as long as the disk was mounted, i assume in OS X something similar is happening :)
  10. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    Mine is doing this as well. Every drive, regardless of format or type, is showing an empty Desktop folder, and adding files to it does nothing but add them to the folder.

    I have a USB flash drive that has one
    I have a partitioned Firewire HDD that has Desktop on all partitions
    I have a desktop on a partition of my Boot Disk that is not the boot volume
  11. daleremote thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    So some people are seeing this in 10.5? I've been using 10.4...been hoping 10.5 would solve it.

    I actually hadn't seen the mysterious Desktop folder for months now, but one popped up yesterday on an external (Firewire connection) drive. Deleted it. Seems to be gone for now.
  12. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    this has happened to me too. i have no clue as to the cause, but it is slightly frustrating at times tbh.
  13. Riverside macrumors member


    Jan 5, 2008
    Don't let the Macrumors level fool you.
    Holy cow! How long has that feature been gone?!! That's what all floppies used to do on my first computer, a Mac Classic!

    The folder is simply there to allow you to put stuff you WANT to automatically appear on your desktop when you load the disc.

    I remember discovering this in a very different way. Rather than seeing a folder called desktop on the drive, I would notice files vanishing from my desktop, then mysteriously reappearing!

    It took quite a few disc changes before I saw what was happening. I was so mad I laughed my head off!:D

    From the looks of this thread, it seems they got rid of that particular feature for a long time, and now it's back. (??)
  14. dogmanstar macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2009
    I have a macbook running tiger 10.4.11. For two years now everything has been going smooth but since last week I'm facing the exact same problem or to be precise, I see files named Desktop in my downloads folder and then I see them appear in my user's page, not in any external but in the internal drive. What is this stuff? The folders are empty as well but sometimes I get to find 5-6 different folders and it's getting pretty annoying! Anyone has any ideas?
  15. dhd macrumors member


    Dec 12, 2007
    I love this site, i thought that i was creating those folders by mistake or something, for some time I thought it had something to do with virtual machines, but no...it seems to be a real bug...
  16. Butterflies macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2009
    Desktop folders appearing_me too

    I am on 10.4.11 and I have been getting these desktop folders lately.

    The only thing different on my computer is my son has been playing with some music and music editing stuff.
  17. denriddy macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2009
    I've had the same thing happening in every flavor of OS X that I can recall.

    It seems to be a very prevalent mystery, and I'm amazed that so far I can't find any answers to what's causing it, why, and how to stop it (if that's possible). It is really annoying and useless clutter.
  18. daleremote thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    This hasn't happened in a while for me, on neither my Black MacBook running 10.5 nor my MacBook Pro running 10.4. What's really weird is that this has been a recurring problem that comes and goes with sometimes a year between incidents. Then I'll have a few weeks during which I keep having to delete the folders, let them keep reappearing, and hope they eventually just stop appearing. Makes me wonder if there isn't some setting or simple action that triggers this.
  19. DavieBoy macrumors 6502


    Jan 8, 2009
    New Jersey
    its been happining to me a lot lately to. Started about 2 months ago. Never saw it before then. I delete it and the next i open the drive ITS BACK! ha
  20. Riverside macrumors member


    Jan 5, 2008
    Don't let the Macrumors level fool you.
    Okay people! Here's the story:

    The folder serves a purpose!

    Try this with it:

    When you see a drive with this folder on it, drag a file, any file, from the disc to your desktop. Now, drag the drive icon to the trash can/eject icon. Watch what happens to the file on the desktop.

    Now unplug the drive, and plug it back in.

    Get it now?

    Assuming it does what it always used to do, the file you placed on the desktop earlier should reappear again when the drive is reconnected. This used to be a standard thing with old Mac external drives.

    I couldn't tell you what sorts of discs or formatting it works with, but it is not something wrong. It's an old Mac feature that used work on all Macs. I don't know why it's happening randomly on some of your machines, but man, what's the big deal? If you don't need or want to use it, DON'T!

    It's just a little quirk. Ignore it. It AIN'T no big deal! ;)

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