Warning: QuickBooks for Mac deletes Desktop folder

“If you use [Intuit’s] QuickBooks 2006 or 2007 for the Mac – don’t launch it. An apparent bug in the software update code causes the accounting software to throw a vague “you don’t have enough memory” dialog after attempting to download a 100k update while it simultaneously deletes your desktop folder,” Jason D. O’Grady blogs for ZDNet.

“If you’ve already launched QB and it’s asking you to update, force quit the application (command-option-escape),” O’Grady wrties, “If you haven’t launched the application yet, disable the update code in Terminal with this command:

defaults write com.intuit.QuickBooks2006 QBCheckForUpdatesKey NO

Full article here.

Christina Warren reports for TUAW that this is “Just another reminder for all OS X users – whether you use QuickBooks or not – it is NOT a good idea to store files or folders, especially if they are important, on the desktop! I say this because of how system resources are allocated due to windowserver and icon memory usage. It can slow things down tremendously and lead to a less stable system. Use your Home folder or Documents folder instead.”

Full article, with more info about this QuickBooks issue, here.

More info here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Robert T” for the heads up.]


  1. As far as I can remember, this is a first, and extremely bad. To have an application (any application) be able to just obliterate ANY folder, not to mention one of the standard user folders that is essentially part of the OS, is just totally unacceptable. I have a hard time understanding how is it possible that a company with a long history of Mac development, and a fairly successful and popular application for the Mac, could allow something like this to escape, not to mention actually deploy it as an update!

    It seems to me that Apple is going to need to put even more limitations on what applications can do to the user environment.

  2. Another example of the high esteem Intuit has towards Mac users. First they will give Mac users a POS called Quickbooks which comes nowhere near the functionality of QB in Windows and then they deliver a poorly tested update to their existing POS software.

  3. “At least malware under Windows is free…”

    Not necessarily:

    Windows Vista Home Basic: $199
    Windows Vista Home Premium: $239
    Windows Vista Business: $299
    Windows Vista Ultimate: $399
    Windows Vista Home Basic Upgrade: $99
    Windows Vista Home Premium Upgrade: $159
    Windows Vista Business Upgrade: $199
    Windows Vista Ultimate Upgrade: $259

  4. Auto-updates/checks are basically snitchware, giving valuable marketing data (and other things like your privacy) away. 1% of the time there is a update and 99% of the time there isn’t.

    Install Little Snitch, it catches all outgoing network connections for your approval (delete the default rules and go from there). One can pernamently allow/deny any connections. One can then visit the developers site for any updates or wait to check if the update is solid BEFORE something horrible like this desktop deletion occurs.

    It’s really interesting how some web pages open secure connections on ports other than TCP 80 for god knows what purposes. A lot of Apple software contacts them as well.

    It’s very interesting. BTW the “Monopoly” game software will not run unless it makes regular calls to the developers. So be warned.

  5. I stopped putting even test files, downloads, and anything else on my desktop because I’m using Leopard and Time Machine. I’ve created a specific folder on a second drive thats a catchall folder. I’ve specifically listed it in Time Machine to not be backed up.

  6. In my opinion, QuickBooks for Mac sucks. But when your accountant uses QuickBooks for Windows, you are almost forced into using it.

    When I use it, I feel like I’m sitting at a PC… it’s not a pretty picture….

    Thank you Intuit!

  7. Deletes Desktop contents, not the folder itself.

    I experienced this update snafu over the weekend, but did not realize I had lost anything until seeing this article. I only saw the dialog stating there was not enough space.

    I usually don’t keep stuff on the desktop, but occasionally a few files might remain there until I file them away. It was a great time to see Time Machine in action. Files recovered, filed away properly now and I don’t see any other side affects.

    I have not read thru the alert on Intuit yet, but I would image you could move files from your desktop and then launch QuickBooks. Best to visit the Intuit site and read up on the issue first.

    QuickBooks 2006
    OS X 10.5.1

  8. Clone your whole boot drive to another drive using Carbon Copy Cloner the first week, keep disconnected for best security.

    Second week clone the whole boot drive to a differnent drive than the first, then alternate drives every other week.

    Hold option and boot from any clone, repair permissions.

    Always “Erase with Zero” any new drive before cloning.

    Update files to a backup like a flash drive, DVD-RW, CD-RW daily using auto-software.

    Rest easy.

  9. Who really cares about this update, When:

    Apple cant ship:
    1) an updates that does not make my two iPhones: a) randomly restart, b) randomly freeze , c) sync properly with iCal, d) not have to be ‘restored’ three or four times before before not getting a mobile sync error.

    2) an update to Leopard that can actually sync the dock correctly (without constantly losing safari of all things, seems they want you to use firefox), import calendars into iCal, actually fix the addition error in Calculator (funny the calculator in dashboard works correctly), doesn’t randomly shutdown safari, doesn’t ridiculously slow down your system when Time Machine is backing up. But hey, they only asked for an extra 5 months to ship Leopard.

    3) .Mac – Where do I even start.

    Note: If using new Quickbooks, pull a hasta la VISTA and downgrade to 5.0.

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