Friday, March 25, 2011

What is This American Flag Icon in My Dock on My Mac?

Awhile back I decided to put a folder of Applications into my Dock on my Mac to enable accessing applications from one spot.  To add a folder to the Dock you drag the folder’s icon from an open Finder window into a position on the right-hand side of the dashed line of the Dock. You can move it to a new position by dragging it sideways. The adjacent items will move to make room for the folder.

You can then click on the Applications folder in the Dock to reveal the myriad of applications and folders you wish to access that are neatly stored in one place.

After several months I noticed that the icon on that Applications folder had somehow turned into an American Flag icon.   I tried to ignore this, hoping that my Mac had NOT been hijacked by some alien virus.  Knowing that Mac's don't easily get virus, if at all, I decided to take a moment this morning to clean up some of the many other icons that had been placed in my Dock.

Checking the Applications folder revealed that the first item in the folder (arranged alphabetically) was an educational application named 50 States and Capitals that had an American Flag icon This was my first clue.  When I removed that application from the Application folder, the icon on the Dock, changed to the Address Book icon.

I decided to create a second folder called Extra Programs.   As I often download applications that I wish to try out and possibly find useful, my Dock seems to accumulate a multitude of applications that at the time intrigued me, but are seldom used.  I decided to find the original applications for these Alias application icons located in my Dock and to put the originals in this newly created folder.  Using the Finder window to search for the originals, went smoothly and I dragged them from the Finder window to the new folder.  Then I moved the Extra Programs folder into the Dock and noticed that the icon for that folder became the same as the first application (alphabetical) in that folder - the American Flag icon.   I had placed the 50 States and Capitals application into this Extra Programs folder. 

Reminder - Solutions to problems are often found in preferences or options for the items or applications that you are trying to fix.

I decided to view the options for the folder by clicking on the folder as I also held down the control key on the keyboard.  I noticed when I used the control click when selecting the Extra Programs folder that Stack in the drop down  menu was selected for the Display As option.  This was my second clue.

I then selected Folder as a choice for the Display As option and this fixed my American Flag icon problem.  Now my Dock displays a folder icon for the Applications and Extra Programs folders.   

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