Try a BIGGER hammerThe Essential Mac


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Rebuild your desktop

What is the desktop?

The desktop is part of your computer's internal filing system. The desktop information is actually stored in two invisible desktop files (Desktop DB and Desktop DF). The Desktop file/database holds all the information necessary to associate each file with the application that created it. It lets the system know what application should be launched when you open a given file and what icons it should display where. Depending on its size each application has one or more representatives in the desktop file. As applications and files move on and off your hard disk, the Desktop file must keep track of all this relocation — that can leave the Desktop file bloated and it can become corrupted. Every so often it's necessary to start with a clean slate. You do that by rebuilding the desktop.

What does rebuilding the desktop do?

By rebuilding the desktop, your Mac recompiles all of the desktop information, giving your computer's filing system a fresh start.

How do you rebuild the desktop

Restart while holding down the OPTION + COMMAND keys. This is simple, painless and only takes a couple of minutes. You should rebuild the desktop once per month and after every major software installation or upgrade. This is the solution to a host of troubleshooting symptoms — and probably the most frequent recommendation given out by the technicians who answer the phone at 1-800-SOS-APPLE (Apple Computer's Tech Support hot line).

Are you sure you want o rebuild the desktop file?


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