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I have found OS X's default column width to be a bit too narrow. Is there any way to make it wider?

I know how to resize columns manually, but it's annoying to repeat the process every time I open a new folder. Can I force Finder to "remember" the new column width? Also, if this is possible, can anyone point me toward the official Apple documentation that describes how to do it?

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In column view in the Finder? – Daniel Dec 27 '11 at 23:06
@Daniel Exactly – Chris Frederick Dec 27 '11 at 23:22
Join me in telling them you'd like this auto-column width size too here: (under "OS X APPS" choose OS X for category to report in)....maybe if enough of us keep telling them, they will write some script to add to OS X! – JuneB Sep 18 at 3:43

2 Answers 2

up vote 19 down vote accepted

In column view in the Finder, you can resize columns by positioning the mouse pointer over over the thin line that separates column panes, and dragging it to the left to make it narrower or to the right to make it wider.

To make the Finder remember the new width, hold down the option key() while dragging the pane separator to the desired width.

The best documentation I can find on this from Apple alludes to the fact that holding down option resizes "all columns at once" but does not explicitly say that this makes the change persistent.

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Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for. I can't believe how non-obvious it is, though. – Chris Frederick Dec 27 '11 at 23:26
The option key! I keep pressing it in menus just to discover new and hidden features in MacOSX. It's as if I'm on a treasure hunt :) – gentmatt Dec 28 '11 at 8:32
@Chris if it's exactly what you're looking for, you can accept it as the correct answer so future people with the same problem can more easily find this answer. – Daniel Dec 30 '11 at 3:26
This doesn't work on OS X Yosemite. – RǢF Feb 5 at 12:59
Still doesn't work on OS X El Capitan – eshellborn Jul 15 at 17:02

Well, the "Option" key resize works and Finder seems to remember the chosen width every time you open a new window in Column view. However, that is not the most logic behaviour. I would love the Finder to automatically resize each column to the necessary width to display the items it contains. I don't understand that this is not an option.

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