1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 25, 2013 2:44 PM by Hayden Kaminsky
st3v1e Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
Hi guys,

Just purchased a brand new macBook Pro (2.44Gb) for my daughter and have been setting it up for her to take to Uni shortly.

I hadn't noticed previously, but the icons on the Desktop (not the Dock) are stuck in place and even if I try to drag them elsewhere, they stay put!

I've checked the snap to grid, and auto arrange stuff, even tried trashing the desktop plist and repairing permissions, checking to see if the icons are locked (they're not) etc et., but still the problems remains.

Interestingly, If I create another user account on the same machine, the problem disappears, and all works fine!

Just finished re-installing the OS (did not remove anything, simply inserted the OS 10.6.3 disk and clicked "Install" etc), and the problems is still there.

Updated to 10.6.4 - same issue!
It has to be an account related problem, but I'm obviously missing checking something!

Any idea's would be welcome.
Thanks

MacBook Pro 2.44Gb, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • 1. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    John Guo Level 5 Level 5 (5,250 points)
    Go to Finder>Preferences. Uncheck whatever that you want unchecked for "Show these items on the desktop" option.
  • 2. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    leroydouglas Level 6 Level 6 (13,855 points)
    The Finder automatically places a .DS_Store file into every folder you have opened. .DS_Store files are created by the Finder during its normal course of operation however these files are hidden from the view of the user.

    These files are used to save the positions of icons, the size of the respective Finder window, the window's background, and many more view options.

    .DS_Store files can become corrupted causing unusual behavior by the finder when you open certain folders such as the finder window blinking open and then closing, inability to see some icons, inability to sort icons, or inability to change the view options.



    A corrupt .DS_store could cause your desktop icons to forget how you've arranged them, or the ability to arrange them.

    Paste the following in the Terminal application.

    rm -rf ~/desktop/.DS_Store




    This command with '-rf' which tells the command to be recursive and to force the removal.

    Then relaunch the desktop

    killall Finder

  • 3. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,315 points)
    In the Finder, click anywhere on the Desktop to select it. From the "View" menu, select "Show View Options." A dialog appears. At the bottom is a pulldown menu labeled "Arrange by:". From that menu, select either "None" or "Snap to grid." Close the dialog.
  • 4. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    st3v1e Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    John
    Go to Finder>Preferences. Uncheck whatever that you want unchecked for "Show these items on the desktop" option.


    Thanks but as I mentioned, I've already tried that one - just re-tried again to ensure it didn't affect the issue - icons still stuck! Thanks anyway!



    Leroy
    Paste the following in the Terminal application

    rm -rf ~/desktop/.DS_Store

    This command with '-rf' which tells the command to be recursive and to force the removal.

    Then relaunch the desktop

    killall Finder


    I really thought this may do the trick as your explanation is exactly whats happening - but unfortunately this made no difference despite trying it several times even after a reboot - thanks anyway!

    Linc

    In the Finder, click anywhere on the Desktop to select it. From the "View" menu, select "Show View Options." A dialog appears. At the bottom is a pulldown menu labeled "Arrange by:". From that menu, select either "None" or "Snap to grid." Close the dialog.


    Again, tried this previously with no positive results, re-tried after you posted just to ensure - but the problem persists.

    Still open to other suggestions!

    Many thanks for the valued input guys - appreciate the help!
  • 5. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,315 points)
    Delete or move the file /Users/you/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist . Then quit and relaunch the Finder.
  • 6. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    st3v1e Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Hi Linc,

    No didn't work either!
    There was something real strange going on.

    Spent most of yesterday trying to figure out what was happening, but the only thing I could see for sure is under the main user account, the desktop file is not a folder but a single icon. Couldn't seem to get into it and the info window didn't show much information either.

    Doing a re-install of the OS didn't solve the problem, and removing the .plist files didn't work either (thanks!).

    So eventually I enabled the Root account, then went back into the original account and did a backup using Time Machine to an external drive, before deleting this account totally.

    Next I re-created the account (from the user - not the Root - ac), and started moving files/folders back one by one, and checking that the problem didn't re-occur.

    Took a while, and had several issues with iPhoto and iTunes along the way, but we're back to a working account - and still no idea why it happened!

    Appreciate all the help - but I'd really have liked to have pinpointed the problem!

    Don't you just hate it when you can't find an answer??
  • 7. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    st3v1e Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Didn't find a solution!
  • 8. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,315 points)
    It sounds like your Desktop folder somehow got replaced by a file. In the future, you may find it helpful to check the console log by launching /Applications/Utilities/Console.app and looking for messages related to Finder.
  • 9. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    st3v1e Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Linc,

    Darn it!
    Yes you're correct - I really needed to have checked that!
    Thanks for the reminder, hopefully it won't ever happen again, but checking the console log would have given me an indication of problems eh!

    Thanks again, appreciate your time helping!
    Have a great week!
  • 10. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    JGcalifornia Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    hello there.  I am having the same problem.  I am unable to drag anything from the desktop, as well as move/arrange any items in my dock.  I created a new user account, and it did not help.  The only way I am able to move them is by logging in as the root user.  Not sure where to go from here, any help is greatly appreciated!

  • 11. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    TahoeMunich Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Linc,

    Same problem - followed all of your suggestions.  Launched the Console and indeed found error messages related to Finder...but now what?  Not sure what to do with this info - and all desktop icons are still stuck.

    Would greatly appreciate any more advice!

  • 12. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    alyfrommarkham Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was having the same problem and thanks to leroydouglas I was able to fix it.

    Thank you!

  • 13. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    cameo99 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Here's a link I just found where somebody with a similar problem got it solved. The steps seem familiar to what they did at the apple store on mine.

     

    http://macosx.com/forums/mac-os-x-system-mac-software/320888-lion-cannot-move-de sktop-icons.html

  • 14. Re: Desktop Icons stuck in place - won't move around!
    chisamaku010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Instructions:

    • Go to FINDER
    • Look at the tab that says DESKTOP
    • Right click on the icon
    • Click GET INFO
    • Look at the top of the screen and uncheck the box that says LOCKED
    • Close the window and VOILAA.

     

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