When I right-click the Downloads folder in the dock, and select Open "Downloads", instead of the expected thing happening, an app launches.

The app is one I created myself using Automator. And it is on the Desktop. I can move it anywhere and rename it, but this doesn't fix the problem.

Other steps taken to resolve:

  • reboot -> not fixed
  • switch user to guest account -> fixed
  • delete the app -> fixed
  • zip the app, delete the original -> fixed
  • unzip the app -> unfixes itself!

Might be relevant:

  • I use Quicksilver, but behaviour occurs even when QS is not running

System info: Yosemite 10.10.3

Why is this is a problem? Because I want to create Automator apps without them being launched by right-clicking the downloads folder in the dock.

Edit: This is the workflow of the app that launches:

app workflow

  • I think we'd need details of what the Automator app is supposed to do, pics of the workflow etc; somehow it's been set to launch that way
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 4:45
  • Good point. I have included a screen shot of the workflow. To your question, the app takes the current folder as input and creates a dated folder there.
    – MG_
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 5:10
  • 1
    Hmm… really not sure. Nothing that jumps out. I'd be tempted to have a poke around in RCDefaultApp (freeware) - Apps & UTIs tabs & see if you can see what's assigned to it
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 5:19
  • 1
    Wow good tip! After poking around in the UTI's tab, "public.folder" was assigned to my Automator app. Once I reassigned it to Finder, it's fixed!
    – MG_
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 7:19
  • Nice find! Glad you got it.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 8:36

1 Answer 1


Answer for my own question...

I mistakenly changed the default application for opening folders (!) away from Finder to an application of my own creation. I didn't know this was even possible! Needless to say this had some weird side effects, like the problem I originally described. But I figured it out – I mucked up my system with an erroneous QuickSilver command.

I'm always creating dated folders, so I created an Automator app that, given the current folder, would create a folder within using the date as the name.

When teamed with QuickSilver's "Current Selection" trigger, the app becomes useful. I can call my "create-dated-folder.app" from the current folder, using "Open with..." in Quicksilver's second pane, and my app in the third. Works great.

My mistake was, instead of "Open with", I once chose "Always Open With", which changed system settings I didn't know existed – it changed the default application for the "public.folder" UTI from Finder to my Automator app. Then the weirdness began, like if I chose "Open Examples Folder" from Automator's help menu, my app would be invoked. I really had no idea what was going on!

Brilliant tip from to Tetsujin who suggested RCDefaultApp would be worth investigating.

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