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Blurry/pixelated icons at random in Finder windows

149935 Views 473 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2014 9:21 AM by jenmenke RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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Eric Westby Level 4 Level 4 (1,795 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 28, 2009 9:01 PM
Just upgraded my MBP (C2D, 3GB RAM) to SL, went smoothly. I'm seeing a lot of blurry icons in the Finder, though, seemingly at random. I'll open a window and about half the icons will be essentially large versions of the 16x16 icon, rather than sharp icons at the appropriate size. Changing the icon size via the new slider just enlarges the blurry icon, it doesn't increase the resolution.

It goes without saying that I'm seeing this on programs, files, and folders for which high-resolution icons is available.

I haven't seen this mentioned elsewhere. Is it a common problem? Surely it'll be addressed in a forthcoming update, but I wonder how rare it is. The only oddball thing about my system is that I have an older ADC-connected 23" Apple Cinema Display monitor connected to the DVI port via Apple's behemoth of a DVI->ADC adapter.

Thanks,
Eric.
MacBook Pro, 15", 2.33GHz Intel, 3GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6), 23" ACD, 1TB WD HDD
  • xsi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Similar problem here. I have blurry icons in the left side of the Dock (I have Documents and Downloads folders there) and in some files in Finder.

    Hopefully a fix will come soon.
    Macbook Pro 15, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • oh kine Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Yes!!

    Same problem here, exactly, and i started seeing it just within like an hour of doing a clean Snow Leopard installation (i wanted to get rid of some extra partitions and stuff, so i formatted first). It's not just the Finder, either — it's also the Dock (including Stacks), and i'm seeing the same thing in Quicksilver as well.

    In the hope that maybe someone has any ideas, here are some screenshots of what i'm talking about:

    http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm78/ohkine/screenshots/Screenshot2009-08-28a t171756.png ('Applications' icon blurred in the Finder)

    http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm78/ohkine/screenshots/Screenshot2009-08-28a t161206.png ('Software Update' icon blurred in the Dock)

    This seems to happen completely at random. I can open an application and it'll be blurry in the Dock, then i close it and open it later and it's fine. Same thing for Finder windows. Restarting the application doesn't seem to help on its own (e.g. i can do 'killall Dock' all day long and the icons will stay blurry until they're ready to not be). Restarting the computer does help, but only for maybe an hour or two, and then it starts up again.

    I guess in a 'big picture' way it is a good thing that blurry icons are the most frustrating bug i've ever experienced on OS X... but it IS really really frustrating all the same.
    iMac Intel, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • maulrat1967 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2009 5:59 PM (in response to oh kine)
    You can add me to the list of blurry icons randomly appearing ... as stated above the problem goes away temporarily after a reboot but starts getting increasingly worse after an hour of use ... it seems to happen more frequently when I'm converting images in GraphicConverter (6.5.1) ... I'm not sure if that could be the culprit ... and of course I'm not sure if you guys are using GC as well.
    Mac Pro 2x2.8Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Ando5 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Add me to list as well screen resolution was much better with 10.5 but 10.6 very blurry what gives, so much for being better!
    imac 7,1, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • oh kine Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I'm not using, nor have i ever used, GraphicConverter.

    I'm not really using anything -- the problem started almost immediately after i got Snow Leopard started for the first time, before i had added any applications aside from Firefox. (I spent most of the first 2 or 3 hours copying files over from my back-up drive, which may explain why i noticed it so early -- since i was using the Finder heavily.)

    I'm not an expert, but my guess would be that there is a problem with the icon cache somehow. I say that because in addition to the blurry icons i'm also seeing issues with changed icons taking effect.

    For example: I wanted to change my Photoshop icon, so i pasted a new icon over it in the Get Info pane. Shortly thereafter (but not immediately) that particular icon became blurry in Finder and the Dock. A couple hours later i decided i wanted to use a different icon anyway, so i went back to the Get Info pane and deleted the one i'd added before. This caused the icon to revert back to the original Adobe icon, which was NOT blurred. Then i pasted a new icon on it... and it went back to the blurry second one. I tried different variations of this, including restarting Finder and Dock, about a dozen times, but the third icon would not take effect. I eventually had to restart, and then it was fine.

