My Mac has received a new Relocated Items folder after every OS update since March 8th, 2020. This was around the time I upgraded to Big Sur I think. If I delete the shortcut, it'll just come back after the next OS update.
I have seen several threads related to this issue, but none so far have been particularly helpful in solving the actual problem.
Most threads say this can be simply deleted and ignored. However, I am getting this Relocated Items after every update, which seems unusual since I'm not modifying the files between each update. If I delete the shortcut or folders in the parent folder, they will just reappear after my next system update. So far I have had to live with the shortcut always being on my desktop, which is particularly unhelpful as I'm no longer checking it to see if anything actually important will go there, it is just taking up space. I just checked and I now have 20 "Previously Relocated Items" folders, all with the same contents.
Therefore, I'm hoping to move beyond just ignoring the files, and instead actually resolving the underlying conflict(s) to stop this file re-creation from happening.
The Relocated Items
The folder tree inside the many Relocated Items folders all contains three files under Configuration:
Using some research from other threads, I ran a diff comparison these three files to their matching files in /etc (without .system_default). The differences vary between the files.
Unlike paths and shells, the groups.system_default doesn't have any changes that I recognize. That said, this is also seemingly the most common file found in Relocated Items. The only difference between the two groups files is that the /etc/groups file doesn't have the
Will adding this line into the /etc/groups file prevent this "Relocated Item" from happening on each update, and is it safe to do this?
Paths and Shells
The paths.system_default file is the same as /etc/paths, but /etc/paths also has another directory:
/Users/<username>/platform-tools. This I recognize to be the Android platform tools that I installed at one time.
Similarly, shells.system_default is missing the
/usr/local/bin/bash line, but that line is still in /etc/paths. I do remember after an upgrade having to switch from zsh back to BASH, so this makes some sense.
What I don't understand is that in both of these cases, the updated files are still in their normal locations (/etc/paths and /etc/shells), but the files in Relocated Items are missing the changes that I made. My understanding of Relocated Items is that it is a backup changes I made that were replaced by macOS, but this seems to be the other way around.
What should I do in this case to prevent these two unneeded Relocated Items files? I would like to keep platform-tools in my PATH, and also to continue using BASH. Do I need to remove those changes from the /etc/paths and /etc/shells, and re-add them some other way?