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LSRefresh - a simple solution to Launch Services related problems

October 10, 2006 - Filed in Mac Development by Felix
Some users have had problems to get Remote Buddy recognize all of their installed applications. Since my philosophy and thus the philosphy behind Remote Buddy is to achieve elegance through simplicity and deliver a "it just works" out-of-the-box experience, the natural choice is to present a slick menu without any dead and unnecessary entries (i.e. for those applications, that are not installed). To achieve this - and to find all installed apps no matter where they are located - Remote Buddy makes use of Launch Services.

Now what is Launch Services?

Launch Services is responsible for launching applications, URLs and documents. It knows, which application can handle which kind of data and files, provides the choices for the Finder's "Open with" menu and can return all kind of useful information on a file or bundle.

Now, if an application is not added to Launch Services database properly (or the information stored on it is outdated), this can have all kinds of weird side effects:

  • Documents can not be opened with a double click or are represented with a blank icon in the Finder.
  • Similiar as above but with newly supported or no longer supported document formats after the installation of a new release of an application.
  • Applications can not be found.
  • ..

Usually the Finder should add or update new applications in the Launch Services database, but it doesn't always do so. And there's no convenient way I know of to manually update the entry of an application in Launch Services.

So I decided to sit down a couple of minutes and write a tool that achieves exactly this. Once started, all you have to do is select the app(s) whose Launch Services database entry you want to update. It's name is LSRefresh - and it'll help you out with most Launch Services originated problems.

Special note for Remote Buddy users: Be sure to restart Remote Buddy after you have performed updates for applications that were not found previously. That's because Remote Buddy does only look for applications during startup to save CPU time lateron.

Anyway, here's the download. Enjoy!

FilenameLSRefresh10.dmgDescription
LSRefresh 1.0 Application
Filesize250 KB
Last modified07.01.2007 02:13:39
Download

[Update 07/01/2007]: For the technically interested: you can download the sourcecode complete with Xcode project here:

FilenameLSRefresh_Sourcecode.zipDescription
LSRefresh 1.0 Sourcecode & Xcode Project
Filesize46 KB
Last modified07.01.2007 02:14:24
Download