Snow Leopard Drag-and-Drop Broken? (85 object limit)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by rivoli, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. rivoli macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    Hi all,

    Normally consider myself quite able to troubleshoot my own problems, but I can't for the life of me figure out what to do here, and can't seem to find many others who have the same problem.

    The drag-and-drop function in Snow Leopard appears to be either broken or deliberately crippled. My work sees me having to move a lot of files from folder to folder, and I've discovered that, as of fairly recently, I can no longer drag-and-drop more than 85 objects from one folder to another. Up to 85, everything works just fine -- but if I select 86, upon dragging I get an "X-ed out" icon, like the "no smoking" or "no parking" circle with a line through it.

    I'm not quite sure what to do about this, but would be very curious and appreciative if anyone else has the same issue, or has figured out how to solve it! This, combined with the lack of a "cut" feature in OS X has begun to really impede my workflow.

    Thanks so much!
  2. MacKeeperFanMod macrumors regular


    Jun 28, 2010
    Copy works-just Command-C, Command-Delete, Command Paste where you want it to go. One extra keystroke to get rid of the original, big deal.

    Or you can use the file manager from third-party developers. For example, they may be Path Finder - a great program. It cuts out the files and folders without any extra problems and issues.
  3. rivoli thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    Hi MacKeeper,

    Thanks for the suggestion. However, I'm somewhat dismayed that a feature that should, as they say, "just work" requires this work around. Clearly, it's either a bug or something is broken in my particular installation.

    The other thing that you've helped me inadvertently discover is that the copy and paste function also appears to be broken. I copied a large directory (about 500 image files) to another directory, only to find that it only copied about a third of the files. Could there be something wrong in a preference setting or a *.plist, or something else altogether?

    Would very much appreciate anyone's help and input!
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I'm fairly certain I've drag-and-copied hundreds, if not thousands of files at a time under 10.6 (certainly 10.5, and I've never heard of anyone with the same problem on 10.6).

    The first thing to try is a fresh account. Open up System Preferences, go to the accounts pane, and create a brand new Admin user. Log out of your current user (just to be extra-careful) and log into the new one. See if the drag operation works as it should.

    If it does, you've narrowed it down to either a preference issue, or something (maybe a contextual menu item?) that you installed in your user only. If it doesn't work there, it's systemwide, meaning either something low-level got messed up or you installed something with unintended side effects for all users.

    I assume you've also done the "usual suspects"--repair permissions, check the drive to make sure it doesn't have directory damage, and reboot.
  5. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    If you are dragging to a FAT 32 drive, it has a limit of like 4GB. Not sure if you have tried dragging to a Mac formatted drive or not. But like the guy before said, its a good idea to try it on another user first.
  6. rivoli thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    Scorched Earth Solution

    Hi all,

    Thanks much for your very helpful answers. The other accounts on my computer did not have the same problem, so I figured it must have been something with my preference files having gotten corrupt. I deleted all of the* files in my user's ~/Library/Preferences folder, and while it meant resetting a lot of preferences, it did fix the problem.

    Thanks so much!
  7. koick macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2009
    I had this problem too. Next time, you should only have to delete ~/Libarary/Preferences/ . Curious; were you using TotalFinder? Perhaps that's the culprit (since so few people have this issue)?

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