    As far as the last post, i don't know what you're referring to. The problem we're describing is not with 'screen resolution'. The screen resolution is perfectly fine. The problem is with specific icons.
    iMac Intel, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • mikel rubio Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2009 4:41 AM (in response to oh kine)
    My problem started almost immediately after i got Snow Leopard started for the first time, with icons and jpg on desktop, dock and stacks. I use img2icns, photoshop, etc, and the problem not disappears. Someone can help me??
    iMac 24" 2,66 april 2009, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • maulrat1967 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Not only are icons turning blurry on me but now I'm noticing some icons are randomly disappearing as well ... where the only way to open a folder or file (with an icon that has disappeared) is to click on the name. This is really frustrating.
    Mac Pro 2x2.8Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • ~SimonH Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I can also confirm the existence of this bug after a complete clean install of Snow Leopard. I initially noticed it after placing a 'Drawer' in a stack to make it look neat (which became pixellated and useless) and then I noticed it occur on the app 'The Hit List' (Although getting the dock icon to refresh with a badge change made the icon look fine again).

    This may not be a critical bug in terms of loss of functionality, but it really ruins the clean and sleek feel of the OS.
    Mac mini 1.83GHz C2D and iPod Touch 2G 16GB, Mac OS X (10.6), If it's new - I want it!
  • Robert Rogers Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)
    I noticed blurring of my entire screen until I checked the resolution which was at 1080i but when changed to 1080p it cleared up. Just a thought.
    2X 2.26 Quad Core Nehalem 16GB mem, Mac OS X (10.5.6), ATA HD 4870 video card
  • ~SimonH Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    No, Robert, this is distinct pixellation of individual icons within a window or the dock where it is clear that all the other icons are fine. It is as though the icon is not being scaled correctly to fit in the place it should be.
    Mac mini 1.83GHz C2D and iPod Touch 2G 16GB, Mac OS X (10.6), If it's new - I want it!
  • Maldenite47 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I am having the same issue. When I download an update, the icon is exactly as described when it is installed. In fact, I can see it as soon as the download is complete and the program is opened. I am using a 23" Apple Cinema Display monitor, too. Every icon on the computer appears to be fine except when they are upgraded. Hope this issue is fixed.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Maldenite47 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Let me add this to the discussion. Each upgrade icon did degrade and become jagged. I decided to restart the computer for the first time since installing Snow Leopard August 28th. I did this a few minutes ago after repairing permissions and voilà. . . the icons returned to their beautiful original images.

    I did notice something I have not seen in the many system upgrades over the years and that was a slow rebuild of all application icons from the finder. I watched each icon rebuild from the "default pencil" type application icon to the custom built by each developer. It was interesting to see the finder window open in application and as I scrolled down through the application I could watch each icon rebuild to the original icon. I have never seen that issue. So, perhaps there is something to this small bug in 10.6. If so, I am sure Apple will find the fix and a normal icon will appear "instantly".

    Here is a profile of my Mac Pro I bought in February, so it is not a slow machine to cause a slow rebuild of icons:
    Model Name: Mac Pro
    Model Identifier: MacPro3,1
    Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 2
    Total Number Of Cores: 8
    L2 Cache (per processor): 12 MB
    Memory: 4 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.6 GHz
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • dat2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    http://twitpic.com/gd2ad

    http://twitpic.com/gd2pa

    Getting same issue. Last gen before unibody MBP. Clean install of Snow Leopard after a reformat.
    MacBookPro4,1, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Warchild13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 5, 2009 4:37 AM (in response to dat2)
    Same issue here except the icons seem to degrade until they finally disappear the longer the system is running.
    iMac Intel, Mac OS X (10.6)
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