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Desktop folder issue

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:06 pm
by KarenColes
I was trying to help a friend with her Macbook and ran into a strange problem. We changed her screensaver photos and her desktop picture. Soon after that, the desktop problem was apparent. Whenever we would put a new (empty) folder on her desktop, ALL the contents of the desktop (folders, photos, & documents) would be duplicated inside that new folder which really should have been empty. Any idea how this happened? How to fix it?

There didn't seem to be any problem if a new empty folder was placed in any other location on her hard drive.

Re: Desktop folder issue

Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:55 am
by Jay Cline
Interesting.. how are you creating that new folder?

The normal way to create a new folder on the desktop is to click once on the desktop and go to File menu > New Folder, or press Shift–Command (⌘)–N.

Re: Desktop folder issue

Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:32 am
by Richard Serkes
Easier than that is to RIGHT CLICK on the desktop and a menu will pop up with an option to create a new folder. LEFT CLICK that option and you're done.

Re: Desktop folder issue

Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:42 am
by Stephen Hart
First of all, that is odd.
I can think of a couple of things to check. Did you name the new folder "Desktop"?
Do you have any folder actions set up that might cause this issue?
Are you creating the folder on the desktop by one of the methods Jay or Richard mention, or creating it elsewhere and moving it to the desktop?

There's a persistent story that one shouldn't store a lot of files and folders on the desktop. Supposedly, files there use more hard drive resources than files stored elsewhere. But the desktop is a folder, like any other, so I've never understood this. On the other hand, I prefer my desktop to be clean.

Re: Desktop folder issue

Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:16 am
by Richard Serkes
Stephen Hart wrote: Did you name the new folder "Desktop"?
I tried that but it doesn't cause the problem the OP has. I created a new folder on the desktop labelled Desktop and when I opened it it was empty as it should have been even though I keep several files on my desktop for easy access.

Re: Desktop folder issue

Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:54 pm
by Jay Cline
Wondering if an alias of the Desktop folder is being created making it appear to duplicate everything. Command-option when dragging a folder will create an alias.

Re: Desktop folder issue

Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:04 pm
by Jay Cline
Please let us know what version of OS X she is using...

Re: Desktop folder issue

Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:39 pm
by KarenColes
The reason we got into this mess was trying to clean up all the folders and documents on her desktop. She had several folders that needed to be nested together into one folder, and then filed away under "Documents" to get them off the desktop. So we created an empty folder in the normal way by selecting "New folder" from the Finder/File menu. I Googled this problem, and discovered that someone else had experienced the same thing. The suggested fix sounded much more complicated than anything I wanted to tackle.

I'm not sure what version of OX she has, but I think it's current because she got her laptop rather recently from MacTraders. I'll check the next time I see her, but that might not be for awhile.

Re: Desktop folder issue

Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:53 am
by Stephen Hart
I Googled this problem, and discovered that someone else had experienced the same thing. The suggested fix sounded much more complicated than anything I wanted to tackle.
Just out of curiosity, can you give us the URL you found? It might still be in your history.

Re: Desktop folder issue

Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:14 am
by KarenColes
Hmmm. I posted the message above, not Stephen. Don't know how that happened.

Just goes to show you that I probably shouldn't be trying to help anyone with their Mac problems!