Here's a no-bs work-around that works well for icon hoarders and arrangers with wormy apples like myself. Geoffrey Parker wrote a little app that saves icon positions and restores them when they get scrambled: http://www.parker9.com/desktopIconManager2.0.html
I'am having this problem since 10.6. With every update I was hoping Apple fixed it, but it only got worse. I would not declare this issue "fixed" until Apple fixed it. I will certainly use Gregory J. Parks solution, but its not a real solution, because I have to remember to save icons position in Icon Manager every time I move something.
As I arrange the things I am actually working on or things that are on queue on desktop regarding to their importance, I always have about 20-30 icons placed there.
In 10.6 the problem began with, maybe once or twice per month, on startup the finder rearranged all the icons on the right side of the screen. (This, while I always shut down my Mac after a workday).
With each update it got worse. Now in 10.6.6 I get them rearranged about every third or fifth day or so.
With certainty I can say that this is not a specific problem to my single Mac installation. I have an Intel iMac, Intel MacBook and an Intel iMac, each with several users and it happens to all of them. Including I just did a complete fresh install of 10.6 and combo 10.6.6 on the iMac, and even before installing any third party applications, I got the problem on the second new start.
Denmark here calling.
I have the same problem, I got a Mac Pro dual-CPU-westmere in the middle of january 2011. I have been through Mac OS X v.10.6.3 that it came with and up to today 28. june 2011 with v.10.6.8. The icon bug with ocassionally moving desktop icon after a reboot/startup is still going strong. Its not every time but sometimes the icons have moved all to the right. Pretty anoying I would say. The Mac OS is all about nice grapical User Interface. But I could do without the moving desktop icons!
Could it be some corrupt prefs files anywhere???
Does anybody know something about that???
I just had all my icons moved to the right today!
I hope it is fixed in Lion! (v.10.7)
with 10.5 the app
desktop icon manager (2.0.2)
is a resolution for me.
(Every time I copy some file over LAN to the desktop of the Leo-Mac, the icons are at the right side of the screen.)
it should work with 10.6 - because it's an apple-script, but I have not tested it yet.
Without reason or warning my desktop icons line up on the left side in alphabetical order. Also happens with subfolders. Haven't noticed any pattern of association with reboot or moving content from web link to desktop.
Is happening both on a MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, each running OS Lion. Though noticed that it happened (more rarely) while still using OS 10.6.
Really frustrating! As I use my Mac in the same way that I use the space on my real desk. The location of folders and files are 'cognitive artifacts' of my work materials and flow. It takes a lot of time to resort files and folders to project or task collections.
Thanks for all prior suggestions. But it doesn't seem that there is a consistently successful (or persistent) solution.
Well since I upgraded to Lion (OS 10.7) a few weeks ago I've had the same problem happen at least 3 times. Once all bunched up and on top of one another on the right and twice in 3 neat rows, but on the right.
I've just tried Thomas A Reed's solution of removing a corrupt .DS_Store file in your desktop folder by pasting text into Terminal (I just opened it, pasted into the window, hit return, waited a bit until some more text appeared and then closed Terminal, is that correct?). I'll let you know how that goes.
I have the same problem. I store 20-40 icons on the desktop and group them by different criteria (things I currently work on, things to review later, sometimes by project) - every now and then, after a shutdown/restart, the icons are lined up along the right side of the screen.
Very, very annoying bug, which has cost me a lot of nerves and time, which has existed for long time. I wonder if Apple reads these discussions at all?
Nope, Thomas A Reed's solution of removing a corrupt .DS_Store file in your desktop folder by pasting text into Terminal didn't work, or it worked for a few days and then the icons all moved to the right side.
Deleting the com.apple.finder.plist prefs file - does that work?
It's surprising how irritating it is when you can't find things on the desktop. Probably Apple don't read most of the discussions, so to help them notice it might be a good idea to:
- Send a (Safari) bug report - even though it's about the OS not Safari.
- Start up new discussions along the lines of"Roaming desktop icons problem is annoying - need fix".
Any other suggestions to get Apple to notice?
@charlesfromzurich: No, I don't think that this is the problem because I am neither using Illustrator nor Suitcase and stil have the problem.
I'm starting to suspect some me.com glitch, because whenever the problem occurs, it occurs on _all_ my machines that synchronize via me.com, so maybe the .DS_store file is corrupted that way? Are you people also using me.com or does the problem appear even if you are not synchronizing any data?
@David from Sydney: No, deleting com.apple.finder.plist did not work in the long run. The problem reappeared after a while.