not to be a p-rick ... but what proof do you have that Apple is even aware of this issue as you claimed? just curious
A number of people on this forum have sent feedback to Apple about this problem, this is Apple's forum and they do monitor it, 27 years as a Mac user, and common sense. The alternative would be creating a reputation for buggy software, Lion = Vista, etc. Getting the fundamentals right is the foundation for featues like iCloud. They have to maintain the foundation first. I do agree such a widespread bug should not have made it into the Lion release, but it did, and appeared too late to fix in 10.7.1. Apple has seeded 10.7.2 betas out to many more people than previous updates, including me. They are serious about fixing any and all bugs, especially annoying ones like this.
Potentially useful advice has been posted here:
In short, ".DS_Store file settings and Finder view behavior can depend on more than one .DS_Store file, so while people may assume removing the .DS_Store file from a directory that is showing view problems is the way to fix the issue, doing so may not actually fix the issue. Do try to remove the file for one directory, but if not then the next step would be to remove the .DS_Store files for the whole filesystem to prevent odd settings inheritance problems from persisting."
Links to several utilities are provided.
@knutsen - I think you may be onto something there with that article...
I had not tried deleting multiple .DS_Store files before - only just the one in my home directory. So this time I tried deleting several (though not all of them, as the article suggests). And now my home folder *seems* to behave properly...
here's what I tried:
- in Terminal, delete .DS_Store file in home folder, and in a couple other folders (Downloads, email attachments...)
Those other folders are where I save attachments from Mail, downloads from Safari, etc
- log out, then log back in
- manually reorganize home folder in Icon View to the way I like it. Clean up, snap to grid, arrange by none, sort by none, always open in list view
- set Downloads, email attachments and a few other folders to always open in List View, sort by Date Modified, arrange by none
- close all the Finder windows
then I tried to trigger the problem that would ALWAYS mess up the icons in my home folders, namely
- find an email message in Mail with an attachment.
- click/hold the Save button for the attachment, to do a Save-As in some folder (e.g. email attachments folder)
- go back to the Finder, open home folder
I've been saving attachments repeatedly and so far I cannot reproduce the original problem. (knock on wood) So far, my home folder icons remain exactly where I placed them. Even if I Save-As to a folder where I didn't delete the .DS_Store file, my home folder now does not (yet) get messed up.
before deleting the several .DS_Store files, I could regularly cause the problem on 1st or at most 2nd try when doing a Save-As.
but now the problem seems to be gone...
I read the above CNET article and Brett C's post with interest. So I thought I'd give this another shot.
Perhaps it really is related to entire hierarchies of .DS_Store corruption and not just individual folders?
I actually went full-bottle and deleted every single .DS_Store file on my 2TB hard drive with a utility application, which took about an hour! Anyway, I saw all my folders had re-set. I spent about another half hour getting all my folders back to just the way I like them.
Alas, after one evening of stability (and hope) after 5 minutes work on my iMac this morning I found almost all of my folders reset back to the usual "default" : a small window centered in the middle of my 27 inch screen with side bar showing and in list view.
I might not mind this bug if I had an 11 inch MacBook Air, but after spending so much time carefully arranging all my folders just as I like them..seeing Lion do this almost every day is disheartening to say the least. And it seems there's no hope in sight for 10.7.2 based on previous comments.
followup to my previous post
well, I guess it was too good to be true.
for a couple days I was enjoying a trouble-free non-messed-up home folder, even with many many many Save-As attempts. I was optimistic that deleting the few .DS_Store files as I described actually somehow cleared out whatever was causing the folders views to get messed up.
but the problem has returned.
The same problems over here. This has started with 10.6., but with Lion it is really bad. Keeping icons and windows EXACTLY the way the user sets it should be easy (each folder has its own .DS_Store file), but now all my sorting is lost on a daily basis.
Apple, this is really annoying! Forget all your pseudo-improvements (Launchpad etc.); I need a stable topology of icons for my workflows.
Apple, do something now!
here's a quote from the MacRumors forum regarding this problem ... note this is from someone thats using 10.7.2 build 11C55 ... so don't be surprised if Apple ignores this issue as I predicted they would earlier
So that's what has been happening to my Finder in Lion: it seems that every time I use the open/save dialogue box, the Finder will reset my folders from my normal Icon view into list/column view. This is a very annoying bug and it is still present in 10.7.2 build 11C55, so more than likely it will not be addressed in 10.7.2.
Tremendously frustrating. I've always kept my folders and files organized to enhance my workflow. I like seeing where things are and organizing them hierarchically, and I don't WANT to switch to using Spotlight- or iTunes-like systems to manage my electronic world. I spent an hour re-arranging and re-organizing the folders and files on the top level of my hard drive (not my desktop) only to have them randomized an hour later. I haven't opened a sub-folder for over a month since switching to Lion for fear that I'll lose all that organization, too. Not happy working in list mode.
This totally destroys OS X's credibility as a good user interface, and I can't recommend people buy a new Mac with this kind of problem. Can't believe it hasn't been addressed by Apple. Another sign they truly are becoming MS.
