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I use LaunchBar and it sometimes loses the custom icon. I have asked the vendor for support and will answer should I get an answer, but I wondered if I could find a cause or fix for missing icon previews on the OS level.

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What's super odd is that Finder and the macOS app switcher show the correct icons - just LaunchBar 6 Version 6.9.4 seems to be dropping the icons. I'm seeing this on 10.12.6 and 10.13.x and the issue persists after a reboot.

Is there an icon services API or subsystem that could need rebuilding or is this just a third party issue where the tool needs a fix or reset?

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Well - it turns out LaunchBar was reporting things as they are and Finder and the rest of the systems started dropping the icons to match what this utility was showing.

I have recovered from the failure by rebuilding the launch services database.

The short command is lsregister -kill -seed and here's the full path

  /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -seed

This still hasn't figured out why they went wrong, but it's a rebuild step that can be taken once the number of "broken" icons become aggravating. This is very odd to me since the lsregister command used to be vey handy when duplicate open as records were present, but I didn't have that symptom here. Also, typically cleaning icon caches in /var/folders and then performing a safe boot. That's not something I ever liked contemplating and was very happy to not have to resort to trying that in this case.

  • This is not a permanent solution, I'm seeing icons go missing in Finder app switching and list view (small mini icons) on almost a daily basis. Something is clearly up, and I will edit / update this answer as i discover what version or update has fix as opposed to just recovering / rebuilding the database on a daily basis. – bmike May 9 '18 at 21:50

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