Missing Desktop, Documents, and Downloads folders

I’m trying to live up to my role as my wife’s Mac tech support. ;) LOL

However, as often is the case, I’m failing so this post.

As the subject indicates, she is missing those three folders. She has the aliases of those in her User folder but not the originals. On my similarly setup computer, the Original of those alias folders are in my Dropbox folder.

This is her situation:

When she does a screenshot, it disappears. Can’t find it. And downloads from Mail are also missing. They are set to do to Downloads

When you double click on one of those three folders, you get a dialog box with: The operation can’t be continued because the original item for “Downloads” can’t be found."

Cmd-I: says it is an alias with the Original: /Users/lou/Downloads. Lou is the name of her user folder.

He computer is backed up using Dropbox and CCC.

Any assists are appreciated both for my wife and for me so I can retain my reputation for assisting at least some of the time.

Her system: iMac running OS Monterey.

Thank you.

Check DropBox to make sure you did not set the snapshots to go there. It may have done it itself on an update. She should look for a Screenshots folder in Dropbox

I take it you’ve copied the name of the file or folder and done a search?

Yes. I did a search for the folders.

How about for a name of the files? Screenshots have definitive names - “Screenshot “ followed by the date, IIRC. Plus of course you can search for the name of any known file names.

Lastly, there is always recents in the Finder sidebar. That should show recently used files and you can File | Info (or Cmd-I) to show the actual location.

Have you tried searching with EasyFind?


1 Like

Nope, have not tried that search app.

Hi Ray:
That may be it but I don’t totally, or minimally ;) LOL, understand workings of Dropbox.
I’m on her Dropbox now and I see that in Dropbox Backup are those three folders: Desktop, Documents, and Downloads.
I’m waiting for Dropbox tech support chat to ask how to move those back to her computer.