Resolved something keeps changing my "open with" defaults

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by zimv20, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. zimv20, Jan 26, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018

    zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #1
    like many, i have .jpg/.gif/et.al. mapped to open with Preview, and .txt mapped to open with TextEdit.

    seemingly randomly, these file associates will change to some other app. i've detected no pattern with regard to when they get changed, or to what app.

    once i fix it (command-i, Open with.., Change All...), it stays fixed for a while.

    has anyone else encountered this and know how to fix it?

    i'm on OSX 10.11.6 (el cap), MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015).

    EDIT:

    there is a workaround!

    the workaround is to NOT drag/drop images from FF, but right click and save.

    EDIT 2:

    there is a solution!

     
  2. Signum17 macrumors member

    Signum17

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    #2
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    #3
  4. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #4
    from that link:
    i have started with deleting the plist. i'll see how that goes. so far, opening .txt and .gif worked as it should.
     
  5. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #5
    thanks for the link, i see that it's one of the options from the above list of solutions, too.
     
  6. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
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    toronto
    #6
    i'm trying RCDefaultApp now.

    it's doing something that reminds me of the problem i was having, that i neglected to mention...

    previously, when opening a file caused the wrong app to launch, i would do command-i on the file to get the info so i could set the default app. the dropdown for the default app would show some apps, but not the one i wanted.

    an example is an .html file. the dropdown would show Firefox and Opera (both installed on my system), but not Safari. .txt would show Sublime Text, but not TextEdit. .jpg wouldn't show Preview. so for some reason, the Apple products were not showing up in those lists.

    same now with RCDefaultApp. i went to re-map .html, and Safari wasn't in the list. i had to go to "Choose Application..." to browse the drive to find it.

    that's all weird and unexpected, yes? it makes me think that both command-i and now RCDefaultApp are being affected by the same as-of-yet-unidentified underlying issue.
     
  7. Signum17 macrumors member

    Signum17

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    #7
    I'm back to report that I am being bit hard by this grizzly bear of a bug. :( MacOS 10.13.3

    It affects Photoshop and randomly. It could happen downloading a png or jpeg, but each and every time Photoshop (the three versions I installed, are removed from the File Info > Open with list. I have to manually add it. Which is a workaround I should not have to do.

    Last night I installed a fresh copy of OSX and all looked normal until I opened my 2012 Macbook Pro. Even with RCDefault, Photoshop went missing and I'm defaulted to Preview. I have never had this happen.

    To save the usual questions, I've uninstalled and reinstalled Photoshop a few times. Even cloned from another Mac running HS. Works for a while then, all versions of PS vanish.
     
  8. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
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    #8
    I would reset the Launch Services database.
    There's a terminal command to do that, but I usually just run OnyX/Maintenance tab. Make sure that LaunchServices is selected under Rebuilding. You can unselect everything else, if you prefer, but usually the defaults are good to do occasionally. Click Run tasks. I think it will usually ask to restart when the rebuild is done, which is a good choice at that point.
    One of the purposes for LaunchServices is linking files to their proper apps. Rebuilding that database usually takes care of odd issues that happens in OS X/macOS.
     
  9. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #9
    cool. i installed Onyx and rebuilt the db. so far so good.

    thank you!
     
  10. Signum17 macrumors member

    Signum17

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    #10
    At this point I would scrub my Macbook with a dirty toothbrush if you said that would fix this ugly problem. :D

    So I downloaded and ran Onyx. One button fix. I love it.
    The Launch database populated the "Open With" list with Photoshop programs I forgot I had and could not get back with my usual fractured knowledge of MacOS Terminal commands.

    It remains to be seen if this will hold. I've tried a number of things that lasted a day only to see Preview.app show up as the default for my image files.

    But if anything, DeltaMac, a big thanks for a simple idea. :) I'll report back and let you know how it is going.

    Gene
     
  11. Signum17 macrumors member

    Signum17

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    #11
    And just right now... Preview.app is the default. All versions of Photoshop have been removed. :( :( :(
     
  12. Sovoian, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018

    Sovoian macrumors newbie

    Sovoian

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    Jan 9, 2018
    #12
    Are you sure that this solution still works, anyway thanks a lot!
     
  13. Signum17 macrumors member

    Signum17

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    #13
    I placed RC Default in my Preference Panes, but no luck. Maybe I'm not doing something right or it does play well with Sierra.

