Fuzzy desktop icons

nealt

Registered
ishot-12.jpg

Fuzzy desktop icons
I have been having problems where some of my desktop icons (usually folder icons) are fuzzy. I posted this on the Apple forums but did not get a solution.

I have done the following:
Reinstalled Mac OS.
Removed all login items
deleted com.apple.finder.plist
rebuilt the launch services data base
deleted the .ds restore files
repaired permissions

What does work is:
Using a different user account.
Booting in safe mode.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

Cheryl

Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Since it only happens with one particular user, it could be the desktop preferences or the resolution setting on the monitor. Also check the view options. Changing the size of the icons may work to correct the issue.
 

nealt

Registered
A second monitor shows the same problem. any way why are some icons fine and others are fuzzy? Changing the icon size does not help.
 

Cheryl

Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Nealt,

A second monitor would show the preferences for that user. Check System Preferences and make sure Universal Access is turned off and enhanced contrast is set to normal.
Then in Display panel - click on detect display. It should come up with the recommended resolution.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Absolutely... Make sure that each display that you have is set for native resolution, which will be the highest resolution for each display, listed in the Displays prefs. Are you using Mirroring in Displays/Arrangements tab ? Be sure that's turned off (unchecked)
 

nealt

Registered
The monitor is in native resolution non mirrored mode. Remember some icons are fuzzy others are just fine on the same display. I believe that the problem has something to do with the initial icon creation by the operating system. It makes new icons at much lower resolution.
 

nealt

Registered
Copying and pasting a "good" icon still comes out fuzzy. I don't know any relation to the other problem.
 

Cheryl

Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Is it just the alias icons that are fuzzy? What OS version are you running?

An image will be fuzzy when you enlarge it bigger than the pixelation is set for. And that this happens only with one user, there is a preference setting causing it. Universal Access may be the cause.
 

nealt

Registered
Enclosed is a blown up screenshot of two adjacent folders. Notice how detailed is one but not the other. Even if you blow up the image in Preview you can see a dramatic difference.I know of no preference that would cause two adjacent icons on the same screen in the same window to do this. Universal Access is off.
ishot-13.jpg
 

Cheryl

Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Just to confirm the problem....the ghost like icons only happen to alias folders - not regular folders, and it happens in only one user.

Is this just on the desktop, or does it happen within folders in your home folder as well?
What OS version are you running? Thinking back, was there something you installed right before this started?
 

nealt

Registered
It is now affecting all types of folders where the icons are generated by the system and many but now all newly downloaded application icons. It happens within folders including the home folder.I am running 10.8.4. It started possibly as far back as 10.8.0.
 

Cheryl

Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Mod
I highly recommend that you do install of the 10.8.4 combo from here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1659

Sometimes installing the small updates will corrupt a file that is important. Doing a combo install will put in fresh files and should take care of this issue.
 

Cheryl

Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Then you have something installed for just this one user that is causing the distortion. This is similar to side effects of a prescription. Think back...what did you install before this started? It could possibly be a script, or a terminal command.

Check the entire list of preference files in User Home>Library>Preferences. There might be an orphaned file that you no longer are using the app that it belongs to. Also run Activity Monitor. Anything running that is not Intel based?
 

DeltaMac

Tech
And, you could do a simple reinstall of Mountain Lion, then re-apply all system updates. Mountain Lion would only need a few after a reinstall.

Can you verify that the icon problem exists (or does not exist) when you are logged in to another user?
 

nealt

Registered
I already tried a complete re-install of Mountain Lion. It does not seem to be a problem with another user.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Then, it's certainly something that you have installed on your main user. You could do something like a "divide & conquer" technique to determine what you have installed that causes the problem, or just sort through what you have now for likely culprits. I think you could look for software that installs .kext (drivers, etc) files, or has startup software that runs in the background, such as software that waits for certain actions, such as scanner software, or apps that modify your finder to some degree, such as something like Hazel, or Quicksilver, etc (or something like that)
 

nealt

Registered
Additional steps I have taken.

Cleared out all startup items folders.

Zapped the PRAM.

I have multiple hd on my Mac Pro. HD1 is the one with the problems.
I did a clean install of 10.8.4 on another HD called HD2.
I copied over the System extensions folder from HD2 to HD1. Rebooted and things look fine. Logged out then back in. The fuzzy folder icons are back including my home folder.
 
Top