MacInTouch Reader Reports

Help Please: Finder

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Jun. 25, 2015
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Jun. 25, 2015

item.212457

Colleen Thompson

I've been seeing this behavior for a while now, and have no idea what is causing it, nor how to stop it. It's *not* the "open the last file" thing, because if I have something selected that a program can't work on, it still tries to open it, butputs up a message saying it can't. Some kind of system-wide issue going on here.

Just curious, does it still happen if you start up in Safe mode? How about in another user account?

item.212458

Colleen Thompson

Tracy Valleau is battling apps trying to open any file selected. I'm wondering how Tracy opens the app. If it is by double-clicking or by opening it from the Dock, then he may be dealing with a sticky mouse button. When he moves the mouse from the icon to the app icon he'd drag the selection, dropping it onto the application. I'd think he'd see the outline move though. A way to check: change the selected file from the keyboard, then launch the application, using Spotlight. If it still opens the selected file, then the mouse or trackpad is not involved.

Hey, good thought. You can also try another mouse.

item.212472

Tracy Valleau

Aha! Moment... I found the problem. It was a hidden preference in OpenMenu. Thanks to Arthur for setting me off on a more detailed hunt. Problem solved.

Aug. 20, 2015

item.214624

Alfred Cellier

Here is a weird one. Any clues will be appreciated!

For several weeks, I have been having an upsetting experience with Finder. On a 2008 iMac with 10.6.8, we often access, using WiFi, volumes that are attached to a 2012 Mini in another room; the router is a NetGear R7000.
Normally, the Finder looks like this first picture ...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v321/acellier/MacOSX/Finder_acting_OK_SL.jpg

The Apps volume is about 250 GB on a 3TB USB3 external attached to the remote Mini.

But, often, Finder presents this ...

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/acellier/media/MacOSX/Finder_acting_up_SL.jpg

Notice the repeated instances of the AppsX folder. The number of repeats varies; sometimes it grows as I watch. Clicking on any copy accesses the intended target (so far!)

This also occurs to a lesser degree in Yosemite. I don't spend much time in the newer versions, but have not seen it in Mavericks.

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/acellier/media/MacOSX/Finder_acting_up_Yosemite14E46.jpg

It does not happen directly on the Mini, nor on other Macs that I have tried.

Seems to be a matter of how the iMac reads the disk info? Why now? Has anyone seen anything like this?

I am concerned about data loss, although so far it's been OK.

Dec. 18, 2015

item.219970

Jeff Bagby

I am looking for a GUI utility or correct Terminal language to permanently make files within a folder that are marked invisible as visible.

Use case: a file server I support (OS X 10.10.5, Server 5.1.4) has a directory with about 1,100 files in it: but, about 50 of those files are invisible (and no, the invisible files are not named beginning with a ".".

If you Spotlight search the folder, you can find a specific file: but if you browse the folder, you can not find it. I can drag the file from the search window to my local desktop, and the file copies, then disappears. Using the program Main Menu (mainmenuapp.com) I can show the files, but I cannot permanently change the flag of an exact file.

I can use the terminal command "chflags nohidden /path/to/the/file/to/change.txt" to change the visibility flag of the invisible file I found in my Spotlight search so that I also can see it when I browse via the Finder, but that command does not work to change those files in the directory so that they remain visible.

In short: I want to be able to drag a folder (to either from a GUI app or the chflag nohidden command in Terminal) and have it change the flags of those files, if any, in that folder from invisible to visible (except for the .DS_Store file.... unless of course it is the .DS_Store file at fault.

Of course, I'm also unsure how this happened at all....

Dec. 19, 2015

item.220417

Bruce Barrett

In Terminal, type or paste the following [to make invisible files visible]:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

item.220419

Luis Sequeira

Jeff Bagby asked about making a lot of invisible files visible.

As he mentioned, the command

chflags nohidden /path/to/the/file/to/change

can be used to make one file visible.