    I'm trying a different strategy. I have 2 Mid 2012 MBPs, "A" doesn't mess up the associations, "B" does.

    I already cloned data from "A" to "B"'s SSD using CCC. So whatever is on A's drive is mirrored on "B".

    That leaves the possibility of a hardware glitch that only touches this Launch database. Why Photoshop is the one that gets zapped, I don't know. For someone who uses it a lot it is a big deal.

    So I've decided to swap out the Crucial SSD and OWC memory from A to B and the Samsumg EVO 850 and Samsung memory from the defective B to A. After install, booted into Recovery mode, ran disk repair and chose the newly mounted start-up
    Now I wait to see if it holds.

    Gene
     
  14. T Coma macrumors regular

    T Coma

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    #14
    Posted the same issue, ~6 weeks ago.

    https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...wheres-the-master-list.2095821/#post-25671227

    Also looked into other resources and have used both Onyx and RCDefaultApp both to no good end. All solutions result in temporary relief from this bug, only to have the issue crop up again, days or even hours later.

    I happen to be running El Cap too, so now I'm wondering if it's a special feature, err, bug in the OS. The odd thing is that this didn't start happening until recently.

    Another possibly related issue is the "fetching" delay when right-clicking on a file and hovering over "open with." This often takes up to 30 seconds to index apps, and will return multiple versions of the same app.
     
  15. Signum17 macrumors member

    Signum17

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    #15
    I might have something.

    I had cloned the data from the good Macbook's drive to the bad Macbook's drive. That gets data out of the question for the most part and points to hardware...ram/SSD and possibly the internal boards.

    I swapped out the SSD/RAM in both same year Macbooks and in my case it seems to be a hardware problem.

    The one that had no problems uses OWC ram and a Crucial SSD drive. The bad one had Samsung ram (used Macbook, owner installed) and I put in a Samsung SSD. I swapped them out and sure enough, the Macbook that I put the Samsung ram/SSD drive in dropped Photoshop. I hope that might something for you to go on. The OWC seems to be stable. I hope I won't be wearing an omelette on my face tomorrow when I check in. :D
     
  16. T Coma macrumors regular

    T Coma

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #16
    While I certainly appreciate your methodical approach to problem-solving, I'm still a bit skeptical that it's the RAM. I'm scratching my head here, trying to figure out a link between RAM and file association or "open with" failures. Of course, there very well could be, I just can't figure out the logical connection. To me, it seems to be a reoccurring software-driven indexing issue, with some kind of plist corruption or other kind of "infection."

    As I mentioned, in my case there is no noticeable rhyme or reason to the timing of this bug popping up. As of this moment, it's been about two days of correct file associations since my last corrective action, e.g., when I double click on a JPG, the default Preview.app will open up. There have been recent cases of me running the repair (command line or Onyx or RCDefaultApp) and the correct file association works for a couple hours before it goes haywire again, like double clicking on a JPG file results in Adobe Illustrator Installer opening up. :confused:

    I've been researching this a fair amount lately, and I haven't come up with any solutions other than the symptomatic treatments discussed already. Apple Geniuses have proven the inappropriateness of their titles as expected. I've even sent my plea in to the pretty responsive John and Dave at the Mac Geek Gab podcast. In fact, guru John F. Braun replied to me via email with some suggestions, but so far he hasn't suggested anything outside of the above other than a "Safe Boot" check, but I'm not sure how to use that to my advantage. I'm hoping to hear the question on an upcoming MGG episode, as once a question goes out "over the air," either the hosts almost always have a solution, or the listeners on the live stream will chime in.

    Anyway, please keep the updates coming. If the RAM trick really is (inexplicably) the solution, I will start fiddling with mine. My 2011 iMac still has the original 2x2GB sticks plus an additional 2x4GB OWC sticks I added a few years ago. I don't think I do anything that overtaxes the current RAM so I've had no recent need to spend more money on it.
     
  17. Signum17 macrumors member

    Signum17

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    #17
    Good morning.

    I have been anxious to fix this problem. And the odd behavior transferred over with the hardware, not the software.

    The Mac with the OWC/Crucial drive so far is not showing any problems, and I'll be honest here. I changed out both the ram and the SSD. So it could be something going on with the SSD as well that only triggers this problem. I can also find a spare SSD and try that first.

    Could be a virus, have you scanned for it?

