Dealing with MACOSX files in your download folder

Opening Mac folders on a PC,

When MAC users create files on their computer, invisible metadata files are created by the operating system. (mac users can't see these and their functionality is required on the mac)

There are two types of files created, a folder metadata file called .DS_store and individual metadata files for every file created carrying the same file name but starting with ._ (so a folder containg 6 files will have 7 metadata files).

When such files and folders are created and shared with PC users, these files unfortunately are no longer invisible. The PC operating system is not programmed to hide them the way the MAC does.

And MAC users can't avoid the creation or inclusion of these irksome little meta files.

Conveniently though, all those metadata files are grouped into their own separate folder called _MACOSX. With the exception of the .DS_store file which will show up in both the metadata folder and the real folder that has the download content.

I've provided some screenshots to show you what to look for, and what to avoid:

As you can see, if you've no idea what you are looking at, it could be very confusing!

As an added note... if you use any sort of automated file opening sequence on a folder like this, your program is likely to select the metadata folder simply because it comes first in the list within the zip.

If that happens you'll have to manually go back to the folder to select the right files to open, because the meta files are not actual files you can use, they only contain a thumbnail image of the real file.

Alternatively, if you only ever use a PC, you can simply delete all of the meta files to get them permanently out of your way. It does no harm to delete them and only causes small inconveniences if later opened on a MAC.

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