Macs/Apples/Disappearing icons



My system is OS X Yosemite, 10.10.3.

For no apparent reason three random icons have disappeared from the dock, and also from the Applications folder.  The names of the applications are still there - Photos, System Preferences and Microsoft's Word - and the programme still opens when I click the empty space.  All the icons are still in the Launchpad icon, but I don't seem to be able to move those into the dock.

Yosemite is running on a five-year-old 17" MacBook Pro which had to have another hard disk installed early last year and which otherwise has been working fine.  I also have a more recent 13" version where the icons on the dock are intact.

You might well ask why bother when I can still open the applications! The reason is that I find it annoying, don't know how it happened, and, as with all things Mac, feel that there must be a reason for the disappearances.  Also, I don't want it to keep happening!

Hoping that you can help!


ANSWER: Leone,
Thanks for writing! Although I don't know why these icons have disappeared only to replace them with blank space, I can try to help you resolve it.

What happens when you right click (or control click) the empty space? Do you get options? If so, I would try to remove from dock, and then re-add to the dock by dragging back in from the applications folder.

It would also help if you would include a screen shot.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


When I Control/click on the empty space I do get Options, but when I choose the "remove from the dock" option, the name also disappears, and the space closes up.  This is all very well, but I still don't have the icons in the Application folder, and, as I said before, I cannot use the icons in the launchpad - they just don't move.

I have 2 screen shots: (not sure that these have uploaded - they don't show up anywhere.It would be so much easier with an email.

The first is a shot of the Dock, showing the blank space for Photos, and the residual name.  Have tried to create icons - I get the icon with a small black arrow, or, in the case of photos, all I seem to get is something called Photos alias. Also, the icon for Microsoft Word looks like the Safari icon.  I have probably done too much fiddling!!

Let me know if the screen shots haven't loaded, and I can send them via email.

Thanks for your quick reply!


screenshot-sys prfs
screenshot-sys prfs  
Thanks for following up.  I don't see the screenshots, but you can email to:

It certainly does sound like you've done some fiddling.  You said these icons aren't available for you to add to the dock?

System Preferences, Photos, and Microsoft Office (as a folder) should be located in /Applications (see attached screenshot).
To add them to the dock, you need only drag and drop them into the dock.  Please let me know if this works.  


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Ed Dyer


I don't answer Mac OS 9 questions anymore, thank you. Current Tech: Mac OS X 10.4 - 10.8, Some shell scripting, cron, Mac OS X Server 10.2-10.6, AD-OD Integration, Automator, Word Press Blogging, All CURRENT Mac models, iLife '09 and previous, iWork '09 and previous, Apple Remote Desktop, WiFi, iOS jailbreaking/unlocking, some MS SharePoint (design, not development) Devices: iPhone(original-4s) & iPad(through 3rd gen), AppleTV(all models), Airport Express, Time Capsule Old Skool, meaning I have this experience as a base, but don't answer questions on it anymore: Mac OS Environment 7.5.3-OS 9 (please upgrade for pete's sake!), PowerBook G3/G4(all models), Mac/Windows Networking, PowerPC 604-G4 desktop models, Outlook 2001, Photoshop 7 and previous, Flash MX, Dreamweaver MX Mac OS X Public Beta-10.4, all Windows Server operating systems and use. Dabbler: Newton 2100 w/ WiFi and NSync, Yellow Dog Linux, Suse Linux (PPC), Ubuntu Linux, Vista Business


I worked in IT for ten years with a specialty in Macintosh technologies and Project Management.
I've worked with the Macintosh Operating system and various machines since my first PowerMac 8500 running Mac OS 7.5.3 in 1996. I support my friends and family in keeping their Macs healthy and upgraded. Now I use a MacBook Pro for our home media network and we're pretty much down to iPads and iPhones for daily use.
Most important: I've also worked on PCs for a number of years with various flavors of Windows(95,98,NT4,2000,2000Server,2K3Server,SBS 2K3Server,Mil,XPHome,XPPro, Vista Business), but I've always used the Mac as my platform of preference.
Publications : VPNs and Outlook(2001)

Mac OS X Certification Alliance, Linked In

Publications : VPNs and Outlook

I'm an Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) through 10.4 and have the lower certs as well (ACTC for 10.1 - 10.6), an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist for 10.3 (ACHDS) and a member of the Apple Consultants Network, as well as an Apple Product Professional for 2002-2009.
I have an MCP cert. from MS as well...

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Navy Federal Credit Union (Washington, D.C.) Whole Foods Market (Mid Atlantic Region) Army Times (Washington, D.C.) Children's National Medical Center (Washington, D.C.) Dodge Communications (ATL) ...and a plethora of All Coveredô clients throughout the United States of America (now a part of Konica Minolta)

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