Thank God I found this thread... and many others too! I thought I was the only one having the problem and just didn't know how to set up my Mac correctly. When I think back, I had a similar issue with Snow Leopard but I eventually got it working.
I think Mac OS X's instructions for workflow organization is non existent. They need to teach new users how to set default views. At least in Windows the settings actually listened. Either they should make it simple and have, like windows, a default view say Icon Views and have defaulted to all folders, or they should fix the **** bug!! There are probably countless hours of productivity wasted by the total number of users experiencing this problem. The large majority of people don't know that the bug actually exists and thinks it's normal (bad UI). I want my Snow Leopard back, I was happy with it! Just put Mail V5 in Snow Leopard and I'll be in bliss!
Same problem here on a new Mac Mini running Lion! First time I'm this disappointed from a OS X release.
Above-mentioned Desktop Saver For Icon Positions is a nice solution but it only works for Desktop items and not any other Folder content.
I consider this a major flaw and I'm surprised Apple hasn't addressed it yet. I may just reinstall Snow Leopard on that machine.
I may have a solution. I tried all the tricks suggested (not external software). Still, often the icons re-arranged randomly to the right side after re-start. Since 10.7 about every time.
A few weeks ago I started fiddling with the icon size. Everytime I just touched the icon size control all my icons at the far left of my desktop moved to right side. As if there wasn't room for them at the desktop. Trying to reduce their size didn't make then jump back. I tried different sizes, but no matter sizes the icons close to the left border would just jump to the right side and stay there. Hm, I thought... Is this what trigger the re-arranging after re-start...
So. I tried moving them in, about 100 pixels from left border, restarted and YES they stayed in place. Then I moved them back to about 50 pixels from the left side and re-started, and sure they jumped to the right. Tried 100 pixels from the left again and YES, they do stay in place and did so for several weeks now and about 10 re-starts.
I may have found a way around the bug. A bug that has annoyed with me for years. 10.4-10.7 (but not in 10.5), but only occational before 10.7. With 10.7 it re-arranged every time after re-start. (=dissasterous)
-So try to keep the deskop empty atleast 0-100pixels to the left and see if it helps.
This problem may be resolution dependent, I suspect.
All the best, Roger
(Mac mini 2.7 GHz i7, screen resolution 1600x1200)
Pretty bad, that Apple hasn't done something about it yet. How hard can it be to just save the positions of a few icons. Since this is not a new bug, maybe we could atleast have gotten a backup file to reset the desktop, when this happens. Or why not save the positions to a backup file and compare the positions after restart and trigger a patch, for the bug they don't seen to be able to fix. Crap like this sure makes OS X feel like a glossy shell over a pile of mess, now that would be fine, if the mess never showed. -But it does...
Last. How the heck do I report a bug, with a possible workaround to test, to fort Apple? Do I have to pay to help them?
Well, as long as I stay in icon mode only, it seems to remember icon positions in every window as well. If I toggle between icon and list, the icons are still in the same place when back in icon mode.
The problem is that you can't no longer mix icon, list, column views freely and make it stick in individual windows. That was limitation decided by Apple in 10.6?
Yes, this took away a great deal of the genuine mac-feel, usabillity and control. I have been pretty dissappointed since and have more or less been forced to work in list mode only. I can't stand it when the looks of the content of a window changes more or less at random. If I stay in one mode (listview) it stays permanent. It isn't good, but its bareable util something else comes along.
10.7 didn't bring control back, rather the contraordinary. I guess this in line with Apples strategy, of some sort. Much of what feels like bugs probably aren't.
I used to be an Mac fan, but I lost it on the way due to limitating design desicions like this.
I'm so glad to read the pages and pages of comments of people experiencing the same desktop icons issue where they are always rearranging themselves and know that I'm not the only person extremely frustrated by this!
I really hope Apple addresses and comes up with a fix - there are enough other annoying things in Lion already.
I've been an Apple fan for decades but this O/S upgrade has been brutal. I've given up on iCal and switched to BusyCal, I'm trying to find some useability in Address Book, fighting with the search feature in Mail that doesn't seem to find e-mails that I end up having to manually search for, etc.
Looking forward to solutions!
Very good observation! Since you posted, I tried your suggestion on two key folders. I arranged icons in each according to my usual practices, leaving a generous frame of empty space between the outermost icons and the window edges on all four sides. Then I close the folder.
Folder #1: The top-level internal HD folder, which was one of the first I noticed being rearranged. "View Options" set to "always open on icon view"
Folder #2: an "old" folder, possibly dating back to 10.5 on an earlier machine, stored on the desktop, which has always seemed resistant to re-arrangement. No "View Options" setting, just manually set to icon view each time.
The results, opening each folder "sometime later" :
Folder #1 "View Options" setting "Always Open in Icon View " is preserved, but the icons are now arranged in alpha-sort order. (View Options "sort by" and "arrange by" are still set to "none".)
Folder #2 On re-open, the folder now comes up in list view. When I switch to icon view, my previous icon arrangement is preserved.
For Folder #1, then, your suggestion seems to have no effect. For Folder #2, icon positions are preserved, but it isn't clear that this is due to leaving a frame of empty space, because this folder has been much less susceptible to rearrangement anyway, possibly due to its longevity.