For some reason I drag any of the icons on my Desktop. They are stuck. This is happening not only on my desktop, but also in all my other folders. I've checked "Show View Options" and set the order to "none." I've also set "Sort by" to none. I've checked the privileges on my Desktop and everything seems to look normal (I can read and write my desktop.) I don't want to restart my computer cause I'm in the middle of backing it up on an external hard drive. From the few minutes of surfing through forums I found that this is problem is not unheard of, but I wasn't able to find a solution. Any suggestions?

BTW, I'm running Mavericks 10.9.2

  • Create a new administrative user account. Test the behavior on it and see if still occurs. Additionally, by "stuck" do you mean they "snap to grid" or they are literally stuck wherever you drag and drop them?
    – njboot
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 4:31
  • they were literally stuck. Don't move at all.
    – luca590
    Commented May 24, 2014 at 22:32
  • I've seen individual icons getting stuck on my desktop, or rather stuck on top of all windows, due to some bug with launchpad half-click-half-dragging. The fix for that is to start terminal and run killall Dock ...but "all my other folders". Probably not the same problem.
    – Harry Wood
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


This sounds like you have messed up your permissions.

To restore them use the

Make sure that all the permissions are correct on your home folder.
You can use the ACL tool on the Recovery HD to do this:

  1. Boot into the Recovery HD using ⌘R.
  2. Run resetpassword in Terminal (available from Utilities → Terminal).
  3. Select your account from the drop-down list.
  4. Click the Reset button for Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs.

Source: grgarside: https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/110346/

Unfortunately this method does require reboot.

  • I'll try that and let you know how it goes.
    – luca590
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 1:31
  • could not boot into recovery mode without firmware password (which I don't have)
    – luca590
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 4:23

Restarted my computer and now things work fine. Still don't know exactly why my icons stopped working.

  • How did you do that without knowing the firmware password?
    – Ruskes
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 8:10
  • I just turned my computer on and then off... I wasn't able to boot into Recovery HD or run "resetpassword" or "Reset Home Directory... ACLs." I just turned it off and then on again.
    – luca590
    Commented May 24, 2014 at 22:31

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