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I'm tired of finder creating these .DS_Store metadata and finder view tracking files in all of my directories. How can I disable this in Finder?

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Is there any particular reason these files bother you? Is it mostly to do with networked & external drives? Or do you just dislike file spam in general? –  boehj Apr 12 '11 at 5:24
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@boehj File spam to be honest, and the idea that the best solution fo storing meta data about a directory was a hidden file in each directory. –  Marco Ceppi Apr 12 '11 at 13:27
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4 Answers

up vote 19 down vote accepted

As Fake Name pointed out, Total Finder comes with a kernel extension to redirect .DS_Store files which effectively prevents those pesky files from being created in your directories and without losing the function. What he/she didn't point out is that the kernel extension can be downloaded without Total Finder from github. You have to build it and drop it in your /System/Library/Extensions directory. Then you should restart your computer. It appears to be working for me so far.

Update: This is now a separate project from TotalFinder called Asepsis. There is now a lot more documentation on how it works and the installation process. The GitHub repo is now located here.

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Interesting. This is a new thing. When I started using total finder, the only way to get the asepsis kext was to install total finder. It's cool that they have subsequently open-sourced it! –  Fake Name Mar 5 '12 at 13:30
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Beware. Does not work in Mavericks. (if it ever worked anywhere else). Try BlueHarvest... it is annoying.. but does seem to purge these "little shits". –  alex gray Oct 3 '13 at 22:59
    
@alexgray Both the Asepsis website and Github repo specify that it doesn't work with Mavericks but I suspect they will add support soon. It looks like BlueHarvest is not open source however. –  styfle Nov 7 '13 at 16:17
    
I've been talking to the developer of Asepsis.. and he says that 10.9 compatibility is NOT in the cards. –  alex gray Nov 7 '13 at 17:27
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Your question is kind of like asking "git init" not to create the ".git" directory in your project. In other words, you're choosing to use a tool, but you want that tool to not store the metadata that it needs to store.

There is an Apple support document that describes how to disable the creation of .DS_Store files, but it is only relevant to how the finder treats remote file systems. It will not help you if you seek to have the Finder treat your local filesystem in this manner.

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I can have git create it's .git control structure in a directory outside of my working directory. Regardless the comparison if it can't be done I'll ask for alternatives to Finder. –  Marco Ceppi Apr 11 '11 at 17:06
    
Rats, I should have chosen a less flexible example. You're right about git, and that brings to mind that you could always choose to file an issue with Apple so that perhaps a future version of the Finder could be as flexible. –  pohl Apr 11 '11 at 17:18
    
Somehow I doubt that will carry much weight. Thanks for your answer though –  Marco Ceppi Apr 11 '11 at 17:34
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You're welcome. They probably prioritize features based on the frequency of complaint, so you may want to reconsider. The Wikipedia entry for DS_store suggests that the way the metadata is stored changed at least once in the lifetime of the Finder, based upon user complaint. (It used to store it at the root of the relevant filesystem.) –  pohl Apr 11 '11 at 17:37
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In this case, TotalFinder does allow you to disable (well, it really redirects all .ds_store files into /usr/local/.dscache) the creation of .ds_store files, through what they call the "Asepsis Feature"

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In case you are referring to my answer, note that I did not say that it could not be done. Rather, I said that the support document would not help in the local filesystem case. –  pohl Apr 12 '11 at 2:35
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Can we focus on answering the question, not bashing other peoples answers? –  Harv Apr 12 '11 at 3:10
    
Assuming other people actually answer, rather than just say it can't be done, sure. –  Fake Name Apr 12 '11 at 4:04
    
I'm not sure why this was voted down; TotalFinder is a Finder plugin and so arguably is a direct solution to the question. –  David Apr 12 '11 at 12:59
    
Harv removed the combative material that caused the downvotes. It's safe to mod up again. –  pohl Apr 12 '11 at 13:17
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If you turn the ability to see invisible files off, you won't see them.

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They're in my zips, and I manage a lot of hidden files. I'm more concerned with the fact that it holds its meta data along side my data. Seems like a fatal design flaw. –  Marco Ceppi Apr 11 '11 at 21:15
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Soooo not an answer. If you're in a forest, and facing a bear, closing your eyes won't help. –  Fake Name Apr 12 '11 at 2:20
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@Marco you might want to consider reframing your question to "how can I keep .DS_store files out of my zips?" It may be an easier problem to solve and would scratch the same itch. –  pohl Apr 12 '11 at 13:21
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@Fake Name But if you're in a zoo, and afraid of bears, and you have to pass near the bear habitat, closing your eyes would work, and that's about how dangerous the hidden files are. –  CajunLuke Apr 12 '11 at 14:09
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@Fake Name Also, if someone else set up his computer (or someone comes in the future to this question in that situation), he may not have known that these files are usually hidden and can be turned off. –  CajunLuke Apr 12 '11 at 14:11
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