Icon stuck on desktop, will not move or delete

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by dorimant, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. dorimant macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    #1
    I just got a macbook pro. I installed some apps. I opened the applications folder from the dock and I attempted to drag the icon to the dock to create a shortcut there. My finger came off the track pad and the icon snapped over to the far upper left corner of the desktop. It's in the corner under the apple symbol on the menu bar. It's a transparent white square with a question mark in it. If I clicked on it it would open the app it's linked to. But I can't move it or delete it. If I right click a small window comes up showing the path to the app momentarily. I tried uninstalling the app and rebooting no luck. Looking in the desktop folder shows nothing. It looks stupid and it blocks the x-out of any app that is open full size. Can anyone help?
     
  2. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #2
    attach a screen shot image (press command-shift-3) to your post. from your explanation i have no idea what the problem is.
     
  3. dorimant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    #3
    I took the screenshot - but embarrassingly I cannot figure out how to attach it.

    Figured it out I think. It's in the upper left hand corner.

    More specifically I tried to drag the icon from the applications stack to the dock when it got away from me and went over to that corner.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #4
    never seen that before, probably just a little bug. did you try to drag an application from the grid stack? is the app still there in the Applications stack/folder, or has it gone?

    if the application hasnt gone just do a reboot, or even just logout and back in.
     
  5. dorimant thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 7, 2009
    #5
    Yes the icon was missing from the stack after. I tried rebooting and it did not help.
     
  6. mac2x macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    #6
    If you're handy with Terminal, have a look at the Desktop directory and see if something shows up besides any ordinary icons. Like the person above, i think this is likely a bug.
     
  7. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #7
    If you make another user account and log in with that does that same icon appear?
     
  8. dorimant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    #8
    I'm not comfortable with Terminal. I did create another account and it DID NOT appear when I booted that account. I tried deleting the app it is associated with but no change. Also it's on top of any other window or app I open.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    RE:
    "I tried deleting the app it is associated with but no change. Also it's on top of any other window or app I open."

    Since this only appears when _your_ account is active (i.e., does NOT appear with the other account you created), whatever is causing this is "local" to your own account.

    I'll guess that the app you deleted has left behind a ".plist" (preference file) and that this is where the icon is coming from.

    Try going into your own home folder. Then open the "Library" folder and open the "preferences" folder inside. Look for a .plist with the name of the now-deleted app and trash it.

    Then, LOG OUT of your account and log back in.

    Any better?

    - John
     
  10. dorimant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    #10
    Nope. I uninstalled and installed it a few times, using it's own uninstaller and Clean App. Interestingly the dock icon is still there but I can get rid of that. Now the offending item is still there with a question mark on it, when clicked a a small bubble comes up that says "open" app name with the file path underneath. It opens momentarily.Clean App would not allow me to remove com.apple.TimeMachine.plist which it associated with the app. And I don't know if I should attempt that.
     
  11. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #11
    Well, you should change this as soon as possible. OS X is a Unix platform, and you can only harness its true power through the command line interface.

    > cd /Users/<yourLoginName>/Desktop

    > ls

    You will now see a list of the files that are on your desktop. Delete the one that is your icon:

    > sudo rm <theIcon'sName>

    The sudo command is used to execute a command with administrator (or, in Unix terminology, "root" privileges) and it will ask you for the system administrator's password. Usually that should be the password that you've assigned to your own user account during installation.

    Provided that your icon really is just a file on your desktop, then this procedure will remove it. However, if your icon is placed there by an application that is running in the background, then maybe you should check your startup items in the system preferences.
     
  12. dorimant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    #12
    I'm trying but I can't bring up the list it just keeps saying no such file or directory. Here's what it says:

    John-Smiths-MacBook-Pro:~ JSmith$ cd/Users/John Smith/Desktop
    -bash: cd/Users/John Smith/Desktop: No such file or directory

    I tried with spaces, hyphens, I used JSmith because that's what the home file is called. The login is John Smith (I've changed the name). Thanks. Sorry I'm not getting it.

    I can see the path for the desktop folder which is Users/JSmith/Desktop

    So I don't know why I can't get to it in Terminal.

    I tried cd ~/Desktop

    That seemed to work. But it only showed the .png which is the screen capture Ihave sitting there. Whatver it is it's not on the desktop.
     
  13. dorimant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    #13
    I figured it out. Some sort of compatibility problem with a launcher I use. When I mis dragged that icon it created a docklet that wasn't functioning properly. I uninstalled the launcher and reinstalled it. Everything is fine.

    Thanks for all of the comments and the brief lesson on Terminal.

    __________________________________

    15" Macbook Pro | C2D 4GB | 320GB HD
     

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