All that is necessary is run this on a whole folder - or, if necessary, recursively on subfolders of the folder.
The first case, to turn all files in a folder visible, is very easy to do:

chflags nohidden /path/to/the/folder/*

The second case, including any files in subfolders thereof, is only slightly more complicated:

find /path/to/the/folder/ -exec chflags nohidden {} \;

In both cases, replace /path/to/the/folder/ with the appropriate path - or, better yet, start typing the command, ending with a space before the path; drag the folder itself from the Finder to the Terminal; and then type or paste the rest of the command.

Note: in the "find" command, you need to type the last part exactly, with the pair of braces (which representes each file to be "found" in turn), and the backslash and semicolon.

item.220450

Andrew Fowler

Jeff Bagby wants to know how to make various hidden files visible on his Mac. I'm sure there is some GUI utility out there that can do this, but it's relatively easy to do on the command line in Terminal.

You can use the chflags command (see its man page for more information) to make the files in question visible:

chflags nohidden filename

You should be able to replace filename with a wildcard (*, asterisk) if you want to change everything in that directory at once. If you want to hide a file again, just change nohidden to hidden.

If you'd rather do this on a file by file basis, first find the files that have the hidden flag set. You can use the -O (capital Oh) switch to the ls command to do this from within the current directory:

ls -lO | grep hidden

I piped the output of the ls command so it only shows the files that have the hidden flag set (or which happen to contain that string as part of the filename) to avoid poring through the >1000 other files in his directory.

Dec. 21, 2015

item.220555

Gene L

Why not use Maintain's Cocktail utility? One option shows all hidden files in the Finder, where ever you're looking. No terminal commands needed. The option is universal, so if you're looking to show only specific folders, this may not be what you want. It's also easy to toggle, just a restart on the Finder.

item.220497

Robert Rosenberg

Re:

All that is necessary is run this on a whole folder - or, if necessary, recursively on subfolders of the folder.
The first case, to turn all files in a folder visible, is very easy to do:

chflags nohidden /path/to/the/folder/*

The second case, including any files in subfolders thereof, is only slightly more complicated:

find /path/to/the/folder/ -exec chflags nohidden {} \;

That second method is not needed. All that is needed is to use the -R (recursive) flag. IOW:

chflags -R nohidden /path/to/the/folder/*

Most commands of this type recognize a -R flag to crawl through a folder hierarchy.

item.220521

MacInTouch Reader

In item 220419, Luis Sequeira suggested using Unix find to execute chflags to change the hidden flags on files in subfolders, which will work, but...

chflags itself has a -R option, which will "Change the file flags for the file hierarchies rooted in the files instead of just the files themselves." (Quote from man page.)

I.e.,

chflags -R nohidden /path/to/the/folder/to/change

Dec. 29, 2015

item.220789

Jeff Bagby

Thank you to everyone who responded with tips for changing the hidden flag (invisible file) on a group of files.

I wound up using the GUI app "Show Hidden Files" which let me easily flip between seeing and not seeing the invisible files.

First, I flagged all visible files with a Tag of color Red, then clicked Show Special (hidden/invisible) files in the ShowHiddenFiles app, and sorted by the tag Red. Any files not tagged were invisible. I dragged those files into the app, and clicked "Make Loaded Files / Visible.

However, I still don't understand how this happens in the first place.

The user this happens to receives the files as attachments in email (Outlook 2011). She double clicks the attachment while it is still in the email, it opens the appropriate program, she does a Save As to save the file to a folder on our OS X server (OS X 10.10.5, Server.app 5.0.15). Sometimes, the file saves and is visible, sometimes the file saves but is invisible - she knows it is invisible because a Spotlight search finds the file in the correct folder, but you can not find it by browsing to it.

My first thought is to save the attachment out of email to the computer rather than double-clicking it while it is still attached to the email message, except that should not matter... or does it?

It seems to make no difference if the original file is an .mp4, an Excel file, a Word doc, etc.

Dec. 30, 2015

item.220833

Kevin Patfield

Could it be that the email attachments that become invisible have names starting with a period? Due to its Unix heritage, OS X hides by default any files whose names are like that. The OS has many more modern ways of doing this but the period convention is still used (and needed). Maybe the message sender, on a non-Mac system, is unwittingly causing the problem.

