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Ask Max: Missing applications in the Applications folder

Asked on 12/05/2007:

Have been unable to find an answer to this one.

Originally when I double clicked my hard drive icon and then clicked on the triangle next to the Applications folder I got a complete alphabetical list of all my applications. Suddenly this is not happening. Now, when I double click the Hard Drive icon and then the triangle on the Applications folder I get a list of about 1/4 of the applications list.

If I double click the Applications icon on a Finder window I get the complete list. NONE of the applications is actually missing, only the list that is supposed to appear when I click on the arrow to display them.

I set up a new ™Standard™ account and tried the same thing when I signed in under it. The results are the same. Suggestions please.


Missing items from the list view when those items are still on your computer is a strange problem. I have seen the Mac OS fail to draw all items in a list but that will always leave a big white space where the items are supposed to be. That problem is often fixed by using the scroll-bar on the right to move the blank space in and out of view. You may have to shrink the window so that only a portion of the list is visible. Then you can scroll up and down.

It sounds like you are having a different problem than what I have described above. In your case I would expect that it could be a file permissions problem. To fix file permissions go to Disk Utility in your Utilities folder. Select your hard drive and then click on the Repair Disk Permissions button under the First Aid tab. After it is done running, restart your Mac and see if you still have the same problems.

After that, if some items are still missing, make sure that you have not inadvertently moved your missing applications to a folder inside the Applications folder. I have seen some cases were half the applications were in the Office 2004 folder and a turned down triangle in one view would show everything but in another window the folder was not expanded to show everything.

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