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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 21, 2011
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    moving apps around?
    Hi all,

    Just heard somewhere that it is bad to move applications from the applications folder (sidebar) to for example the desktop; can anybody tell me why? will it mess up my osx? because i'd like to have some on my desktop...

    Grateful for any advise!

    ps. my first post on macforums! hihi ;-)

  2. #2

    MYmacROX's Avatar
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    Simple explanation. It's 3 yrs old but applicable.

    A solution for you would be to create an alias (think Windows shortcuts) for each App you want and put the alias on your desktop.
    64GB iPhone 6, 64GB iPad Air 2.

    Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.

  3. #3

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Or, you could use the Dock, as that's one of the things it's intended for.

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    Yeah, I do use the dock. it's just old habits, you know... A-ha: I did not know about shortcuts in osx. Great!

    Just out of curiosity, would it mess up my macbook if I did move the apps out of the Applications Folder?

    Thank you very much!

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    From what I've experienced.

    Depends on the application, some of them may have certain errors while using. As the application wouldnt knows where to find it's files.. Example update.

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    They won't update, some of them won't launch, they may not put their support files in the right place and basically it's a really dumb thing to do*, so don't do it. Use aliases if you like.

    *Five reasons why putting anything on the desktop (other than temporarily) is dumb:
    1. It looks unprofessional. Sooner or later you are going to need or want to show off your screen in public. Don't look like a five-year-old who can't clean his room.

    2. It hides your beautiful wallpaper/desktop picture. Why on earth would you want to do that?

    3. It breeds sloppiness. One file leads to more files, before long you have tons of files on there, can't find anything and have to use workarounds to get anything done.

    4. It slows the machine down. Large quantities of files on the desktop will actually consume processor resources, since the desktop (unlike the rest of the computer) is updated constantly.

    5. Too easy to accidentally throw something away. If you throw away an alias by accident, who cares? But if you throw away the original app and don't notice till you've emptied the trash, that can cause major havoc -- since it will always happen at the worst possible time.

    There's nothing wrong with using aliases on the desktop if you want, or the dock, or temporarily putting a downloaded or dragged file on the desktop for immediate use. But for the reasons I've mentioned and many others, UNIX (the foundation of OS X) does impose a LITTLE BIT of structure on us in order to run more efficiently. Respect the structure and keep your desktop clean.

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    4. It slows the machine down. Large quantities of files on the desktop will actually consume processor resources, since the desktop (unlike the rest of the computer) is updated constantly.
    If you have a huge number (and we're talking in the hundreds, here.) of images or documents on your desktop, and if you have document previewing turned on, then you might see a perceptible decrease in performance. You won't see any decrease if all you have on the desktop are folders, aliasses, or applications, though. Or if you have icon previewing off.

    There's nothing wrong with using aliases on the desktop if you want, or the dock, or temporarily putting a downloaded or dragged file on the desktop for immediate use. But for the reasons I've mentioned and many others, UNIX (the foundation of OS X) does impose a LITTLE BIT of structure on us in order to run more efficiently. Respect the structure and keep your desktop clean.
    Yes, having anything on the Desktop is a very "classic Mac" way of doing things; it dates back to the days when Apple believed that a Mac should acquiesce to whatever the user wanted. This required a lot of effort on Apple's part, since files could be anywhere and the system had to work hard to make sure that it could locate files even after the user moved them or renamed them.

    Today's OS X, like iOS, has its rigid structure, and generally works best when the user sits back and lets the OS work the way the developers intended.

  8. #8

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    1. Not really
    2. Place them strategically
    3. If you're a slob
    4. Yes, but a few won't matter
    5. True, but there's a better reason not to put an original app on the Desktop.

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    1. Yes, really.
    2. That's avoiding the problem, not solving it.
    3. Or lazy, like me!
    4. True
    5. Yes, I outlined them before I started the five-point list.


  10. #10


    Member Since
    Jun 22, 2011
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    Just Wait for the new OS X Lion (Coming in July)..
    Your problem will be solved.

  11. #11

    hw96Lgb's Avatar
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    Buy apptivate, to get a simple shortcut manager.

    Alfred is free and probably even better. You won't have to search for an app ever again.

    Keep those apps safe in their folder.
    The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.
    -Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Father of Modern Rocketry

  12. #12

    EvenStranger's Avatar
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    As chas said above, some apps it'll affect, others it won't. The Microsoft Office files want to be in the MS Office folder with all their supporting files. Moving Word to the desktop will generate an error when it's launched. Similarly, if Safari's on the desktop, and Apple releases an update to Safari, it's going to look in the Applications folder for it, and not finding it (as it's on the desktop), will install a second, newer, version in Applications. You'll continue to run the older one from the desktop.

  13. #13


    Member Since
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    Further tip I didn't mention before: just drag the Applications folder to the (right side of) the Dock. Right-click to change icon to "folder," arrange by name, and voila! Every single app you own, now literally two clicks away.

  14. #14

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    1. Yes, really.


    Oh, ok. Twice beats once. You must be right.

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