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How to fix programs that were improperly added to the Dock System
In the Spotlight (last page) article in the January 2010 issue of Macworld, John Gruber briefly mentions that he has many friends who have improperly installed applications by dragging the disk image (DMG) file directly to the Dock. However, the Spotlight article did not mention how to fix this problem.

My brother in-law had this problem, and was totally confused why, every time he clicked on his Dock icon, OS X mounted the disk image and showed him the install folder, and then moved on to open the program. For those new to the platform, here's how to solve the problem. (Be sure to back up any program-specific files you'd like to keep before doing this.)

The first thing to do is to remove the Application's icon from the Dock. This is done by dragging it off the Dock until it disappears in a puff of smoke. Now do a Spotlight search (Spotlight is the magnifying glass at the top right of the screen) with the name of the specific troublesome application, and then click on the Show All option at the top of the list.

There you will see a list that will include the application and one or more copies of the DMG file (in my brother-in-law's case, he had two copies of the DMG and three aliases, totaling five copies). Next, you can do one of two things. You can drag the application that you see in that list into the Applications folder, and then open that folder to be sure that it is there (and run it from there). If that didn't work, you probably dragged a DMG file to the Applications folder, and it will open the install folder again. From within the install folder, you can drag the picture of the application directly to the Applications folder. (Many DMGs include an alias of the Applications folder on the disk image, so you can just drag the program onto the alias right next to it.)

One of those two things should fix the problem. After that, I you can get rid of all of the DMG files, so that you never accidentally have the problem again.

[robg adds: John's article isn't online yet that I can see, but it was based on this column from his site. Having worked through this personally with many switchers to the Mac, I agree with John that the concept of a disk image can confuse users, especially those new to the Mac.]
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How to fix programs that were improperly added to the Dock
Authored by: Aeschylus on Dec 28, '09 07:38:06PM

Yes, this can be a very difficult problem for newbies, because they are expecting a complicated installer with each new program. Your technique can be simplified a bit more: instead of removing the Dock icon and then searching for the .dmg file with Spotlight, simply instruct the user to right click (control-click) on the Dock icon and choose the Option "Show in Finder". The .dmg file can then be used to install the program (if it is not already installed in the Applications folder) and then deleted. After this, the Dock icon can be removed. I hope that, even for a newbie, the little puff of smoke that follows is self explanatory.



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How to fix programs that were improperly added to the Dock
Authored by: Anonymous on Dec 29, '09 12:18:17PM

Or command-click.



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What to do with .dmg files
Authored by: MJCube on Dec 28, '09 08:36:54PM

I think it's fine and even a good idea to retain .dmg files in case you want to reinstall something, and the default location in the Downloads folder is sensible. What users need to learn is what a .dmg does, not that they should simply be thrown away.



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How to fix programs that were improperly added to the Dock
Authored by: scooby509 on Dec 29, '09 03:00:48AM

Part of it's also that Windows users are used to having to click any number of times to find their program; think how the Start menu naturally buries all your stuff behind multiple layers of useless folders.

Apple did come up with a fix for this, as I recall, the Internet-enabled disk images, but app developers didn't believe them that it was necessary.

I can't see any good fix for this. After all, regularly opening a disk image is not an unreasonable thing to want to do from the Dock.

The larger problem is that filesystems are fundamentally broken. Even experienced users wind up spending an inordinate amount of time working around filesystem issues. (Especially problems involving moving files between operating systems, permissions, recursive file operations, etc.)



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How to fix programs that were improperly added to the Dock
Authored by: Zeitkind on Dec 29, '09 06:37:07PM

I have removed countless images already from even more experienced users desktops, program folders, the dock and elsewhere. Esp. "tools" like Firefox, Cyberduck and such are often launched that way and I still wonder, how well they work nevertheless..
But well, ReadMe!'s are only for wimps..



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