Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In the Finder I can right-click files and give them a color label. Which is fantastic! But right now I experiencing something weird that doesn't quite make sense.

I give some files in a folder a color label, but then after a little while it seems like the color label goes away. The finder doesn't register it right away, but the files go white when I click on them. And if I do Command+A often maybe half the labels just goes away. It makes no sense! What's going on here?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Read that it could be caused by corrupt .DS_Store files so opened up a Terminal, went to the folder where the files were and deleted the .DS_Store file and all the ._ files.

rm .DS_Store
rm ._*

This seems to remove all the Finder file meta-data and the .DS_Store file will be rebuilt. I then re-labeled the files and so far they have stuck...

Source: Labels Not Working On my Xserve Raid thoughts? at Apple Discussions

share|improve this answer

Try seeing whether it's just a graphical glitch with the Finder, or if the labels really are disappearing - check them from the Terminal

mdls -name kMDItemFSLabel <filename>

that should give you a number > 0 if the label is still present. Then we can figure out where to look to fix it!

share|improve this answer
Forgot to check with this before I fixed it, but will try that if it happens again :) – Svish Feb 22 '10 at 13:13
@LoonyPandora: It happend again, and I got to check it out. And they were indeed 0. Not sure how they became zero though, cause I did make them not-zero and the Finder put color on them and everything. But anyways, my other solution fixed the issue again. Good to have this one to check with though! – Svish Mar 9 '10 at 15:32
Weird… I'm getting 'could not find <filename>' while the file is there and I can both read and edit it. – Fuzzy76 Aug 2 '13 at 16:08

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.