Desktop Icons


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I've had my iMac for about three years. On my desktop I have a number of shortcuts to my most regularly used files. The icons normally show a black/white image + the name of the file + an abbreviation of the application (i.e. XLSX ).
So far, so normal. However, yesterday all the icons came up in colour with the application logo. Today it's back to black/white again.
I rather liked the coloured icons and would like them back.
1. Why did they suddenly appear?
2. How can I get them back?
 
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What Mac OS are you using? And, have you done any recent upgrades to any of your software, including the Mac OS?

Also, are you making backups to an external device?
 
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OSX 10.95
Can't remember any recent upgrades.
Not using any other devices for backups.
Also, I am not any sort of computer expert (as my question would indicate).
I just use the thing!
 
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You really need to start making backups. And, it is important/beneficial to try and learn as much as you can about using Macs.

Again, Backups are critical, as is disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs.

I always think of the comparison between Macs and Toyotas. I have a 2013 Toyota Camry, one of the most reliable cars ever made. In fact, I remember when I purchased one in 1996, the typical saying was "trouble-free car". That was/is certainly true, but still one needs to do some basic "things" themselves, like checking tire pressure pressure, changing windshield wipers, knowing the location (or locations) of fuses, etc. And of course making sure to maintain the vehicle with regular scheduled maintenance. Well, Macs are no different.
 
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Sorry Guys, I don't have the vaguest idea what you're talking about.
On Sunday it was A. On Monday it was B. On Tuesday it was back to A.
I didn't do anything. Nothing else has changed. What, in simple English, is going on?
 
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The thought is your issue has to do with software. There are tools that can be used to try and isolate the problem, but they involve "operating" on your internal hard drive. There is always the risk that something could go wrong with such detective work, and that is why backups are both imperative and critical. Unless someone has had the same exact issue as you, trying to come up with a solution is difficult. Even with that being the case, a backup is still necessary.

Yesterday I had an issue that came up for the first time on my Mac Mini. Yet, with just about everything being the same, the issue did not arise on my other Mac (a 13" MacBook Air). No matter how much detective work I did, I still could not isolate nor get rid of the issue. So, I would up booting from my most recent backup (done 2 days earlier), Erasing and Re-formatting the SSD inside my Mac Mini, and proceeded to to a clean, "virgin" installation of El Capitan. I then recovered everything else I needed from the backup, and when I re-booted the machine, the issue was gone (and has not re-appeared). Having the backup definitely saved my bacon, so to speak!

What you need to do (even if this problem gets resolved) is to purchase an external drive, and start making frequent backups to it. You also need to develop a plan to perform disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs on a frequent basis, so as to keep your Mac "lean and clean". If you decide not to do any of that, you are asking for trouble.
 
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Thanks.
This is obviously far more technical a problem than I expected so I'll just settle for what I've had for three years.
 

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John just before you go, can you upload a screenshot of these icons? if you can upload the b/w icons this would be helpful. otherwise just whatever you see today is fine.
 
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Thanks but I'll stick with what I've got. It's easier & it works - never a bad combination!
 

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