Jan. 4, 2016

item.220972

Colleen Thompson

220789 - Jeff Bagby
The user this happens to receives the files as attachments in email (Outlook 2011). She double clicks the attachment while it is still in the email, it opens the appropriate program, she does a Save As to save the file to a folder on our OS X server (OS X 10.10.5, Server.app 5.0.15). Sometimes, the file saves and is visible, sometimes the file saves but is invisible - she knows it is invisible because a Spotlight search finds the file in the correct folder, but you can not find it by browsing to it. My first thought is to save the attachment out of email to the computer rather than double-clicking it while it is still attached to the email message, except that should not matter... or does it?

This may or may not be related: One of my clients purchased a MacBook Air, not realizing it did not have an ethernet port. Hooked up to the office network via Wi-Fi, their database program ran into intermittent, unbearable slowdowns. The Thunderbolt port was busy running an external monitor. So I tried a USB-to-ethernet adapter. It took us a few days to realize that whenever this user saved an attachment directly out of email to a server volume, he would knock the entire neighboring department off the server completely, and the only way to recover was by rebooting the server. Weird, huh?

This post is not to ask for help solving the problem; they ended up repurposing the Air and getting a 2012 MacBook Pro. I only offer it because it sounds somewhat similar to Jeff's situation.

What happens if your user saves the attachment to the Desktop, or drags it out of the email to her Desktop, and then puts it on the server? What happens if she double-clicks the attachment to open it in its native app, and then saves it to her desktop, from there moving it to the server? Use a sharp stick to poke at the problem from as many angles as possible.

[For what it's worth, I tried a USB-Ethernet adapter on a stable, non-retina 13-inch MacBook Pro and had very, very bizarre problems that disappeared once I removed it. Considering it an evil device, I immediately trashed it and hadn't looked back until you mentioned your experience. (This system runs Mac OS X 10.6.8.) . -Ric Ford]

item.220855

Fred Fee

The user this happens to receives the files as attachments in email (Outlook 2011). She double clicks the attachment while it is still in the email, it opens the appropriate program, she does a Save As to save the file to a folder on our OS X server (OS X 10.10.5, Server.app 5.0.15). Sometimes, the file saves and is visible, sometimes the file saves but is invisible - she knows it is invisible because a Spotlight search finds the file in the correct folder, but you can not find it by browsing to it.

My first thought is to save the attachment out of email to the computer rather than double-clicking it while it is still attached to the email message, except that should not matter... or does it?

It seems to make no difference if the original file is an .mp4, an Excel file, a Word doc, etc.

It could be files that have been sourced from Facebook. Recently, I received a few as attachments in an email and the file names all began with a period [.] and were visible in Mail. They were not visible when transferred to my computer's disk because any file whose name begins with a period is treated by the Finder as invisible by default.

I use this Applescript, saved as an application, to toggle the Finder between its default state of hiding such files and its alternative state of showing such files. To remove the offending periods run the script and click on the "Show" button. After amending the file names, restore the Finder's default state by running the script again and clicking on the "Hide" button.

I can't remember where I obtained the script but it has always worked without incident. Nevertheless, the 5 second delay, whilst apparently necessary, is always unnerving.

Be careful not to alter any files other than the files that you want to become visible again, because Finder commonly relies on hidden files for some of its operations to work properly.

activate
set findermin to display dialog "Tell Finder to show or hide all hidden files. Including Unix files." buttons {"Show", "Hide"} default button "Show"
set findermin_do to button returned of findermin
if findermin_do is "Show" then
  try
   do shell script "defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles " & "Yes"
  end try
  set did to "show"
else if findermin_do is "Hide" then
  try
   do shell script "defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles " & "No"
  end try
  set did to "hide"
end if
activate
set info_get to display dialog "Finder will now " & did & " all files." buttons {"Ok", "Info", "Restart Finder"} default button "Ok"
set info_get to button returned of info_get
if info_get is "Info" then
  activate
  set info_dis to display dialog "When you open a new window all files will be shown in the new finder window. Once turned off you will need to reload finder or all windows. Click "Restart Finder" to reload all windows. Restarting Finder may have side effects so use with caution." buttons {"Ok", "Restart Finder"} default button "Ok"
  set info_get to button returned of info_dis
end if
if info_get is "Restart Finder" then
  tell application "Finder"
   quit
   delay 5
   activate
  end tell
end if
activate
display dialog "Complete!" buttons {"Ok"} default button "Ok"

Jan. 5, 2016

item.221032

Tony Ochoa

re: Fred Fee's method for renaming invisible .file to visible file

I use this Applescript, saved as an application, to toggle the Finder between its default state of hiding such files and its alternative state of showing such files. To remove the offending periods run the script and click on the "Show" button. After amending the file names, restore the Finder's default state by running the script again and clicking on the "Hide" button.

