I'm on OS X Mavericks. In Finder, I use the "List" view. In this view, since upgrading to Mavericks, the column widths keep changing. Basically, the Name column expands to fill the window up, when you resize a Finder window. But worse of all, they are then fixed at that new width. So for instance, I open a folder, such as ~/Downloads, then increase the width horizontally to the right. I close this, then open ~/, which is the original width size. I then open the ~/Downloads folder, and now the columns are wider than the window.

Is there any way to stop this from happening? Does this only happen to me? I already tried resetting my com.apple.finder.plist file, but since Mavericks now caches plist files, the file just gets re-created instantly after deleting it, so that doesn't work anymore.

  • 1
    You can still reset Finder's preferences by running defaults delete com.apple.Finder;killall Finder;open -a Finder.
    – Lri
    Nov 21, 2013 at 11:21
  • Okay thanks. That's certainly a bit more complicated than in previous OSes to just delete the file.
    – Gary
    Nov 21, 2013 at 17:36
  • I'm guessing to run this command, I need to use sudo? For the defaults part, anyway.
    – Gary
    Nov 21, 2013 at 17:52
  • not following your problem exactly, but try holding alt (option) while resizing. Should do the trick
    – Joop
    Nov 21, 2013 at 20:15
  • I think you are referring to the Columns view? I am referring to the List view.
    – Gary
    Nov 22, 2013 at 1:23

4 Answers 4


I was so sick of this, so I decided to write a fix once and for all.

You can use the following AppleScript to resize the column widths when you notice the column is too wide. It works by resizing the Finder window really large, then back to it's original size, triggering a fluid layout resize.

tell application "Finder"
  tell the front Finder window
    -- get the current bounds of the finder window
    set b to the bounds
    -- create a really wide window
    set the bounds to {item 1 of b, item 2 of b, 3000, item 4 of b}
    -- set window back to its original size
    set the bounds to b
  end tell
end tell

This will probably be most useful if bound to a keyboard shortcut, I personally bound it to CMD + E using BetterTouch Tool.

If you're after more detailed information regarding this, you can head over to my blog post about it here: https://christianvarga.com/fix-finder-name-column-width-bug-osx-mavericks/

  • Oh thanks for the script Christian ! I had the same "width column" problem, now one click "et voilà"
    – user70015
    Feb 10, 2014 at 18:25
  • This is great! I have had this problem as well. Some column-view folders I haven't opened for months, when I do open them, they have the first column so wide that the other columns are not visible at all. This script fixes them!
    – GEdgar
    Feb 10, 2014 at 19:13

He means the column width in list view "name" "date modified" "size" etc

I have the same problem, and it is a major pain when i can't see the size of files because the default width of the column is too small even if i stretch, it will reset as soon as i change folders


I found a solution that seems to fix this.

  1. Open a new Finder window.
  2. If not all of the columns are visible, drag the lower right corner of the window to the right until they are.
  3. Resize the first column to be narrower.
  4. Close the window immediately.
  5. Open another new Finder window. Is this Finder window too wide?
    • If yes:
      1. drag the lower right corner to the left to make the window the width you want.
      2. close the window immediately.
      3. open a new Finder window again.
    • If no:
      1. you don’t need to do anything else.

This seems to have permanently fixed the problem for me.


... or you could use xtrafinder (http://www.trankynam.com/xtrafinder/)

  • An edit to show how this software meets the need would turn this into a good answer worth voting up IMO. Especially if it explains how this is a bug or if this behavior is by design from Apple.
    – bmike
    Apr 16, 2019 at 11:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .