"You can’t open the application “Desktop” because it may be damaged or incomplete."

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by jsullivan2, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. jsullivan2 macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2014
    Whenever I try to drag something to the desktop it shows me the "no" symbol. If I drag it to the desktop folder in finder the "You can’t open the application “Desktop” because it may be damaged or incomplete." notification pops up.
    Also, if I click on the Desktop folder in Finder, Terminal will pop up.

    Does anyone know how I can fix this?

    Also, if I were to reinstall the OSX:
    1) How do I? lol
    2) Would I lose any of my data?

    MacBook Pro
    13 inch, Mid 2012
    Processor - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7
    Memory - 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Graphics - Intel HD Graphics 4000 1024 MB
    Software - OS X 10.9.1 (13B42)
  2. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    If you can get to Disk Utility then try repairing permissions, although I'm not convinced that it'll help in this case. Worth a shot if you can get there though.

    Edit: Terminal command is
    open "/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility.app"
  3. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    There's always a chance you'll lose your data unless you're making backups.
  4. jsullivan2, Jan 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014

    jsullivan2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2014
    Trying that now. What about the Repair Disk option?

    EDIT: Repairing permissions didn't work.
  5. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    You could try Repair Disk if you haven't already, but if that doesn't work then it'd probably best to wait for someone more knowledgeable to reply.
  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Have you been messing around in Terminal or doing anything you can think of that caused this? Maybe a new app or something you installed?

    It would be very odd for this to just start all on its own.

    Couple ideas. Make a backup first.

    Hold command-r when booting to get to the recovery screen. While there, start Disk Utility and do a repair disk. Does that show any errors?

    Stay in recovery and start Terminal from the Utilities menu. Type in resetpassword (all one word). Don't worry we are not changing your password.

    You will get this screen. Click Macintosh HD at the top then select your user account from the drop down just below that. Leave the password fields blank, then click the reset button at the bottom right. That will reset all your user folder permissions back to default.

    Then quit Terminal and restart.

    If this does not work and you want to reinstall. Just command-r boot again and in that same screen click reinstall OS. That will download the OS and reinstall without erasing your data. You really should backup though just to be safe.

  7. nyolc8 macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2012
    Select "Desktop" folder in finder, then cmd+p to get folder properties info window, delete ".app" from the end of the filename. Then it will ask to remove the extension, click on remove extension.
  8. UpdateAddict macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2014
  9. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    - Try booting into safe mode and see if it gives the same error.
    - Try creating another user account and log into it and see if it gives the same error.
  10. jpete macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2017
    Before resetting or reinstalling or even logging into a guest account, try clearing cache folders. I'm currently on MacOS Sierra Version 10.12.6. Go > Go to > /var/folders > any folder except for zz (don't touch the zz folder), go into and clear any O, C, or T folders that you can. Empty your recycle bin and then restart. You should be able to open your apps again and see your app icons again. Twice this has happened to me - the first time, I went through all the possible fixes and then finally AppleCare supervisor figured it out by clearing a couple of Cache file folders. Second time it happened, they couldn't figure it out even with the record of the first fix - and figured it out myself despite the tech telling me I probably had a failing hard drive.

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