What moved the items in the macOS Catalina and how to remove them

After upgrading to macOS Catalina you are probably surprised to see a new folder called “Moved items” on the desktop, which has never happened before. Automatic creation of this folder is actually normal behavior when upgrading from an older version of macOS to Catalina, but that does not negate the fact that many users do not understand why this folder exists, and how to deal with its contents.

Moved the items in the macOS Catalina you can easily remove it

What moved the items in the macOS Catalina

Displaced items are old files and data from previous versions of macOS, which macOS Catalina may not work.

Catalina is the first version of macOS that works in symbiosis with a brand new file system from Apple (APFS). It is specially optimized for a flash memory used in the latest Mac. In addition to many other new technical features drive format APFS uses a “container” which may contain several protected volumes or file systems. This makes possible the separation of free space on the drive (not quite correct to call an SSD “disk”).

APFS is designed for Flash/SSD drives. The main feature of the file system encryption. HFS+ and its predecessor HFS have begun to apply more than 30 years ago. These file systems were developed in the days of floppy disks when files are served kilobytes and megabytes. Today when solid state drives that can store terabytes of information, requires a decision of the new generation, which will correspond to modern security requirements.

When you upgrade to macOS 10.15, Catalina installed on a dedicated system volume, read-only, which is called “Macintosh HD”, and your files and data are stored separately in another volume named “Macintosh HD — Data.” The idea of this separation is that it helps to prevent accidental overwriting of important files of the operating system because the user can no longer modify the data or store files on the system volume, is read-only.

In practice, a normal user should not notice any difference after the division of the volumes, since both volumes will appear in the Finder as a single combined volume Macintosh HD (although if you want you can view them separately in the “Disk utility”).

Disk utility in macOS Catalina

In the process of upgrading to Catalina files or data that were previously stored on the boot volume are moved to volume “Macintosh HD Data”, and in some cases, Catalina can’t assign them to the right place. Hence there is a folder called “Moved items”.

To discuss the features of macOS Catalina you can in our Telegram chat.

Where there are displaced items in macOS

If you create two separate volumes in the process of updating Catalina studying the files and data on your hard disk to make sure that they are in the right place. Any files and data that may be stored on in a folder that is equivalent to their original location and placed in a folder called “Moved items”. It allows you to find the special PDF file with more detailed information about these files.

Is it possible to delete the folder with moved items

It should be noted that a folder called “Moved items” that you see on the desktop is just a shortcut that can be safely removed. It will not delete the folder or its contents from the hard disk.

Most likely, you have any third-party apps that don’t work after upgrading to Catalina (probably 32-bit), and then the folder called “Moved items” will contain the data associated with them. If this folder 1-2 file, and they do not represent the importance, just remove the label “Displaced elements” on the desktop. To completely remove the files, go to “Users/Shared/Displaced elements.”

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