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Mac OS - Finder icons broken

Engaged ,
Feb 15, 2019

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On my mac, OS 10.13.6 (although this has been happening for years now), icons appear broken. Instead I get the generic "tif" icon. This is more than just an annoyance. It has a significant impact on productivity as a graphics professional, and I'd like to understand how to fix it. And pardon me if this is an old issue, but it's been forever that this is happening, and solving this problem would really help my business work flow.

I showed this image in a Mac forum, and was immediately treated like a newbie and told by several people that this is not an Apple issue, but an Adobe issue. But I reset the default program for tifs to be "preview" and restarted, and that does not solve the issue. I've also on several occasions, if not more, gone and deleted the finder plst file and rebooted, as well as relaunching finder, and nothing helps.

How can I fix this issue? Any ideas?

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 10.27.11 AM.JPG

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Mac OS - Finder icons broken

Engaged ,
Feb 15, 2019

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On my mac, OS 10.13.6 (although this has been happening for years now), icons appear broken. Instead I get the generic "tif" icon. This is more than just an annoyance. It has a significant impact on productivity as a graphics professional, and I'd like to understand how to fix it. And pardon me if this is an old issue, but it's been forever that this is happening, and solving this problem would really help my business work flow.

I showed this image in a Mac forum, and was immediately treated like a newbie and told by several people that this is not an Apple issue, but an Adobe issue. But I reset the default program for tifs to be "preview" and restarted, and that does not solve the issue. I've also on several occasions, if not more, gone and deleted the finder plst file and rebooted, as well as relaunching finder, and nothing helps.

How can I fix this issue? Any ideas?

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 10.27.11 AM.JPG

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 15, 2019

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Hi. This is an old bug in MacOS (since 10.11.x). It's supposed that it was already solved. Try coping a couple of file to a computer with the last version of MacOS and check it.

Marlon Ceballos.

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Engaged ,
Feb 15, 2019

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I have 5 macs here, the latest OS being Mojave, and it's the same on all macs, so this is not a solved issue.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 15, 2019

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I have 10.13.6 on my 2012 MBP and no problem displaying tiffs.

One trick I use on a Finder Window is to reduce, then increase thumbnail size using the thumbnail slider that I can activate by pressing "Cmd /"  As soon as I see them build, I increase the size.

Another idea:

Ensure Finder "Show preview" options are checked If the problem seems to be with documents in a specific folder or on the Desktop, it may be that the view settings for that folder have been reverted. The default options for folders are to have document previews visible, but corruption in the ".DS_Store" file that contains these settings might prevent the previews from being enabled. For the affected folder, users should ensure it is in the foreground as the active window, and then from the Finder's "View" menu select "Show View Options". Then select the option to "Show icon preview" and close the options window.

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Engaged ,
Feb 15, 2019

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Yes, I've done this all along

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 15, 2019

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Let's try this: Open a tiff in Photoshop, make a "non-destructive change" such as clicking a layer eyeball off and on. That effectively changes the file and you can resave it thereby rebuilding it. If it still doesn't work, check Image Pyramid in the Tiff Options and try again.

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Engaged ,
Feb 16, 2019

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I have done this. I've done this for entire directories too, and I can get the previews to come back. But give it a day or two, and they revert to showing the generic Tif icon.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 16, 2019

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I see. This is really stubborn. About the closest I can advise is to use Bridge CC to display your tiff thumbnails. Bridge can organize your tiffs into collections no matter where they are your drive. You can also filter by keywords, rankings and keywords. Not perfect as I think Bridge opens them up in Adobe products.

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Engaged ,
Feb 27, 2019

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You are correct. I have found this a work around, but I really dislike using bridge. It's an extra step, and I have issues with how it works, or doesn't work.... but alas, when I absolutely have to use bridge to workaround this bug, I have put it in my menu bar so it's easily accessible.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 15, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/bellevue+scott  wrote


I showed this image in a Mac forum, and was immediately treated like a newbie and told by several people that this is not an Apple issue, but an Adobe issue.

Hi Scott,

It would be an Adobe issue if it happened in Bridge, but an Apple image when it happens in the Finder, imho.

It is working for me in 10.13.6 (High Sierra). Cmd+J on a Finder window brings up View Options or use the View menu as Gene said.

Confirm your associations for tifs / tiffs with Cmd + I on any file. I have Preview set as the Default for tiffs and jpegs and then use the right mouse > open with to open in PS (or use Bridge).

