Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm having a problem with, as far as I can tell a single folder (~/Pictures) in the Finder's List View mode. When I navigate to other folders they display normally, it is only my Pictures folder that is wrong.

The issues are:

  1. The header is not being displayed in the standard way
  2. The folders do not have a disclosure triangle to see its contents.

I have tried deleting the folder's .DS_Store and .localized files and restarting the Finder, repairing Disk Permissions with Disk Utility, and finally cold booting the machine.

I'm at a loss as to what could be causing this.

My machine is a MacBookPro w/Retina running 10.8.4.

My Misbehaving Finder

Notice that the column headers are being drawn differently and the disclosure triangle to the left of the folder names is missing.

share|improve this question
What do you mean by the header's 'standard way' and being drawn differently? – grgarside Sep 11 '13 at 18:34
The column headers (Name, Date Modified, etc…) are drawing with a different container view, the background of the sort column is not highlighted, the sort direction indicator arrow is missing (it is being sorted by Name) and I can't change the sort column. – Mark Sep 11 '13 at 19:43
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can show the disclosure triangles in list view by opening the View Options (⌘ cmd + J) and changing the Arrange By to None.

Setting this also allows you to click on a header to set the sort order like SL's headers. A 'sort triangle' will be shown.

share|improve this answer
It seems weird to get rid of the disclosure triangles when using "Arrange By" in list mode. Thanks for the answer. – Mark Sep 11 '13 at 19:44

Having a "sort triangle" instead of the (snow-leopord, at least) "column highlight" I think is a step backward. Sure, it looks more like the iOS, but it's a step backward in terms of being able to quickly see the sorted-status of a folder (just glance at the color. (My guess - though just a guess - is that "color v. B/W" recognition by the human eye is probably a bit faster than shape-recognition - if it's colored, it's sorted; if not, it's not).

As well, there's the question of accessibility for people who have trouble seeing small things. The iOS is also full of these small-interface-widgets - particularly troubling for people who have normal-to-big sized figertips...

As for the disclosure triangles disappearing when the Sort is set to anything other than None - my guess is this has to do with the question of "what to do with 'second level' items". Do you sort the first-level, and not sort the contents of any "open" folders in the list at all? Or sort the first-level and second-level separately (with the same sort-by-criteria? What if the child-folder has a different sort-by criteria by default?)

My (totally uninformed) guess is it is some unintended consequence of how Core Data works internally. I'm guessing Core Data is basically ALL of what allows Spotlight searching, and is also used by the Finder in it's views as well.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.