Make Finder arrange/sort folders first?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by VTECaddict, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
    Is there a way to make Finder sort folders first? I don't recall having to tweak Lion and it sorted folders first at the top (or near the top). Upgraded Lion to ML and now Folders are in some random place.

    I'm using column view with Arrange by Kind, then Sort by Name...the same as I had it in Lion.
  2. VTECaddict thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
    Any free methods? Seems counter intuitive to pay 90% the price of the whole OS for one little tweak (don't care for the other features TotalFinder offers).
  3. VTECaddict thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
    Not working for me. Doesn't open properly in Text Edit.

    Tried PlistEditPro and the change looks like it stuck, but no difference in Finder even after relaunching.

    Tried the terminal commands that converts it to XML first and I get an error converting back to binary.

    Attached Files:

  4. matt2053 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2012
    If you read the thread you see it doesn't work in Snow Leopard just like it won't work in Mountain Lion.

    The only options I know of are to purchase Total Finder or PathFinder.
  5. VTECaddict thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
  6. Stridder44 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003

    Just noticed this today as well after installing 10.8. It's so stupid too, because in 10.6 and before, it always sorted folders first. Then suddenly in 10.7 they did it the other way around where files came first. Now in 10.8 they've gone back again, and of course I'm used to the 10.7 way
  7. VTECaddict thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
    So I was playing around with the settings, and if you choose arrange by Name, it arranges things alphabetically by file extension with folders first.

    I'd still like to be able to arrange by kind with folders first so i have the category dividers though.
  8. vasko.dinkov macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2012
    This still works just fine in Lion or Mountain Lion BUT with small changes. To open the "/System/Library/CoreServices/" file, you can use TextWrangler (, for example. Then edit the following part:

    for example, like this:

    and restart Finder. It won't work any more in Lion+ if you simply use an empty space or a symbol such as "." or "~". So I guess "111" is pretty safe alternative. :D

    That's it! Cheers!
  9. skadd macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2010
    XtraFinder actually looks better than TotalFinder which is funny because it's free.
  10. westonm macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2007
    Arrange by kind still sorts folders first in ML for me?
  11. Jenni8 macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Works for me!

    The above tip to adjust the string as I had in Lion is a great one as on ML it stopped working. Although I installed XtraFinder and it's WAY better than Total Finder which is not free and a CPU hog. I like the tabs and other features. Now in order for me to get the XtraFinder to work was to open it and check all the features I want. Then I restarted Finder and then started XtraFinder again and all the added features were there. The tabs seems a little glitchy, but it does clearly say in parenthesis that it's experimental. So far I'm pleased. If the XtraFinder seems too good to be true in the long run I might just go back to using the above tip for the Finder strings file.
  12. LxHunter macrumors 6502

    Nov 14, 2010
    I use a kluge method.
    I put a space at the start of the name of a folder.
    Goes to the top.
  13. prcRLC macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2012
    Using OSX Lion, I tried using TextWrangler to insert 111:


    However, TextWrangler won't let me save it directly, as a backup, or in an alternate location. I get a message saying the file can't be saved (error 20004).

    The kludge works.

    Kinda hard to understand why the Apple programmers don't give us an easy way to sort both by kind and alphabetical.
  14. aoitsukinosuke macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    Not exactly folders first, but closest that I could figure out.
    PDFS and shortcuts are lined up right before the folders.

    Might work for you till you get exactly what you want.

    Arrange by : None
    Sort by : Kind
  15. krigsmakten macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    The old Windows approach - can't get Win to do things your way? Change your ways... Sad, and not Mac-like.

    What annoys me is that I can't reverse sort order on the desktop - I want the newest items at the bottom. arrrgh.
  16. slumpey326 macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    it works with xtrafinder, you need to enable it in the settings first.
  17. wingedturbo macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2008
    This works even in Mountian Lion

    Guys, just tested this in Mountain Lion and it works. You need a plist editing app to properly see the file though. Also, make sure you "Arrange by" none. This will allow you to sort using the bar at the top of the window with the category headings where you can click "kind". If you "Arrange by" kind, then you're stuck with their sort method. After saving the file all I needed to do was quit from Finder (something you couldn't do in previous versions of OSX) and then relaunch.
  18. Frayzhe macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2010
    I don't think you need to mess with the hacks (which are bound to break when updates are applied) or other apps (which aren't free) to get what you want. This was driving me nuts for a long time, but I think I found a solution that works with "Arrange by Kind" for both icon and columns view (in Mavericks at least, I haven't tested previous versions).

    If you go to the Spotlight system preference and re-order the categories there, it also controls the ordering of the categorized groups of files in the Finder. As simple as that. Would love to know if others find that this works for them, too.
  19. Guardsix macrumors member


    Jun 16, 2011
    San Antonio, TX
    That's it! If no one has said, "Thanks for this solution, I will. Thanks!"
  20. shawnzhsh macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2014
    Make Finder arrange folders first, instead of Documents when using XtraFinder App?

    sorry, it is old question asked several times, but when setup XtraFinder, how to set finder in the first place?
    No matter how, the Documents are ranked in the top of the queue.

    could someone guide me step by step. thanks.
  21. dso macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2015
    It works for me!

    Totally works for me, thanks! No idea if it's a permanent fix - will see over next few days and after reboot, but simply by going to Spotlight prefs and putting folders above documents the folders now show first in Finder when I arrange by kind. Thanks!:)
  22. Edmundcape macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2010

    Another trick: Sort by kind, then label your folders with a tag called folders. Then sort by kind puts folders at the top before sorting the rest of the files by name.

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