How do I get 6342 jpegs off my desktop!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by bendalong, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. bendalong macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2007
    Hi, in a misguided attempt to copy my iphoto library to an external hd (yes, I know how to do it the right way now!) I have managed to deposit over 6000 jpeg images(as icons) onto my desktop..... as you can imagine, this clutters things up a little -HOW DO I GET RID OF THEM???? please can someone help, if I drag them to the trash it says that the image is being used elsewhere and by trashing it I may lose it - what do I do?
  2. rijiMacDij macrumors regular

    Waiter, there's a Jpeg in my soup!


    Sorry, can't stop laughing at your misfortune but don't stress, I've had worse!

    Just wondering, Have you tried quitting *all* applications and rebooting? If you have then I would be a little surpised if this still happens.

    It could be something as smiple as spotlight catalogging in the Background.
  3. kresh macrumors 6502a


    Use automator to move all .jpg files on your desktop to another location on the same drive. Reboot.

    If you want to keep the pictures then redistribute them, if not delete the folder you moved them into.
  4. bendalong thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2007
    I've tried quitting all and rebooting but with no luck. The thing is... (and I hate to admit this) I dragged all the images onto the desktop (I was attempting to drag them to the external hd icon - wrong way to go, I now know) The images are all still in the library but my desktop is a sea of jpeg icons.
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Open the terminal application.

    cd Desktop
    and press enter to change the directory to your Desktop.

    rm *.jpeg
    and press enter to delete all files with that extension.

    If they have a different extension, adjust accordingly.

    Note that the deleted files are gone gone, not put into the Trash first.
  6. Draddy macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2007
    so why are you worried about deleting them? clicking and dragging is creating a clone out of iPhoto, so they are all duplicates... Just open up finder, click on desktop, sort by list and delete.
  7. Me1000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 15, 2006
    EDIT:woops aristobrat beat me! if for some reason aristobrat method doesnt work, try this

    open a terminal window,

    goto a finder window, select everything you want to delete, and drag it onto the terminal.

    hit enter

    it will prompt you for a password, enter it...
    then eventually they will all be gone, but there is no progress bar in the terminal, so just wait.

    be careful not to delete anything you dont want to!
  8. rijiMacDij macrumors regular

    Have you duplicated the images or simply moved them, I wonder. Select one item, click apple(command)i to bring up the info panel and see if the item is locked and/or check the permissions at the bottom of the panel. I'm just guessing here now so I think I'll leave it for someone who has a bit more experience to help. Lucky you are on what is probably the best place for MacHelp in the known universe.

    Cheers and good luck.
  9. bendalong thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2007
    thanks for all the help everyone - I have to go now but will try suggestions tonight - thanks again
  10. bendalong thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2007
    I'm back....
    So... excuse my ignorance, but some things I don't understand... so far I have...
    *tried going to the finder and highlighting everything I wanted to delete and then pressing delete - nothing happened.
    *tried moving it to trash - I get a message saying the items are in use somewhere else and by sending them to trash I might cause problems with the other app. - I sent it to trash anyway - nothing happened.
    *tried Automator jpeg consolidatorbut it requires 10.4 or higher - I have 10.3.9
    *I went to the finder and then went to Terminal - all I got was a box that welcomed me and could not be changed in any way - how do I open a terminal window (I told you I'm ignorant)

    I was sure one of these things would work but no luck so far
    Any other suggestions would be gratefully accepted (they might need to be worded in terms a two year old could understand)
    thanks everyone
  11. admiraldennis macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2002
    Boston, MA
    1. Open
    2. Execute the following commands (type them in EXACTLY as specified and hit return after each line)
    cd Desktop
    mkdir JPEGs
    mv *.jpg *.jpeg JPEGs/
    This should move all the files into a folder called JPEGs on your desktop.
  12. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    I'm amazed at all the extravagant answers, when this the easiest. Why bother with the terminal?

    (and you probably want cmd+delete, not just delete)
  13. admiraldennis macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2002
    Boston, MA
    The commands I listed above are arguably much quicker and easier than clumsily selecting six thousand files in the Finder.
  14. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    Yeah, Cmd+A is pretty clumsy.
  15. Topher15 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2007
    Cmd-Shift+3 this please! :D
  16. dr_lha macrumors 68000

    Oct 8, 2003

    In fact, don't do the above. Why the sudo? Are you trying to get the guy to delete his HD? I guess you are. Bastard!
  17. bendalong thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2007

    thanks, using cmd+delete does allow me to delete them thru the finder. But... I am a little worried as if I try to open any of the jpegs on my desktop a box comes up saying "Item 1234jpeg is used by Mac OS X and cannot be opened."
    What does this mean and does it spell trouble if I delete them all?

