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General Discussion

Greg Starkins
Greg Starkins
Courses Plus Student 4,905 Points

Different files for Mac

This may be stupid question, but only ever having used Mac a handful of times, I'm clueless.

When I download project files from Treehouse, some have a folder saying _MACOSX. Obviously I looked in it and the only difference I could see was that there were no html files and the other files had ._ written just before the filename.

My question is; Why is this?

Many thanks, Greg.

1 Answer

The __MACOSX folder contains metadata and indexing data which is created by OS X automatically. In OS X, they're hidden, unfortunately, on other operating systems, they show up and often confuse users. Sometimes they slip through when you create zip archives.

You can delete that folder — the only thing you can divine from it is that the original archive was created on a Mac. :)

Greg Starkins
Greg Starkins
Courses Plus Student 4,905 Points

So if I was to get a Mac one day I could still view my old project files I downloaded on PC on my new Mac?

Yes. Even if you remove them and then copy the folder to a Mac, the OS would just re-generate them.

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

> Even if you remove them and then copy the folder to a Mac, the OS would just re-generate them.

I believe this is incorrect. Some extended attributes will be re-created like finder info. However in the case of applications, critical information is stored in the extended attributes. The only way to know for sure is to check if a file still works on a Mac after you delete the info.

A cleaner solution is to mark the __MACOSX directory as hidden on Windows

That being said, it's unlikely that any of code or image files downloaded from Treehouse actually have extended attributes that are necessary.