Since it appears to be impossible to disable the creation of .DS_Store files in Finder I'd like to know of alternatives to Finder.

Ideally this would be a Community Wiki with one piece of software per answer and a description of the software with instructions for installing would be great.


6 Answers 6


Possible duplication: Are there any free alternatives to the finder. (Note that one non-free alternative is discussed as well.)

I don't know if any of the alternatives mentioned there help you evade the metadata issue.


Checkout TotalFinder. It is amazing.

  • It's worth pointing out that Total Finder specifically claims to be able to redirect .DS_Store files elsewhere. I'd be a bit leery of this but it may be worth looking at. totalfinder.binaryage.com/asepsis
    – David
    Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 12:42
  • Why is it amazing? Commented Dec 10, 2011 at 22:28

Finder is much more than just the window you use to browse your files: its your desktop, and a key part of the OS. Youll keep getting the metadata files... just go ahead and hide them! Even if you use an alternative to finder, if you select to view hidden files they will be there. Just type this into Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true

or use an app like Houdini to hide/show them.


  • Hiding the problem is VERY much NOT a solution.
    – Fake Name
    Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 2:30
  • .DS_store files are not a problem. They are system files that are there and are hided by default for a reason!
    – kevin9794
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 21:26
  • The problem isn't .ds_store files, it's that apparently the best way apple could think of managing folder settings is to have finder automatically create a hidden file in every directory it is ever used to view.
    – Fake Name
    Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 7:54
  • The system should not be spawning files in any directory other than system directories, of any type, ever, unless I explicitly tell it to.
    – Fake Name
    Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 7:55
  • But thats not how it works. Sorry. Not on macs, nor on PC's, and until tech companies change that, the best solution is to hide the files as they are by default, or just live in peace with the bunch of hidden folders all over the place.
    – kevin9794
    Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 13:28

Two more big names are Path Finder and Fork Lift. Neither are free, but both provide two panel browsing and a whole whack of other features that I'm not going to list here. A free alternative, although susbstantially less powerful is XFolders.

I have no idea whether any will address your concern about .DS_Store files but all have trial versions, so you can quickly see if any do.


I'm unsure what your problem with the creation of hidden, useful .DS_store files are. They store the preferences for the icon size, spacing, background, etc. of the current folder.

If your problem is using finder to open networked drives shared with windows pc's that can see .DS_store files (and you find them an annoyance) finder has a hidden option to not create .DS_store files on network directories.

Check out this: Mac OS X Hints - Prevent .DS_Store file creation on network volumes

  • It's wasteful in the directory - because it shows up in compression of the folder. Not everyone in the world uses a Mac - so filling user directories with system settings to me seems wrong Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 12:03
  • But it's necessary for any kind of folder settings...
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 3:16
  • Flawed design in my opinion: You can hold folder meta data in a database or flat text private directory in the home folder. Keeping it in place with real data to me is flawed. Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 12:58
  • It's several kilobytes and hidden under mac os, get over it.
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 15:24

Go for quicksilver @ http://www.blacktree.com/. This might be what you want.

  • You may be thinking of Spotlight. Finder is a file browser, like Explorer on Windows. Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 1:28
  • you can find whatever you want from qs, and preform action on it. It's a step further of spotlight.
    – Kevin Ren
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 5:09
  • ...but nowhere near Finder, which is what the OP wants to replace. Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 14:22

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