The Mysterious Case of Missing OS X Lion Icon Images

The Mysterious Case of Missing OS X Lion Icon Images

Range Govindan
Aug 2, 2011

With many Mac users now playing around with Apple's recently released OS X Lion, we're all getting used to all the updates. But sometimes these new additions can lead to strange additions...and subtractions. We don't know why or how, but we noticed that our Applications icon from the dock had gone missing since updating. Here's how to get it back, in a few different ways...

There are two different ways to recover missing dock icon images. The first is quite easy and straightforward, while the second option is best reserved for when you just can't handle change.

Basically, if you delete or mislay your Applications icon from the dock (not a big deal in OS X Lion, since you can easily access the Launchpad by using a four-fingered pinch), when you go into replace it you'll discovr the icon will be slightly different since by default; OS X will now display Applications as a stack. The stack shows the first app that's listed in a sort of preview image on your dock. This can be helpful or annoying, depending on what your predilection is.

We personally didn't like it because it showed the Address Book app on top. No matter what you do, you can't easily change this unless you adjust the following setting. This only happens with stacks; if you right-click on your Applications icon on your dock, then select -> 'Display as Folder', then the Applications icon goes back to it's previous state.

If this doesn't work, then we've found another way of doing this:
1. Open up Finder and select Applications.
2. Press 'Get Info' from the right-click menu.
3. On your desktop, create a new folder and name it '0'.
4. Press 'Get info' as well
5. Unlock the Applications folder by clicking the padlock on the bottom right. You'll have to enter your password.
6. On the top part of the 'Get info' pane, select the image of the folder in the Applications folder.
7. There should be a blue halo around it. Transfer it over to the new '0' folder.
8. Close the panes.
9. Put the '0' folder in your Applications folder, either in the dock or the Finder.
10. Now, no matter what you use, your default preview on the Applications icon should be the 'A' of Applications.

If you've customized some of your folders icons, with custom images and want to go back to the default image, then you can also use the 'Get info' pane to do this. If this is for an icon on the dock, then here's how to do this.

1. Select your icon and bring it from the dock to the desktop.
2. Right-click and press 'Get info'.
3. Unlock the padlock on the bottom right if needed with your password.
4. Select the image on the top left of the 'Get info' pane.
5. There should be a blue halo around it.
6. Press 'Delete' or 'Del'.
7. Your icon should go back to the default view.
8. Now bring it back to the dock.
9. If it doesn't change immediately, your Mac might have to be restarted.

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(All photos by Range)

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