This is a guess only, but it will do no harm to try it.
1. Relaunch the Finder. Command + Option + Esc (all three keys together). Then select the Finder and Relaunch.
2. Restart and hold these four keys down immediately while your computer goes through 3 sets of chimes - be patient it can take some time - Command + Option + P + R. You may need both hands for this.
Thanks for answering my query.
I can't relaunch the finder by itself because I can't get to it.
I can boot up, all icons appear on desktop as normal, but when I click anywhere on my screen, I get Widgets. Click again, anywhere on the screen, and Widgets disappear. Appear - disappear - appear - disappear - appear - disappear.
So - cannot select anything, including finder.
Re: Restarting while holding four keys down/chimes, etc - is that zapping the pram?
anything - any click anywhere on any part of my screen produces the Widgets, and a second click removes the widgets.
• Re: Restarting while holding four keys down/chimes, etc - is that zapping the pram?
What happens when you type command + option + escape? Regardless of what is open, this key combination should take you to "Force Quit".
From there you can force quit anything that is open. So force quit Widgets. Then Relaunch Finder.
Thanks for your suggestions, which didn't hurt, as you said!
Zappling the pram did not solve the problem - destop appears as normal upon startup, but clicking anywhere on screen produces four widgets. Clicking anywhere makes them disappear, reappear, disappear, and so on.
Re: finder - I cannot select anything with the pointer, no matter where I put it, that does not produce or hide the widgets. When I try to force quit via the keys, I see the little window, which in this case has a single program, FINDER, but I cannot select it because any click on any part of the screen either produces or hides widgets.
Silly problem! But one that has kept me from using my iMac for 4 days now.
I think it is time for *sigh* a visit to the Apple store, and a few hundred dollars out the door. But hopefully not!
If you have any more suggestions, I'm open in the meantime.
I should have thought of this earlier. The F12 key brings up the widgets on Dashboard. Could it be the F12 key on the keyboard is stuck in the down position??
First try pushing that key down hard, and jiggling it - that sometimes works.
Or you could try a different keyboard.
Even unplugging the keyboard and navigating with the mouse might get us to the bottom of this.