Removing False Invaders

In my previous blog post I answered a question from a Doctor Mac client regarding strange icons that appear in the Sharing section of the sidebar in Finder windows.




I explained what the icons were--but I did not explain how to get rid of them. I thought about it, but I had spent several days on that post and it was time to get it online. When I publish a post, I usually mention it on Twitter. As I was getting ready to write, this message came up in my Twitter Stream:




What a coincidence! I tweeted this back:

In my previous blog post I answered a question from a Doctor Mac client regarding strange icons that appear in the Sharing section of the sidebar in Finder windows.




I explained what the icons were--but I did not explain how to get rid of them. I thought about it, but I had spent several days on that post and it was time to get it online. When I publish a post, I usually mention it on Twitter. As I was getting ready to write, this message came up in my Twitter Stream:




What a coincidence! I tweeted this back:




Several hours later, I got this reply back:




His next message was:




Although I had been able to remove the icons from my sidebar, I had not documented the process, so the answer had to wait until I had time to get down to some serious work!

First, I had to get the icons to re-appear in the sidebar of my MacBook Pro. To do that I had to plug in an Ethernet cable to the iMac:




The funny icon was back in the side bar of the Finder windows on my MacBook Pro:




Now, to get rid of it! I disconnected the Ethernet cable.




The icon was not removed from my sidebar:



I opened System Preferences > File Sharing. Then I removed the checks beside Screen Sharing, File Sharing and Printer Sharing.





Ah, now we are getting somewhere! While my iMac has disappeared, so has the strange icon:




If this was going to work, I should be able to turn File Sharing back on and the strange icon should not reappear:




Let’s check:




Success!

Let’s do a quick review:

  • When File Sharing is begun on a computer, other Macs on the network will see it in the Sharing area of their sidebar.
  • If there is only one network connection, the Mac will show a “normal” icon.
  • If an Ethernet cable is used for sharing files while AirPort file sharing is enabled, a second icon with the MAC address of the CPU will appear.
  • Once that icon has appeared, there is no way to turn it off (make it disappear) unless you disable file sharing. At that point it will disappear.
  • If you later connect an Ethernet cable, the icon will reappear and you will need to turn off File Sharing again to make it disappear

This is beginning to look like a bug in the operating system. I wonder if it will disappear when the next OS update takes place.

Back to my Twitter friend who left the message, Snaggy. He is one half of the team of Nitrozac and Snaggy who create the Joy of Tech cartoons. Go to their website to take a look. Be sure to scroll back through the archives for some really funny ones!

Snaggy, thanks for the question and I hope your weird icon disappears!

--Pat

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