Great script, good addition to the Finder's scripting menu for those of us who regularly stash favorites there.

Way simpler method for individual files - download the excellent TextWrangler app from Bare Bones Software (freeware).

You can use the open file dialog to rename files - remove ., or add . Just navigate to enclosing folder, right click on the file in the Open dialog, select the Rename popup and edit away.

You won't need to actually open the file, just edit the name, and click cancel. File will be visible (or invisible) when you next navigate to the enclosing folder.

Neat trick and I can't recall how I stumbled on it, but it's pretty dang useful. (BTW - you can rename files in this fashion using most any application's Open dialog, you just won't be able to see dot files, unless that dialog has a "show invisible items" radio button).

Thanks Ric for maintaining this awesome resource! Your Amazon link is my default when ordering for our business!

Apr. 26, 2016

item.227328

Wire

Over the last year I've read several readers comments of disappointment with recent versions of OS X (Yosemite / El Capitan) Finder being painfully slow.

This OSX Daily tip refers to nebulous issues with OS X iCloud caches that slow Finder window population down to a crawl. They say, delete these caches and get your Finder back. I don't use iCloud and I have not seen this issue of a abnormally slow Finder. So FWIW, caveat emptor.

Fix Abnormally Slow Folder Opening & Folder Populating in OS X 10.10.3

[The original tip is from Adam Demasi here: Fix for slow folder opening on OS X 10.10.3. -Ric Ford]

Apr. 29, 2016

item.227294

Doug Weiner

Running 10.8.5 on a Mac Pro 5,1. I have a 120Gig OWC SSD 6g SATA drive as my boot drive. I seem to be missing 10 Gigs. I am showing hidden files, so I think it's not a problem of the sleep image, but perhaps I am wrong.

Here is a screen shot of the Get Info screen about the drive, showing 119.17 gigs capacity, 30.39 Gig free. But notice Used? It says 88.79 Gigs.

Here is screenshot of the drive with all hidden files shown. Notice in the path bar at the bottom, it matches the "Get Info Drive Info" and reports 30.39 Gigs free. However.... Looking at the "Screen Shot of the Drive" and adding up the space used on file/folder sizes listed in that window, I only calculate, 79.76 Gigs used.

So where is that other 10 gigs? Is the Finder using the 1Gig=1024MB to calculate file/folder size and Get Info using 1Gig=1000MB?

Thanks

item.227565

Paul P

Doug, are you using Time Machine?

It may be Time Machine local snapshots stored on your boot drive. Check the amount of space backups are using in the 'About This Mac' Storage tab (Apple Menu). Is it about 10GB? If so switch off Time Machine and start the backup manually when the external drive is connected to reclaim the space.

Info here...

http://www.mactricksandtips.com/2013/07/view-disable-local-snapshots-backups-in-time-machine.html

Apr. 30, 2016

item.227589

Johann Beda

Doug Weiner is trying to find out why there seems to be some free space on his drive that is unaccounted for. Whenever I am looking at storage issues, I use Grand Perspective to see a nice graphical representation of the files on the disk. (I seem to recall it being "unsigned" so needs the "command-click" -> "Open" proceedure to run it the first time to get past the Mac OS Gatekeeper software.)

Possibly of use: I once encountered a similar situation on a MacBook Air, and only managed to get things cleared up when I used Disk Utility to "erase free space".

item.227600

David Charlap

Doug Weiner wrote:

"Here is a screen shot of the Get Info screen about the drive, showing 119.17 gigs capacity, 30.39 Gig free. But notice Used? It says 88.79 Gigs. ... Here is screenshot of the drive with all hidden files shown ... adding up the space used on file/folder sizes listed in that window, I only calculate, 79.76 Gigs used."

