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?


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

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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!

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  • 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

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