Finder Views?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2011
Midwest United States
Is there a way to set all folders in finder to display the same columns? I've been messing around with the settings, but seems like I have to do each folder (and sub-folder) one by one. I am sure there is a faster/better way to do this. Thank you.

OS 10.12.5
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macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
You can set your Finder so that columns view is the default for all windows (I think)
That is NOT the same as displaying the same columns on all windows (same spacing, same column level)
I suspect that Apple recognizes that no folder will be the same as any other folder (unless the actual files in a folder are actually identical - which would be highly unusual, don't you think?) so makes no allowance for providing a setting that is in reality not very useful --- when you would be changing individual folders as you use them, anyway.

Think about it - don't you change spacing, sorting, opening folders as needed, then leaving them, which continually changes how columns appear?
So, yes, you would change folders as you need to change them, right? One at a time, because you are in, well, one folder at a time.
But, there is probably a way to do something like you want with Automator and/or AppleScript. (note - I don't know how to do this, but someone here may offer some help with that.
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May 20, 2015
I also can't figure out how this works, it's really annoying.

I tried it in the view options (screenshot below) for the whole Mac, the whole drive, my user folder and others, set it to use as Defaults but it just don't work for every subfolder, only for some.

You could try using XtraFinder (free) or TotalFinder (payed but more reliable) with SIP disabled, but those don't work very stable since El Capitan. But they got updates not long ago. I thought they never would be updated again.

There is also a good file manager called Commander One what is free without the Pro functions and works fine for me. But it is a separate app, not like the above mentioned, what are just overlays for the Finder.

The old version of ForkLift is also free now in the App Store and should still work. There is a new payed version available outside the App Store.

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 5.49.50 AM.png


macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2009
Finder is a law unto itself and I long gave up trying to tame its folder settings. I just deal with each folder on an individual basis which, as DeltaMac said, makes sense when you think about it.


macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
Milwaukee, WI
I tried it in the view options (screenshot below) for the whole Mac, the whole drive, my user folder and others, set it to use as Defaults but it just don't work for every subfolder, only for some.
View attachment 709959
Correct. It will not apply the defaults to any folder that you have manually changed previously. It should apply them to all other folders nested within the folder you invoke it for.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2011
You can set Column view so it opens with wider columns.
1) Hold down the Option key and resize the left most column to a more desired size than the default.
2) Click on red close button.
3) Open a new Finder window. It will remember the new column width size.

Generally, Child folders will take on the same settings as the Parent. You could try seeing if this works in Finder windows. Changing any current folder settings would have to be done manually.

You could ask on Keyboard Maestro forum to see if it's possible to create a macro that would open new windows in a custom setting.
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