The Finder won't be able to count up storage in folders for which you don't have read permission. Notice, for instance that three folders you show (.fseventsd, .Spotlight-V100 and .DocumentRevisions-V100) have the red "do not enter" badge on them, meaning they are not readable. I would be certain that they are not actually empty but are reporting "Zero bytes" because the Finder can't look inside to add up the contents.

You may also have other users in /Users that you can't access. For example on my system, I have made almost all of my home directory (except for what's needed to allow access to my Public folder) unreadable to other users. There are probably other unreadable folders as well, which are either system-only (e.g. only readable by the root account or the wheel/admin group) or are for users other than yourself.

item.227625

Jen Cluse

In the Finder topic at 160429 / Apr 29.2016, at note/submission 227294, Doug Weiner wonders where his missing 10 GB has gotten.

Doug, I can whole-heartedly recommend you get yourself a copy of Erwin Bonsma’s Grand Perspective (hereafter ‘GP’).

Erwin deserves every penny of every donation urge that rolls over you after you run the GP ruler over your suspect hard drive, or folder, or any volume.

I’ve recently restored nearly 70 GB to my 1TB collection of partitions on my internal HD, thanks to Erwin’s concept. Just a couple of forgotten-to-be-deleted post-burn .iso images, and a temp b/u of a largish virtual OS this time. They leap off the screen at you thanks to the scaled graphical display.

You navigate to the root for the HD, select, and not too long later are presented with a gorgeous display representing the files and their sizes. Click on any file’s representation (you can choose your own style later) and see the size and address of the file. You can check any collection of files on any media, AFAIK.

Magic.

item.227581

Jean-Luc Warin

icons on my desktop keep rearranging after every restart.(Yosemite)

Something is preventing the Finder to write the .DS_store file to the desktop.

As when I set system to show invisible, I can see on the desktop the .DS_store file appearing for few seconds then disappearing.

Once I modify some view settings again, the file appears for a few seconds and disappears again. so the file is never on the desktop as it should be so, the setting are not set.

I tried many things, but nothing works from more than a couple of restarts:

Clean cache
Clean Finder Preferences
Remove .DS_Store file
Checked Accessibility nothing selected there
remove: thumbnailcache
remove: com.apple.dock.iconcache
remove.com.apple.iconservices.store
sudo qlmanage -r

and a few more

As a workaround, I used Asepsis application (a smart solution for .DS_Store pollution), which prevents creation of .DS_Store files. It redirects their creation into a special folder.
  http://asepsis.binaryage.com

It solves the issue of my desktop icon arrangement defaulting after each restart, but I'd like to understand why the Finder cannot write to the desktop ?

Once I uninstall Asepsis, the problem comes back! (Asepsis won't be supported for El Capitan.)

This has been driving me insane, please help.

May. 2, 2016

item.227656

Christian Rosentreter

When you use GrandPerspective (which is a simple, but really useful app, IMHO) then make sure to run it once in a while with full rights as the root user. You can do that via Terminal by entering:

sudo /Applications/Grand Perspective.app/Contents/MacOS/GrandPerspective

You'll be surprised how much more huge (and sometimes pointless) files you can find on your hard disk that way. E.g. "/System/Caches/com.apple.coresymbolicationd/data" or "/var/db/systemstats" can be a huge disk space wasters (sometimes a few GiB). But before you delete anything, you better make sure you understand what you delete. ;-)

Jun. 20, 2016

item.229926

Lee Clawson

Given how long it takes the Finder to load icons after a restart I'm surprised to hear there is an icon cache. Does anyone know why it takes so long to load and display icons in a Finder window?

[I assume the problem is that the Finder has to open many tiny files that actually hold the icon data (though I'm not sure where, exactly, that data is stored). I first noticed the problem when trying to run OS X 10.9 on a spinning drive, with which the Finder was shockingly slow. It seemed like some of the delays after a restart were caused by the Finder trying to load icon data for the many files I had on attached disks. Turning off "Show icon preview" in the Finder's "Show View Options" may speed things up. I haven't tried Path Finder, a third-party Finder alternative, lately, but I wonder if that performs better, too.  -Ric Ford]


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