Files saved to desktop not visible


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 29, 2007
I recently discovered that files saved onto desktop would not be visible.

Whenever I save a photoshop document, recieve an adium file transfer, or take a screenshot with command shift 3, etc., it does not show on the desktop. However, if I drag and drop files from other folders onto the desktop or drag a picture in firefox onto the desktop, it shows.

I've tried these but the files wouldn't show:
-Sorting files by filename in the view options.
-Opening the desktop folder in finder.
-Renaming the files in terminal.

When I do these, the files would show:
-Restart the computer.
-If I list the desktop directory in terminal with the ls command, the files are visible.
-Move the file in terminal to another directory, the file is visible with finder.
-Dragging the above file onto desktop, the file shows.

This is kinda strange. I recently installed WinXP with bootcamp, wonder if that caused the problem. How could I fix this? Any help would be appreciated.


macrumors newbie
Feb 25, 2008
Did you ever figure this out? I'm having the same problem. In the documents appear on my desk in Finder, but they don't show up on my actual desktop!


macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2008
Same problem... I just moved from a Windows box to a MacBook Pro running OS X 10.5.2. For the first few days, I DID see all of my downloads/saves (for which I specified 'desktop' as my target) show up on the desktop. However, something changed and I experience the same problem(s) as described by the other posters. I save to 'desktop' and it does NOT show up visibly on the desktop, but is in the desktop folder when I view desktop in finder.



macrumors regular
Dec 21, 2007
I still get this problem too!

Has anybody found the reason why this happens??

I know the files are visible through finder, but WHY do they suddenly stop appearing on the desktop??

You help / explanation is appreciated!