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I've simply ignored this in the past, but I've always been curious. If I download a new program off the internet and drag it to my applications folder, it shows up as the default missing icon symbol, and doesn't show the actual icon until I have run it a few times, or shut down my mac, or some other similar thing.

What's the reasoning behind this? Is there any way to automatically show newly installed programs' icons?

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This icon is shown to tell you that the program is potentially unsafe because you haven't opened it yet and it was downloaded from the Internet.

The first time you open the app, you'll see a security dialog that says, "App Name" is an application which was downloaded from the Internet. Are you sure you want to open it?"

Once you click Open on that dialog, the app will open and the icon will change to the app's normal icon.
You shouldn't need to restart or anything like that.

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It feels like I need to start it with the "potentially unsafe" icon more than once. I don't get the dialogue more than once, but the icon doesn't change right away. Oh well. – XenElement Jan 2 '12 at 0:47

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