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Icons rearrange themselves!

4713 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 8, 2009 2:58 PM by alimony RSS
Larry Cohen1 Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 29, 2009 9:47 PM
Hi,
In my applications folder, I keep it in the icon view mode, and I arrange them with all Apple programs on the left side, and all my sharewares, etc. on the right side. This has worked well for a few years . . . when all of a sudden, in Snow Leopard, every few hours, as I look in the Applications folder - OMG! they've all rearranged themselves alphabetically ??

I'll spend 10 minutes rearranging them back to how I like them - they'll stay that way for a day? or an hour, it changes, and then when I look in the Applications folder again - they did it again! Rearranged themselves!!

Anyone know what's going on?

All maintenence things are done on my computer - latest in upgrades, etc!
Thanks,
Larry
Macbook Pro 17, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,215 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 29, 2009 10:23 PM (in response to Larry Cohen1)
    How are your desktop/finder viewing prefs configured?

    Keep arranged by:
    • Name
    • Date Modified
    • Date Created
    • Size
    • King
    • Label

    ...?
    Intel iMac X•VI•II, OLED 3D Pano tri-view
  • Tim Campbell1 Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 29, 2009 10:44 PM (in response to Larry Cohen1)
    Bring up the folder in Finder, press +J (or Finder -> View -> Show View Options)

    A window will pop open which lets you change how the folder is displayed. It will have the name of the folder at the top - in this case it needs to say "Applications" on the title of the window (otherwise you're not editing the options for that folder).

    There's an option labeled "Arrange by:" with a pull-down menu, you can set it "Snap to Grid" (which will keep them lined up in neat columns and rows but will not attempt to re-sort them). You could also pick "None" which wont even attempt to keep them in neat columns and rows.

    There's a button at the bottom of the window labeled "Use as defaults". Only press that button if you want these settings to apply to all folders.

    If that doesn't work, go to your home folder -> Library -> Preferences, then drag the file 'com.apple.finder.plist' out of the folder (you can drag it to your desktop, or trash, or anywhere outside that folder), then restart Finder ( -> Force Quit... -> Finder -> Relaunch)

    Hope that helps.
    MacBook Pro 2.2 & 2.4 GHz 4GB, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Tim Campbell1 Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 30, 2009 10:26 AM (in response to Larry Cohen1)
    Larry Cohen1 wrote:
    But, just asking, do you know if I did your idea and deleted the main plist - would that have effected ALL my folders, which I suspect it would?


    Normally when you delete a plist file associated with any application, that application will usually behave as if it's never been used that that particular user before.

    There are some exceptions. For example, you can create a custom background image for each folder. Those choices are stored with the folder, not the plist file. This is why when you download applications such as Firefox and open the installer, you see a Finder folder that has a background with icon placements and background "art" (in the case of Firefox the "art" is really a diagram trying to illustrate to the user that they should drag the application icon to their "Applications" folder) even though you have never opened the folder before.

    Since there's no hard rule as to what is stored in an application's "plist" file, you can never be sure what will happen when you get rid of the old plist file. This is why I generally don't just delete the file. I typically either drag to desktop or drag to trash (but don't empty trash). That way if the removal had any undesired side-effects I can always drag the original plist file back.

    Glad to hear it's fixed!
    MacBook Pro 2.2 & 2.4 GHz 4GB, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • alimony Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 8, 2009 1:36 AM (in response to Larry Cohen1)
    None of these suggestions worked for me, unfortunately. I have tried deleting Finder prefs as well as .DS_Store files, but after a couple of restarts it turned out the icons had reset themselves again.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • alimony Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 8, 2009 2:58 PM (in response to Larry Cohen1)
    No, it's not a mystery; it's a bug that needs to be fixed by Apple.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.2)

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