Help me clean my Leopard desktop!
December 5, 2007 3:16 AM   Subscribe

I'm running Leopard on my new iMac, and I like the Stacks feature, but one aspect Apple brags about is how Stacks keeps your desktop clean--but mine's a freakin' mess. I've set downloads to go to the Downloads folder, but every little thing I download goes into both my Stacks Dowloads alias, as well as my desktop. How can I prevent downloads from getting onto my desktop?
posted by zardoz to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In Safari: Preferences>General>Save Downloaded Files To

This changes it for Firefox too. No, it doesn't make sense.
posted by arruns at 4:28 AM on December 5, 2007

more info: I'm using Firefox, and have my download settings as "/Users/(username)/Downloads.
posted by zardoz at 5:24 AM on December 5, 2007

The download settings for both Firefox and Safari are "/Users/$username/Downloads"? Because the setting in Safari is the system setting and will effect Firefox as well, if I didn't make that clear.
posted by arruns at 5:43 AM on December 5, 2007

What I'm confused by is your use of "Downloads alias" above. "Downloads" shouldn't be an alias, it is a top-level folder under your home directory, on par with "Music," "Pictures," "Documents," and the like. Is your ~/Downloads folder actually an alias to ~/Desktop, by any chance?
posted by eafarris at 5:45 AM on December 5, 2007

eafarris--by "alias", I just meant that the Stacks "Downloads" folder is just a copy of my /Users/(username)/Downloads.

arruns--I don't use Safari, but I just checked the preferences settings, and downloads are set for the "Downloads" folder, not the desktop.
posted by zardoz at 5:52 AM on December 5, 2007

What about other files -- if you save a file on Desktop, does it appear in Downloads? What about vice versa? If you move a file out of one, does it move it out of the other? What I'm actually wondering is if these folders contain copies, or if they're behaving as one folder, with two different views.
posted by eafarris at 6:04 AM on December 5, 2007

no, if I save directly to the desktop, there's no copy in the Downloads folder/Stack.
posted by zardoz at 6:26 AM on December 5, 2007

I can't think of simple things that would be going on.

Do you have the Archive Utility (/System/Library/CoreServices/Archive or (my favorite) The Unarchiver set to move/extract files to the Desktop?

Or maybe Folder Actions or Hazel doing things for you?
posted by eafarris at 7:33 AM on December 5, 2007

Here's another Stacks tip that really makes them much prettier. The downloadable icon sets have specially-crafted files (follow the instructions), to allow you to make the stacks icons appear as if they are actually containers of items, rather than a muddle of icons overlapping each other.
posted by odinsdream at 9:09 AM on December 5, 2007

Go to User/Library/Preferences and delete
posted by arruns at 12:50 PM on December 5, 2007

thanks for the answers, everyone, but I'm embarrassed to admit that I apparently didn't quite understand the nature of the problem before asking my question. I took a look at the file that are cluttering up the desktop, and they are more or less torrent and doc files, jpegs and pdfs...basically files I accumulate while surfing around and whatnot. Sometimes they are a result of right-clicking a link ("save target as..."), and sometimes a result of saving to disk.

In short, I think there are various reasons and various actions I'm doing that cause my desktop to get cluttered, but it's not any problem with the machine or OS. I checked out the links you all provided, they seem to be helpful.
posted by zardoz at 5:07 PM on December 5, 2007

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