View options not sticking in Apps folder

Discussion in 'macOS Mojave (10.14)' started by macuser_123, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. macuser_123 macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2018
    On 10.14.3 on a mac mini, APFS startup volume.
    I transferred my system from 10.12 over. One of the things I noticed is that my neatly arranged icons in the Applications folder, which had view options set to icon view, Arrange by None, Sort by Snap to Grid, was wrecked. I had carefully separated 3rd party applications from Apple apps and in a certain order, and now everything was mixed together in alphabetical order. No problem, so I just put them back in order again. However, whenever I restart (or log out/login), they are back to the way they were, all combined together in alphabetical order. At least the Sort by Snap to Grid setting sticks in the Apps folder; in the Utilities subfolder, this setting keeps reverting back to Sort by Name.

    I've been waging a personal war against OS X not remembering view settings, wandering icons, shifting icon grids, etc. since about 10.3 so I am not shocked, and maybe at some point I just have to give up on viewing and arranging by icon, but just in case someone can confirm that this is a consistent issue, specifically with the Apps and Utilities folders, or has a fix, that would be helpful. thanks.
  2. harriska2 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 16, 2011
    Isn’t there a checkbox for default view options?
  3. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    I have this issue frequently when updating the OS. My font goes from 12 to 14 pt as well in some folders. been happening for years. I just fix and move on... Probably a corrupt file of some sort that goes nuts on occasion.
  4. macuser_123, Feb 19, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019

    macuser_123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2018
    Yes (a button, actually); that isn't sticking either. Also tried trashing the .DS_Store file too, didn't help. Incidentally, it didn't seem to recreate a new .DS_Store file, maybe those aren't used anymore, or maybe that's just another symptom of the problem. Oh well, that's the price of progress I guess.
  5. verdi1987 macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2010
    The .DS_Store files are still used. They get written to the parent directory, so the View settings and icon arrangement for /Applications would be in /.DS_Store. It sounds like there may be a permissions issue if no .DS_Store files are getting written at all.
  6. macuser_123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2018
    Thank you. This may have helped a little bit. I had forgotten the relevant .DS_Store was in the parent directory, not the actual directory. The biggest offender was the /Applications/Utilities folder, so I removed .DS_Store from /Applications and the system recreated it. Now, instead of Sort By being permanently fixed to Name no matter what I did, I can now at least change it to Snap To Grid and have it stick. However, it still insists on arranging them in Alphabetical order instead of my custom order. Interestingly, there are two subfolders within the Utilities folder, which I suppose should share the same .DS_Store file in Utilities. In one of them, the icons stay sorted the way I arrange them. In the other, they keep reverting back to alphabetical order. Sigh. Well, overall a bit better than how it was.
  7. verdi1987, Feb 20, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019

    verdi1987 macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2010
    Are you using the Sort By and Arrange By options on the View dialog of each folder?

    What if you try Arrange By None and Sort By None?
  8. macuser_123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2018
    I have View dialog set to Arrange By none and Sort By Snap to Grid. I tried none and none per your suggestion, and I can freely move the icons around, but once again, when I restart, they are back to being all neatly lined up in alphabetical order.
  9. verdi1987 macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2010
    I just tested for myself, and my custom icon arrangement for /Applications persists across reboots.

    Have you tried creating a new user and seeing if the Finder view settings are maintained for that user?
  10. macuser_123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2018
    Just tried it, same behavior. I suppose that is to be expected, as both users would share the same .DS_Store file in /

    I am wondering if this has to do with the fact that I imported my old computer into the new with Migration Assistant. Although the view settings in my home folder all work. You may be right that it is a permissions issue although I checked the permissions and I just can't logically work out how they are resulting in the observed behavior. In any case, I don't want to mess around with changing the permissions too much, this is more of an annoyance than a necessity (also why I don't want to attempt a completely clean new install). Is it true that the old "Repair Permissions" function of OS X no longer exists?

    Thanks for all your suggestions.
  11. verdi1987 macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2010
    Yes, repair permissions is gone.

    You can try to do a full reinstall over your existing installation. You won't lose any data.

    You can download the full installer from the App Store. It will say it's already installed but will give you the option to download it. The installer will be placed into /Applications.
  12. Janichsan macrumors 68000


    Oct 23, 2006
    Yes, this is a permissions issue - and it's by design.

    I have the same problem every time there is a larger macOS update, and it annoys the heck out of me.

    By default, you do not have permissions to write anything in the root folder of your startup disk, even if you are an admin on this machine. The only solution I've ever found for this is changing the user privileges on the disk, i.e. select the disk in the Finder, and add the "Admin" group to the permission list via the "Information" window.
  13. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    Same here. It's a stupid bug that they simply don't want to bother with. Why would they want to set the font for Applications folder and a few other random ones to 14 while others get 12? I can't imagine that is by design. Pretty easy to set back again, but annoying nonetheless.

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