Why Is Relocated Items On My Mac Desktop?

After updating macOS you may find a folder on your Desktop named "Relocated Items." Learn what it is, why it is there, and whether you can delete it. Short answer: yes, delete it.

Comments: 7 Responses to “Why Is Relocated Items On My Mac Desktop?”

    lauren eisen
    1 month ago

    thank you for this, i always have these files and never knew if i could delete them or not or what they even contained. very helpful and brief tutorial which is always appreciated!

    James F. George
    3 weeks ago

    This was very helpful and added to my knowledge base. Thanks so much.

    Mick
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks Gary. That’s that mystery solved :-)

    Wouter Palm
    3 weeks ago

    You should not only delete the file on the desktop but also the original file. Wich you can find with “show original file”.

    Jasper
    3 weeks ago

    I’ve often found that these files prevent Trash from emptying. I get an alert message about the path being too long. Sure enough, when I look in the folder there is a very long series of nested folders (a bin folder, I think). I assume that something I’m doing is creating this poor configuration. Any idea what this might be?

    3 weeks ago

    Jasper: I’ve never gotten a message about the path being too long. What is the exact error message?

    jasper
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks Gary—this last happened last about a month ago but I think that that the error message was something like “macOS can’t empty the trash because the [Relocated Items] path is too long”. When you drill down into the folder structure it seemed to go on for ever (duplicates of bin & private folders, maybe?). I could only empty the bin with rm -R in Terminal. This happened on about 3 successive updates but I updated a couple of days ago and my Shared Relocated Items deleted with no problem.

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