I have not read all the posts (24 pages) but most of them seem related to fuzzy icons. I have the same problem but only since Mountain Lion and not with any earlier OS. There is one more issue and that is Photshop CS6 icons sometimes disappear or do not show after a file is saved, the icon is really there but the OS did not write it. On Adobe's forum most people blame Adobe but it is not Adobe it is an Apple problem so you are on the correct forum.
I don’t know if anyone mentioned this, the quickest cure is to log out and in and all you icons will be there again and also sharp, you may have to do it twice but it usually works the first time. This is only a temporary solution, the problem will come back until the OS is fixed and certainly much faster than using Onyx or any other such maintenance program which also gives only a temporary solution.
Of course, the problem with not reading the thread is that if the resolution were as simple as "log out" there would not be 347 posts here! :-)
For example,you can go back to mine. As a professional programmer, you'll see that I've spent close to 20 hours trying to track this down. My conclusions so far is that it likely has to do with several things. For some, it's random finder icons. For me (and at least Mr. Losada) it's related to .dmg files. I suspect that some part of the OS looks at mounted .dmg files differently than the finder per se. If that part uses low-rez icons (either because the icons are wrong (some bit isn't set, for example) or because the OS thread that looks at icons on .dmg files thinks the monitor resolution is less that it is (my current best guess) then when something is dragged from the mounted .dmg to the hard drive, the lower-rez icon is dragged along. Ipso Facto, the finder later shows that low-rez icon.
I was able to get this to quit being a problem by creating a new user, and -rebooting- (not logging out and in). My test was mounting a .dmg that exhibited the condition. (Checking the finder serves no purpose if my theory is correct, since you're algready installed a low-rez icon, and that won't magically change.)
So, at least for me (and I've been coding for 34 years now) it has come down to:
1) something originating with or at least symptomatic first with .dmg files;
2) something peculiar to a specific user.
As you can read in my previous post, deleting my entire user preference file makes the issue go away for me... so I think I can whittle it down to something in the user prefs. (That would also explain why some people see it, but most don't.)
I suspect now that something we all use (or HAVE used, past-tense) gets into some incorrect preference file and corrupts it. Then, even if that thing we used is no longer present or used, the corrupted prefs continues to supply the OS with incorrect info, and the issue remains.
That would explain why the problem is so difficult to track down, as well.
During my testing, I did remove all startup items, to no avail, so I'm not confident that a list of what we use will work to solve it... but nonetheless, it can't hurt.
defaul folder x helper
Applications running most all the time:
xmarks for Safari
(The following are system Library components, and so are likely NOT involved [since a new user would use these too.])
Menu Extra Enabler
Thank you for your very comprehensive reply. I appreciate to speak to someone with expertise.
I did not say a logout is a solution but is only temporary and saves the time involved with utility programs and is also faster than a restart and does the same thing, a temporary fix. I have never experienced a problem with a .dmg file or the files on the .dmg.
The issues I have are fuzzy photo icons created long before Mountain Lion and also fuzzy folder icons and at times Apples own Software Update icon in the dock. For me, it all started with the Mountain Lion upgrade, I never had any problems with icons before. There is a further problem with Photoshop CS6 not writing icons in Mountain Lion, actually they are written but not visible until a restart or log out, then all is back to normal for a while. Some people report CS6 icon problems before Mountain Lion but I had no issues at all. All these icon problems seem to be related somehow because they all appear and disappear at the very same time. In Adobes Forum most people blame Adobe for the problem but I feel it is an Apple issue and that is why I came here to the Apple Forum.
It was suggested to do a clean install but some that did do a clean install are still reporting the same issues, so with 25 years of files and programs would seem like a waste of time because even with migration there will be a lot of preference issues and lost serial numbers, to find all that would be a horrendous job and in all likelyhood it would still not solve the issues.
The problem would be easier to track down if it could be recreated at a moments notice, unfortunately after updating to 10.8.2 the problem was gone, at least for 2 weeks even though I restarted a number of times to test because the problem appears usually after a restart but sometimes also for no apparent reason at all and then, all of a sudden it came back again.
When I look back to some of these old posts from years ago with the same fuzzy icon problem I have little hope Apple will fix it now.
Thank you. The problem is complex. For example, I too have the CS6 icon issue. The Adobe personnel on their forums make a compelling case that it's not their problem - it's Apple's... and of course given this forum, that seems entirely correct.
I'm fortunate because I -can- reproduce the problem 100% of the time, at least with .dmg files. (Note that I'm NOT talking about the dmg file icon itself, but once you mount it and double click, the icon of the app it contains is pixelated, just like the Toast 11 issue above.)
