Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder

Posted by: JimmyW

Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder - 11/19/15 08:09 PM

I have an OSX 10 system. I found that the Users\me\Library\Containers\...\Mail Downloads folder contains a Desktop folder, which contains the same folders as the regular Desktop folder in my user folder. I understand that the Mail Downloads folder automatically stores email attachments that are opened. I'd like to know how the Mail Downloads folder in the Container folder could include a Desktop folder. Thanks.
Posted by: Reboot

Re: Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder - 11/19/15 09:05 PM

What version of OS X?

If it has an arrow on the folder it's just an alias, that's normal.

Trying to clear up space? It's safe to delete those. The following link explains what it's for. Basically whenever you open an attachment from Mail and/or modify it the system saves a copy there. The one that came in the email is not affected, it's still attached to the email. To stop Mail from adding them to Mail Downloads Save it out of Mail first then open it.

http://www.macworld.com/article/2150769/solving-the-mysteries-of-the-mail-downloads-folder.html
Posted by: JimmyW

Re: Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder - 11/20/15 04:14 PM

Thanks very much. I should explain that I'm looking at a copy (image file) of the hard drive. In that mode, the Desktop folder in Containers presents as an actual folder with subfolders and files.

I did think that it was an alias/link; however, the files in Users\Joe\Library\Containers\...\Mail Downloads\Desktop\Joe's Pix differ from the files in Users\Joe\Desktop\Joe's Pix. If the folder is an alias, shouldn't it just link back to the real Desktop folder? Moreover, I don't think that it would really contain any files. Is it possible that the the Desktop folder itself was an email attachment?
Posted by: Reboot

Re: Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder - 11/20/15 04:34 PM

Originally Posted By: JimmyW
If the folder is an alias, shouldn't it just link back to the real Desktop folder?
No. It will link back to the the image file the alias is on. It is an alias for the Desktop on that image file, a virtual disk, not a different physical disk.
Originally Posted By: JimmyW
Moreover, I don't think that it would really contain any files.
It is an alias for the Desktop on that image or disk, so when you open it it goes to the Desktop on the image or disk that it is on. Hope I made that clear, if not I'll expand further.
Originally Posted By: JimmyW
Is it possible that the the Desktop folder itself was an email attachment?
No, not an attachment, it was made by the OS. I really don't why they made the file structure of the Mail Downloads folder like that to be honest, never looked into it.

Glad to help. smile
Posted by: JimmyW

Re: Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder - 11/20/15 04:52 PM

Thanks, again. I'm probably not explaining things very well. I'm looking at a copy of the Mac hard drive in a Windows tool and can view every folder and file, as in Windows Explorer. There, I see the Desktop folder under Users\Joe and also in the Containers tree. When I open Containers\...\Desktop, I find the same subfolders as in the "real" desktop, but not the same files. Could it be that the files were deleted from the user's desktop, but remain in the Mail Downloads? It seems odd that there would be a alias for Desktop in Mail Downloads, as the user can't access the Containers tree from the live system, AFAIK.
Posted by: Reboot

Re: Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder - 11/20/15 05:31 PM

If the copy of the hard drive was made earlier, then after you made the copy you added files to the Desktop on the live drive, the copy's Desktop won't have the same files as the current Desktop on the live drive. It will have the files that were on the Desktop at the time the copy was made. How old is the copy of the HD?

When the copy of of the Mac HD was made were those files on the live drive?

BTW what do you mean by Windows tool in "I'm looking at a copy of the Mac hard drive in a Windows tool"
Posted by: JimmyW

Re: Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder - 11/20/15 05:41 PM

Thanks again! The system was not used after I acquired my copy, so everything is frozen as of that date. Hence, that's why I think that the files should match. I have everything on the drive and nothing has changed. I created a dd image of the drive, which I opened in a forensics application that handles Mac and other systems. I can access everything, regardless of whether it's "hidden" in the live Mac system. I could post a couple screenshots, but I don't think that the forum allow that.
Posted by: Reboot

Re: Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder - 11/21/15 01:54 AM

Going to back up a few posts.
Originally Posted By: JimmyW
I'm looking at a copy of the Mac hard drive in a Windows tool and can view every folder and file, as in Windows Explorer. There, I see the Desktop folder under Users\Joe and also in the Containers tree. When I open Containers\...\Desktop, I find the same subfolders as in the "real" desktop, but not the same files.
What happens if you view this image on your Mac, or was it made in the forensic app and it's proprietary to that app.

Screen shots are allowed of course.
Posted by: JimmyW

Re: Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder - 11/23/15 06:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Reboot
Going to back up a few posts.
Originally Posted By: JimmyW
I'm looking at a copy of the Mac hard drive in a Windows tool and can view every folder and file, as in Windows Explorer. There, I see the Desktop folder under Users\Joe and also in the Containers tree. When I open Containers\...\Desktop, I find the same subfolders as in the "real" desktop, but not the same files.
What happens if you view this image on your Mac, or was it made in the forensic app and it's proprietary to that app.

Screen shots are allowed of course.


Thanks again! The image is not proprietary, but is a raw dd (bit-for-bit) image. I must be blind, but I don't see the File Manager for attaching a screenshot. If you could point it out to me, I can attach a few, which may be enlightening. There is a notice indicating that I'm on the beta site, if that matters.
Posted by: Reboot

Re: Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder - 11/23/15 06:43 PM

To attach a screen shot you'd have to upload it to your webspace or photobucket or something and then use the 4th icon from the left in the message composition window. Not allowed to upload direct to the server here.

It looks like this.

The beta thing was just never taken down, not my job man. smile

If you don't want to upload them you can email them to me. jim at gesplus.com
Posted by: Reboot

Re: Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder - 11/23/15 06:44 PM

Maybe you mentioned, but how did you make the image, attach the drive to the windows machine or something?
Posted by: JimmyW

Re: Apple Mail Downloads Desktop folder - 11/23/15 07:02 PM

Email on the way.