I'm unfamiliar with classic Mac OS, and I wanted to make Finder easier to reach, so I moved it to the desktop. I didn't realize that this would make Finder inaccessible to the system! Since then, my computer won't boot into Mac OS. Instead, it shows the Finder logo and a question mark, which makes sense considering.

What's the best way to move finder back where it belongs so I can boot into Mac OS?

I had the idea that I could try to boot to a Mac OS 9 install image and access my hard drive that way. I have a MacBook Pro from 2020 and a USB stick, but I don't have a CD burner. I haven't had any luck trying to boot from the live USB.

1 Answer 1


What you did, just moving the Finder out of the System Folder can be reversed, if you have some bootable media you can boot the iBook from.

It has been a l o o o o o n g time since I had to do this but the CD/DVD that shipped with the system may boot you into a usable GUI that allows you to move the Finder back to its needful location inside the System Folder.

Failing that you can use the installer on that media to reinstall (EG repair) the system on that drive, boot it normally and then discard, the now unnecessary, Finder file on the desktop.

Note that there are a number of files that you should never move out of the system folder. And while there are other files you should not move, "Finder" and "System" are two at the top of that list.

...now, if you ever need help installing memory in an SE/30... ;-)

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