I too can get the CS6 icons to reappear either by restarting, or sometimes just quitting and restarting the Finder.
So, besides the "list all your stuff" (to which I've contributed to kick things off) I'd like to see if folks experience what I do:
Mount a .dmg file that is used to install a program (try several to be sure) and then double click it to open its window on the desktop and reveal its contents. Now... is the application icon fuzzy? (With me, it's ONLY the application icon most of the time; often the other files (like "read me's") look just fine.
the .dmg stuff works for me the same way you described. Mount the dmg, fuzzy icon inside. Copy on the main drive, it remains fuzzy... Yes, my impression is that this crap has something to do with mounted dmg files...
Thanks for starting the "list all your stuff"... Hope this will help, although, as you say, it may be a very complex business...
These are mine...
default folder x helper
Applications running most all the time:
dmg icon info.
Mountain Lion icon at 512x512 pixels, looks perfect
CS6 icon at 128x128 sharp at 276x276 slightly unsharp but not objectionable at 512 it’s a bit fuzzy
Drive Genius perfect up to max 512
Quark sharp up to 128x128
Cocktail sharp all sizes
DiskWarrior sharp up tp to 156
GraphicConverter sharp all sizes
My problem is not with a program icon, but with phtotshop image icons ( I am using the old CS3). When I create new images the icons of them are blurry, or have dissappeared within the file that I put them in. The only way I can find them again is to type in the title of the image that I saved them as, and then when the icon appears that way, it says that it is in the file where I put it ( "pictures" file, for instance), but when I actually go to the "pictures" the file it isn't there. Some of my photoshop image icons are high definition and some are blurry. It is random. I am not a programer or computer tech person. I am an average person, who doesn't know a lot about computers. This started with Leopard 10.6.8.
Same here, and I am tired of reading so many complaints and Apple not solving this issue...
How much time did you all spend to investigate and talk about this problem...here and on other forums?
I believe all this time taken and given to an Apple-software developer would solve this issue!
Does anyone from Apple's software-developers read these complains here actually???
At least we are in an Apple Forum...aren't we? So why should we solve this bug by ourselves???
In my case the problem appears when I open any folder in Finder and scroll fast through my files with customized icons.
It is clearly a software bug and related to the "ICON CACHE" which I believe after a few months investigating and reading hundreds of posts...
Instead of solving this problem which appears to so many users, Apple doesn't allow to change system and doc icons in the latest OS X...
Welcome to the new era of OS X ...
restart or log out is the latest trend in solving software bugs...
I assume when you say ‘have disappeared within the file that I put them in’ you mean folder. Files are stored within folders. I have all the same problems and more and the only quick fix for me is to log out and in again, sometimes you have to do it twice. This is a temporary fix only and the problem will sooner or later reappear. This is a very complex problem that has gone on for a very long time for some people, for me only since Mountain Lion. Don't use Utility programs such as Onyx or some other complicated ways to try and fix it, nothing has proven to be a permanent fix. Give it a try and see if it works for you. Also keep checking here to see if someone discovers a real fix.
Tracy Valleau wrote:
For some, it's random finder icons. For me (and at least Mr. Losada) it's related to .dmg files. I suspect that some part of the OS looks at mounted .dmg files differently than the finder per se. If that part uses low-rez icons (either because the icons are wrong (some bit isn't set, for example) or because the OS thread that looks at icons on .dmg files thinks the monitor resolution is less that it is (my current best guess) then when something is dragged from the mounted .dmg to the hard drive, the lower-rez icon is dragged along. Ipso Facto, the finder later shows that low-rez icon.
In my case it's not just related to files in .dmg images. Everything inside a .dmg looks pixelated, but the blurryness also occurs in files located in the HD (both applications and documents) and in the applicattion switcher. It even happens in the preview of the Info window and inside some applicatiuons that make use of standard icons to depict things inside them. You can see it in my post showing a screenshot from Toast 11.
It's not that just aa low res icon is being copied from a .dmg to the HD. The icon that today is pixelated, tomorrow can be perfect. This icon (in the HD) was fuzzy a few days ago. Yesterday, it looked great. Today is again a mess:
It never, never, never happened in any prior version of the OS. It began when I downgraded from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion.
Launch agents at /Library/LaunchAgents:
Launch Daemons at /Library/LaunchDaemons:
Startup Items at /Library/StartupItems/
Preferencepanes in /Library/PreferencePanes
This is a package not copied from a dmg but just downloaded from macupdate.
And this is how mkvtoolnix looks in a new user account created minutes before taking the screenshot:
The bug is not confined to DMG files or the user account but spread through the whole system.
Apple, please, fix Mountain Lion.