    Do you or anyone else know the answer?

    I could delete one and then go into iphoto and see if it's still there but without being able to open the jpeg I can't work out a way of knowing which photo it is (I told you I was ignorant)
    All your help is well and truly appreciated.
  18. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    Open your Desktop folder in Finder, type in '.jpg' in the Spotlight search field, and click 'Search: "Desktop"' in the top left of the Finder window (just to the right of the side-bar). Drag all the items to your trash, and do a 'secure empty trash' (this always seems to manage to remove files when OS X won't normally let you). Leave your computer for quite a while, it's gonna sit there for a very long time, and if it's a laptop make sure it's connected to the mains!
  19. bendalong thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2007
    If I try to send anything to trash I get a message saying the item is in use by another app. and if I move it it may cause damage - I get one of these messages for every jpeg I try to trash (even if I ignore it and click on continue, I would have to do it over 6000 times)

    Any other suggestions??

    I am losing my mind - this into its second day... HELPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!

    (anyone in inner(ish) Sydney know a Mac wizard that won't charge the earth???)
  20. bendalong thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2007
    Terminal problems

    Hi... this all very well and I would love it to work but being the illiterate thing that I am I am having problems.
    If I go to finder, type in Terminal, open Terminal, all I get is a box that welcomes me and cannot be changed in any way - what am I doing wrong - how do I open a terminal window - what is a terminal??? (this is the level of understanding I am at!)
    Can anyone help??
  21. ukor macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2007
    Terminal is an application that allows you to interact with the underlying OS via command line utilities rather than through the graphical user interface (GUI).

    You should have a prompt like the following:

    Last login: Thu Nov 15 23:24:04 on console
    LittleMac:~ xxx$

    typing unix commands and hitting return/enter will execute the commands.

    Some common unix commands are as follows (

    cd - change directory
    ls - list files in directory
    mkdir - make directory
    rmdir - remove directory
    mv - move files
    rm - remove files (i.e. delete)

    You can google unix commands for more information. While they may seem confusing at first, they can be extremely efficient at performing many different types of tasks over using a GUI.

    Admiraldennis suggested that you change directory into Desktop (cd Desktop), which is actually a directory in the underlying unix file system. Make a new directory JPEGs (mkdir JPEGs), which will appear as a new folder in the finder on the desktop. And then move all of the files ending in .jpg and .jpeg into the directory JPEGs (mv *.jpg *.jpeg JPEGs/).

    At that point your desktop would no longer be cluttered with image files. They should all be located in a new directory/folder called JPEGs.

    I would avoid deleting files with rm from the terminal application as they are permanently deleted.

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. "sudo rm -rf" is extremely dangerous! sudo executes commands as superuser status (i.e. root or admin). rm is remove files. rm -rf is remove all files recursively without prompting regardless of file permissions or status. You could very easily delete every file on your hard drive leaving your computer useless. Fortunately, sudo prompts you for a password before it executes the command, but still do not follow previous suggestion unless you are extremely confident in what you are doing.
  22. bendalong thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2007
    Problem solved

    Thank you to everyone who has tried to help me, and particularly to ukor for simplifying things to a level I could understand.
    I really appredciate the fact that so many people have really tried to solve my dilemma, never having had to use one of these forums before it blows me away how much help is out there - thank you all!

    The answer I used to fix my problem was to post the following in script editor - "do shell script "mkdir -p ~/Desktop/DesktopItems; mv ~/Desktop/*.JPG ~/Desktop/DesktopItems"
  23. septuagenarian macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2012
    Edited script removes .JPEG images from DESKTOP

    The answer I [bendalong] used to fix my problem was to post the following in script editor -

    "do shell script "mkdir -p ~/Desktop/DesktopItems; mv ~/Desktop/*.JPG ~/Desktop/DesktopItems"

    I had the same problem of .JPEG images on my Desktop that--no way--I could remove.

    When I tried the above in Script Editor, I got the error message that """ [3 quotation marks] were not permitted.

    By removing the first quotation mark so that the script read:

    do shell script "mkdir -p ~/Desktop/DesktopItems; mv ~/Desktop/*.JPG ~/Desktop/DesktopItems"

    simply copying and pasting the immediately above script instantly removed the unwanted .JPEG images.

    Thanks bendalong !
  24. ruchop macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2012
    You guys in this forum really do know your stuff. I've been a member of this forum for only a couple of days, and have learned soo much about macs. (new to the apple world). It's pretty cool how your guys are so helpful.

Share This Page