I keep losing my application icons in OS X.
October 21, 2005 10:52 AM   Subscribe

I keep losing my application icons in OS X.

Is there a way in OS X to "rebuild the desktop" like you did in OS 9? Several of my applications (iTunes and After Effects for examle) won't keep their custom icons - even if I reinstall the program.

It's also causing other problems as well. Safari insists that I don't have iTunes installed, so I can't follow links to the music store for instance.
posted by ssmith to Technology (6 answers total)
ssmith, I'm not sure I understand your question. I've never used OS 9, so I don't know what context you're speaking in when you say 'custom icons'. There is no such thing as rebuild the desktop. There is repair permissions, which you might want to try.

If you haven't installed new software recently and Repair Permissions fixed your problem, this may be a sign of a hard drive about to die, I suggest backing up all critical data before you start.

Also, RCDefaultApp can fix your last problem if everything else is working.
posted by onalark at 11:30 AM on October 21, 2005

Response by poster: I should clarify that when I say "losing icons" I mean that the application uses the default application of a couple sheets of paper with an A made out of a pencil, ruler and (i guess) a pen.

In OS 9 there was a database of all your applications. You could reset this database with a keyboard command at start up. Because the database was accessed frequently it would sometimes get corrupted, so that's why it was an easy process to rebuild it.

I have repaired the permissions, and this machine is only a month and a half or so old so I'm really hopiing it's not a bad drive.

RCDefaultApp looks great though. Thank you very much for linking that.
posted by ssmith at 11:47 AM on October 21, 2005

Try this. I hope you're comfortable with using the Terminal :).

You could also manually delete the plist files for specific applications that have problems.

In either case, if you delete a plist file, restarting the program will rebuild the plist file, but all of your stored preferences/passwords will be wiped.

I've done this to myself once before, I can't remember how (perhaps a Force Quit at a bad time). Wiping the plist file fixed the application. I don't remember application icons ever disappearing though.
posted by onalark at 12:09 PM on October 21, 2005

Oh, and check Console for any weird error messages that might be related if you're still having problems and copy them here. Console is located in Applications/Utilities.
posted by onalark at 12:11 PM on October 21, 2005

Best answer: What you want is to delete the icon cache files and let the Finder rebuild them. Simplest way is Tiger Cache Cleaner.

Also make sure your disk's directories are in good working order; if you have DiskWarrior I'd recommend booting from its CD and warrying your disk now.
posted by kindall at 3:50 PM on October 21, 2005

Response by poster: Thank you for the help onalark and kindall, I really appreciate it. The Tiger Cache Cleaner did the trick.
posted by ssmith at 6:03 AM on October 24, 2005

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