12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 19, 2006 4:11 AM by dave_a
Tom Smith3 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
I hope this is the right forum for this question. When I open the OSX HD, my applications folder is in the column on the left with the user, docs, pics folders etc., but I cannot find the folder in the HD field on the right. I backed up my HD and found that none of my applications were backed up. I want to back up everything on my HD. When I go "find" an application under the finder file menu it indicates that it is on the HD in the applications folder, but when I open the HD there is no applications folder. Where is the applications folder and how can I make sure it gets backed up when I back up the entire HD?

eMAC, Mac OS X (10.4.7), 768 MB ram
  • Gnarlodious Level 4 Level 4 (3,215 points)
    That column on the left is called a "sidebar", you can select what shows in it by clicking the menubar Finder>Preferences>Sidebar. You can drag whatever folder you want into the lower part of the sidebar.
    Your Applications folder is sorta hidden, in the sidebar>computer name (very top)>Applications.

    A faster way is to bring Finder to front, click on the "Go" item in the menubar, then "Applications". This is a shortcut to open the Applications folder. Play around with the buttons and view options.

    I don't know how you backed up your hard drive but the App folder would be in the same place on the backup disk, assuming it actually was copied.
  • Tom Smith3 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Gnarlodius, thanks for your prompt response to my query. You get to the heart of the problem when you said: "Your Applications folder is sorta hidden, in the sidebar>computer name (very top)>Applications." When I do click on the sidebar computer name, there is no application folder in there. I can access the folder like you directed (going to Go and clicking on applications, for example), but where is the folder located since it does not appear when the HD (computer name) is clicked? Thanks.
  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (285,435 points)
    Choose Go to Folder from the Finder's Go menu and enter /Applications/AppleScript/ as the folder's location. When this folder has appeared, open the Script Editor and paste in the following:

    tell application "Finder"
    set the_alias to folder of window 1 as alias
    end tell
    tell application "System Events"
    set visible of the_alias to true
    end tell
    tell application "Finder"
    end tell

    Before running the script, click on the AppleScript folder, press the Command and Up arrow keys simultaneously, and then run the script. The Finder will disappear briefly.

  • Gnarlodious Level 4 Level 4 (3,215 points)
    Once your Applications folder is visible, click the buttons in the upper left of the window and find the Column View. Now you can see exactly the path to your Applications folder.
  • Tom Smith3 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    I am not being understood. In response to Gnarlodius: The Application folder is not visible ... only the contents of the folder as they would appear if one clicked on the Applications icon in the sidebar. Clicking on the icon, list or column view reveals no path to where the applications foldr resides. In response to Niel, I ran the script as directed. The finder did disappear and then nothing happened. I restarted. Made the same attempt and then came up with a syntax error. I paste and copied the script you provided. Thanks for hanging in there with me on this one. Any other ideas? Where the $%#@*7 is the applications folder!??
  • Gnarlodious Level 4 Level 4 (3,215 points)
    It's possible the permissions for that folder have became corrupted and you are not allowed to view its contents.

    Paste this command in Terminal:

    sudo chmod 775 /Applications ; open /Applications/
  • Tom Smith3 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Gnarlodius, I pasted the command into the terminal and indeed the applications folder opened. I am not having trouble with that. I can get to all the applications, the contents of the folder, but I cannot find a folder called "applications" that I can open up. I imagine I could take the contents of the opened folder and copy them to a new folder and label it "applications" and put it into the HD. But, then would I have two folders called applications, one I can identify because I made it and another I cannot find and what would that do to the system? Thanks again!
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (134,945 points)

    Try the following

    Download Pathfinder from http://www.cocoatech.com - it's a shareware alternative to the FInder, but you have a 30 day trial.

    From the View menu select 'Show Invisible Files'

    Can you now see the Applications Folder?

    It's possible that the folder has been rendered invisible by the OS. If it shows up here then that's the case, and someone might be able to give us the Terminal Command to make it visibkle again in the Finder.


  • Gnarlodious Level 4 Level 4 (3,215 points)
    If the command I gave you worked, and the Applications window opened and you saw your application files then there is nothing wrong with your computer.

    If the alias in the sidebar is broken then you can drag it off the sidebar and it will be deleted. If you want a quick alias to your Applications folder than you can drag the Applications folder into your sidebar, which is easiest to do while in column view.

    If you don't know how to set the Applications window to column view, click the "View" menu and select "Columns".
  • Francine Schwieder Level 6 Level 6 (19,040 points)
    I think your applications folder has indeed become invisible. For heaven's sake, don't create a new one named Applications--you may end up replacing the invisible one containing all your applications with one that contains nothing at all! Try this:

    1. Launch Terminal
    2. Type this command:

    cd /

    hit return, then type:

    ls -al

    hit return. Is the Applications folder listed?

    3. If it is, and you have Developer tools installed, you can use this command to check the visibility:

    GetFileInfo Applications

    After you hit return you should see something like this:
    directory: "Applications/"
    attributes: avbstclinmed
    created: 08/04/2006 21:01:27
    modified: 08/28/2006 15:21:57

    If the attributes shows this instead:
    attributes: aVbstclinmed
    It means the invisible bit has been set.

    4. You can then use the SetFile command to make it visible:

    SetFile -a v /Applications

    Relaunch the Finder by holding the option key down and clicking on it in the Dock, then select Relaunch.

    If you didn't install the Developer stuff, just go ahead and try this variation of Niel's script:

    1. Launch ScriptEditor
    2. Paste in this:

    tell application "System Events"
    set visible of alias "NoobiX:Applications" to true
    end tell

    tell application "Finder" to quit

    Instead of "NoobiX" use the name of your computer (mine is named NoobiX). If you aren't sure what it is, just select some folder at the root level and look at the path, eg if you select the System folder you'll see System->YourNamedStartup.

    Run the script, then click the Finder icon in the Dock to restart it.

  • Tom Smith3 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Thank you Neil Terence and Francine. Terence for teaching me about Pathfinder: It indeed revealed the applications folder as invisible. Francine for the terminal commands and Neil for running the script that made everything visible again. I am filled with joy!
  • dave_a Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have exactly the same problem and using the methods described in this thread Pathfinder has indeed found that my applications folder is in the correct place but it is hidden. However, I have been unable to make it reappear as when I try to run any of the suggested scripts all I get is a syntax error. Has anyone any further suggestions please?

    Macmini   Mac OS X (10.4.7)