Downloads folder problems in Snow Leopard (10.6.8)


I can no longer open my Downloads folder by clicking on the Dock icon. When I tried to, a question mark (in bold type) appeared in front of the icon and the folder name that appeared had "17-19-06" added; ie, it said "Downloads 17-19-06" instead of just "Downloads".

After two or three days of this, the Dock icon has now disappeared, with the aforementioned question mark appearing in its place. The same "Downloads 17-19-06" name appears when I hover the cursor near the question mark.

In both cases I am still able to access the Downloads folder via Finder.
Have you moved your Downloads folder out of its original location?

Replace the non-working Downloads icon by dragging the existing one out the dock. It will disappear in a "poof"
Go to the normal location for the Downloads folder, which would be in your user/home folder, and drag that folder to your dock. A new icon will be created there.
If you have, in fact, moved your original Downloads to another location - for example, the desktop, then you can still move the folder to the dock, to make a working icon there.
Thanks for you suggestion, DeltaMac, though first of all, I hadn't done anything to the original Dock icon or to the actual Downloads folder.

My only niggle, for what it is worth, with this solution is that, in my case at least, it provides in effect a transparent folder (the top document is on display) rather than the original opaque blue one with a downloads motif.

Finally, I guess the peculiar addition of the question mark and the number to the original Dock icon name didn't mean anything to you? I was concerned it might be some hacking joker's calling card . . .
The question mark just means that the Dock's icon has (somehow) lost link to the actual folder that it represented.
The extra number that appeared is an occasional occurrence when links are misplaced
Probably nothing you did, and little more than the occasional glitch in the system. Likely not anything that you did (or anyone else, for that matter). You COULD, if you wish, do a hard drive repair by booting to your SL installer DVD, and running Disk Utility/Disk Repair, just to test if the drive's directory is still working properly
Removing the non-working icon, and dragging a new one in usually is all you need to do.

If you don't want a file icon to mask the Downloads icon in the dock(the most recent addition to your downloads folder, as far as I know), then just Right-click on that Downloads folder in your dock. Under Display As, change from Stack to Folder, and the icon will change back to your normal folder icon. "Stacks" is the default for an added folder icon in the Dock, which also shows the file icon, which changes as you add new files to downloads. "Folder" will then just show the Folder icon.
Thank you once more for your attention, DeltaMac. I'm afraid I make as little use of my computer's features as I do those of my camera.

Display as 'Folder' instead of 'Stack'; aarghh . . . So much to learn; so little time . . .

I will do a disk repair, for the sake of it. It's a relief to know I haven't been hacked.