Let's say the name of my current account is johndoe.

Open Finder Preferences, and set "New Finder window show" to johndoe, and add it to sidebar. Then each time opening up Finder after a reboot or log out/in, it will display the full path on the Finder window (screenshot below).

Macintosh HD > Users > johndoe

Rather than display johndoe as the relevant root, the behavior on OS X 10.7 and before (screenshot below).


However, close any Finder window and reopen, problem disappears. But after reboot and log out/in problem repeats.

Affecting systems: OS X 10.8 and 10.9, unknown on 10.10

Example (system root):

enter image description here

Example (relevant root):

enter image description here

  • I guess, that it's just Finder trying to be intelligent, and wanting to fill up all the space in the windows and showing the whole path first time you open it. Feb 11, 2015 at 9:32
  • 1
    First of all, out of curiosity: what makes showing the folder hierarchy "bad" for you? And second: does this happen for all windows (including new ones) after you reboot or only for those that are automatically re-opened from the last session?
    – Asmus
    Feb 11, 2015 at 9:36
  • @MarekBettman I like your theory :P
    – Stickers
    Feb 11, 2015 at 13:27
  • @Asmus You're right, I shouldn't say bad there, just removed the word, was just trying to make it clear. Only the first opening Finder window after reboot or log out/in shows the system root, any new window shows the relevant root. There is no auto reopen/session, I don't use the feature of "reopen windows automatically".
    – Stickers
    Feb 11, 2015 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


Try doing this:

  1. Delete the sidebar shortcut of johndoe
  2. Press + + G
  3. Enter /Users/johndoe into the textbox
  4. Press Go
  5. Now drag the home icon at the top of the fider window to the sidebar

Or try right clicking on the home folder and click open in new window

  • Unfortunately, that makes no difference, thanks though.
    – Stickers
    Feb 11, 2015 at 18:05

Window display information is stored in the .DS_Store files (since it starts with a dot, you can't see it by default in the finder). These files are created everytime you see or change something in the finder. They are stored in each folder to describe the view mode, icon locations, etc. I've had problems with them in the past and sometimes it can help to delete them and let the system create new ones.

I would first try removing all the .DS_Store files in the directories that its displaying. Based on your screenshot it looks like its displaying all the way down to the root of your volume. Navigate there with in Terminal and remove the .DS_Store files. Also remove the one in the user's home folder as it could also be contributing to this behavior, since that's where you'd like to display properly

Here's how: Open Terminal, then close all finder windows. In terminal do the following:

cd /Volumes/<YourDriveName>
sudo rm -f .DS_Store

Then do the user folder as well:

cd ~
rm -f .DS_Store

Now open a new window in the finder and navigate to your johndoe home folder. Make it appear the way you want then close the window and reboot.

If none of that works, try trashing the finder prefs in /Users/johndoe/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist

  • 1
    I'm quite familiar with Terminal, and I know what .DS_Store does in general. The issue happens on multiple Macs that I manage, including fresh installed systems. I can confirm that removing both .DS_Store files does not help.
    – Stickers
    Feb 10, 2015 at 16:26

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