    My other experience with "A" was when I was on vacation. I started noticing the random "prohibited" sign when booting up. I have a utility called "DriveDX" and it reported "UDMA transfer errors" suggesting a "drive cable or power supply". I learned the mid-2012 MBPs first shipped with a cable that wasn't really that good and needed to be replaced. I ordered one and was back in business. But that old cable never gave me a hint anything was wrong before. It just showed up.

    So I can't say your situation is exactly like mine, but defective hardware can come up with random bugs.
     
  18. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #18
    i would also be very surprised if this is a RAM issue. fwiw, i'm on stock hardware:
    - MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)
    - 3.1 GHz Intel Core i7
    - 16 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
    - APPLE SSD SM0512G
    - OS X 10.11.6 (15G1611)

    for virus scanning, i'm running ClamXAV v2.16/0.99.3
     
  19. Signum17 macrumors member

    Signum17

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    #19
    Well, it was a used MBP. I don't know if Apple uses Samsung ram, the previous owner upgraded it to 16 GB.

    As of now, The Samsung ram/ssd look to be where the problem is. It defaults to Preview after a while. So that leaves out the rest of the MBP and the software. The problem mbp is now humming along fine.

    I now have to figure whether it's ram or a defective SSD. The good news is for my case, it's fixed. I can't say others here have the same problem. I'm just sharing what I found out. I would have never guessed hardware until I swapped it out.
    The problem is that ram/ssd costs.

    Another tip someone gave me. Start your Mac in Safe Mode by holding the Shift key down and it will also rebuild the database. Restart normally after that.
     
  20. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #20
    Try running Apple Diagnostics to test RAM:
    https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25696?locale=en_US

    You can swap just the RAM and see what happens.

    Some years ago, a Mac mini of mine was crashing (kernel panic) at random infrequent times. Worse, when it wasn't crashing it would silently corrupt data that was written to disk (reading back what was written wouldn't match). I suspected the HD, but to be thorough I ran the Apple Hardware Test's RAM test. Nothing showed up after running the short test several times, so I set it to run the long test. Bingo. I replaced one RAM stick and the problem went away. Unfortunately, I had to erase the disk and rebuild it from scratch, because I couldn't trust that system files hadn't been corrupted.


    If you look at the problem as "Something is corrupting the Launch Services database", then other avenues to explore might come to you.

    One that springs to mind is to set up an automated process with the 'lsregister' command's -dump option, to identify when the database breaks, and what's in it after it does.
     
  21. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    toronto
    #21
    my system got confused again. if i do command-i, it indicates .jpg wants to open in Opera (and did if double-clicked). but strangely, if i right-clicked the file, it indicated Preview as the default app to open. weird.

    continuing... i then launched Onyx and it did its normal at-launch drive scan. at that point, double-clicking the file opened it in Preview.

    so either Onyx drive scan fixed it, or right-clicking and opening w/ Preview default did it. sorry for the bad science, changing two things at once.
     
  22. Signum17 macrumors member

    Signum17

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    #22
    Ok here's an update...and what a day. I ran the Apple Diagnostics...the long test on the Samsung MBP, the one I suspected of having bad ram. No flags at all. I even ran Malwarebytes and Avira Free. Both clean except Avira flagged an old windows Crystal Disc Info Installer.exe for malware. So if have a virus in that Samsung SSD, it would be specially stealthy one.

    The the OWC/Crucial SSD MBP finally tanked to Preview.app There goes the hardware angle.

    So I'm back to trying other things. I had a third party Quicklook plugin for PSB thumbnails and I removed that.

    I've just gave zimv20's Onyx drive scan a try.

    So it's wait and see.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 2, 2018 ---
    I'll run this command and direct the results into a textfile: /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -dump > goodlaunch.txt then change that to "failedlaunch.txt when it happens.

    I'll also lookup: Something is corrupting the Launch Services database
     
  23. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #23
    it wasn't the drive scan. the problem recurred and that didn't fix it.
     
  24. Signum17, Feb 4, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018

    Signum17 macrumors member

    Signum17

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    #24
    Yesterday, I removed every instance of Photoshop and Creative Cloud from my Macbook. Uninstall doesn't mean everything is removed, so I used the Creative Cloud Cleaner on both MBPs, and then reinstalled only Photoshop CC 2018.

    But back to Preview...so that didn't work.
     
  25. Signum17 macrumors member

    Signum17

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    #25
    Perhaps 10.13.4 will correct this. I'm really out of ideas. I never saw this in Sierra.
     

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