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There are two ways to rename a file in the Finder which is already selected - press return, or click on it again, then wait a second. I find that the second option leads to a lot of unintentionally renamed files. The problem is, I might click the file when it is already selected to get focus on that window, then hit spacebar to bring it up in quickview. Unbeknownst to me (since it is behind the quickview popup dialog), the Finder has switched to rename mode. When I hit the spacebar again (to close the quickview), nothing happens, because in the background the file is in the process of being renamed to " ". Any action I take from here to get rid of the quickview dialog will commit the rename. I probably will not know for some time until I wonder either what happened to that file or why I have a file with named " .pdf".

So, is there a way to turn off this troublesome "feature" and stick with just the return key to rename?

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    This doesn't answer your question; but, if you notice the name is being edited before it's too late (ie, before you've pressed return or clicked somewhere else), you can press the <kbd>esc<kbd> key to undo your changes to the filename. – Kent Dec 9 '13 at 4:42
  • Thanks Kent, unfortunately I can't see the rename begin happening, since the quickview popup dialog is blocking the view of the Finder window. I'd rather just disable the click-to-rename feature completely since I never initiate a file rename that way. – John Churchill Dec 9 '13 at 6:00
  • You can also control+Z to undo the rename. – bahamat Dec 9 '13 at 9:31
  • I use ctrl-Z if I realize it happened. Sometimes I don't know it happened until much later. – John Churchill Dec 9 '13 at 16:31
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I don't know how to turn this off, but one way to deal with this is by tweaking the speed (i.e., duration) for double click and making it slower (i.e., longer duration) than what you currently have so that a single click does not quickly result in a rename action. The faster the double click setting, the more the likelihood of the rename action being triggered quickly.

You would have to experiment a bit to find the optimal double click duration while trying to not make it too slow for your use. You can set the double click duration by going to System Preferences > Mouse and adjusting the Double-Click slider.


On 10.9 the Double-Click options for Mouse and a trackpad have moved to the System Preferences > Accessibility > Mouse & Trackpad.

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    The rename click isn't a double-click function. The item enters rename mode after a single click on an already selected item. – John Churchill Dec 9 '13 at 16:40
  • Yes, I know rename is not a double click function. By changing the double click timing, you're adjusting how long the system waits after a single click before it decides it's not a double click and enters the rename mode. So by making the double click speed slower, you would impact the single click rename duration as well. – M K Dec 10 '13 at 19:19
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    This does not help solve the problem. It may delay the entering of the rename mode by a fraction of a second, but rename mode is entered regardless. – John Churchill Jan 22 '14 at 16:36

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