You might also look at some of the ideas here:

https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/182536/why-cant-i-see-thumbnails-in-the-finder

~ Jane

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Engaged ,
Feb 15, 2019

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Icon preview is checked, and always has been. And again, this is across multiple machines I have with varying OS versions, and they all have this issue, even the one with Mojave.

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Engaged ,
Feb 15, 2019

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Somebody marked this as the correct answer, but it is not the correct answer as it does not solve the issue. It was helpful, and a good supposition, but not "correct". How do I unmark this thread as "answered". It's not correct, and it's not answered.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 15, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/bellevue+scott  wrote

Somebody marked this as the correct answer, but it is not the correct answer as it does not solve the issue. It was helpful, and a good supposition, but not "correct". How do I unmark this thread as "answered". It's not correct, and it's not answered.

Hi Scott, this is what Jive (the forum software) says, but any moderator can unmark it. I'll do that now for you.

~ Jane

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Engaged ,
Feb 15, 2019

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🙂 Thank you Jane. Still looking for an answer to this on both this forum and on Apple's website forum. I know this has been a long standing issue since I think 10.11.X where Adobe and Apple both point fingers at each other, but it's become so debilitating I can't ignore it. The other day I spent two hours opening and closing files to look for a client image because I can't see a preview, and then two days later, all those icons have again reverted back to broken icons. As someone who generates nothing but graphics files and is in the Adobe suite all day long, this has become a real issue that's costing me real time and money.

Also just upgraded my main machine to 10.14.x and no change. I'm on Adobe Cloud 2019 for all my Adobe apps.

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New Here ,
Feb 19, 2019

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I have the same horrible problem and I can't find any solution either. I just contact apple service and they said the same: Adobe issue We have to wait for the app update.

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Engaged ,
Feb 27, 2019

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This is why I created this thread really. This is an old problem, and for years Adobe and Apple blame each other. But it's a serious issue for graphics professionals that search by image and not file name. I need to see those thumbnails, and I feel like both Apple and Adobe have really abandoned the professional graphics community and don't really care about serious issues like this.

So I  created a new thread starting 2019, so users who have this issue can search for and find a recent thread about this issue, with other users saying they have the same issue, and that after many years now, it's still an issue.

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New Here ,
Sep 06, 2020

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I had this problem, of jpeg icons instead of images, and thought it was a finder issue only.  But

when I realized that the icons were all from PS, I went PS preferences and unchecked "icon"

and checked "thumbnail".  Now anything saved from PS shows the image thumbnail.  

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 15, 2019

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Hi Scott,

sorry you're going through this. I'm curious, do you have "save previews" set in the preferences for Photoshop? I'm wondering if these files are all coming from a PS Save? Is there something that correlates int he ones that show no preview? Like are they 16bit or are they over a certain pixel dimension? I'm just looking for anything that's a root target we can look at.

There are some comments online about deleting a .PLIST file.

See here.

TIFF icons won't display - Apple Community

Good luck!

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Engaged ,
Feb 16, 2019

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Hi Mark-heaps,

These files have all been saved in PS. For some history, this started a few years ago, it's been a long time, but it's a thing that sometimes really really gets to me. It happened at the same time that the icon preview in the title bar turned into a generic blank icon (not just for tifs but all files). Apple blamed it on Adobe, and Adobe blamed it on apple, and after a couple of years the subject went away. This is why I'm asking here again. And I wonder if others have seen it. It happens on 5 machines in my office, so surely I can't be the only one.

To answer your question: Tifs are generally 8 bit, and I do recognize that changing a graphic file from 8 bit to 16 bit does in fact cause preview issues, especially for files over 500mb. I can live with that, although seriously, 16 bit image files have been around for decades now.

So, all files are created in PS, although I've saved files in GIMP after making a non destructive change to see if that makes a difference, and although the icon preview may come back, and often does, after some time it will revert to a generic icon. It's as if the OS is generating the icon every time you open the directories, so even fixing them isn't permanent.

I think the one common denominator is that all the tif files are large. I have a 4x5 scanback camera that generates very large files, and final flattened files will be from 200MB to 1.xGB. Although generally in the 200 to 500 mb range. Mostly 8bit in their final form. And all files live in the Adobe 1998 color space.

Every single file in question is generated like this:

Mac Pro, garbage can model 2013, 3.5GHz 6-core Xeon, 64GB RAM, 18666 DDR3, 2x AMD FirePro D700 6144MB

4x5 scanback camera outputs Tif file at 16 bit with custom camera profile

file is edited PS CC, converted to Adobe 1998 color space, pared to 8bit,

saved @ 300ppi at the original size of artwork photographed

Saving options "image previews: always save checked: Thumbnail checked"

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