Whenever I open a file in any application I'm presented with the standard "Open" dialog box which I find to be frustratingly small (less than 50% in each dimension on my 11 inch screen). I can enlarge it to a more generous size, but the new dimensions don't seem to be made permanent, so next time I open a file the standard small-size dialog is shown.

Is there a way to permanently resize this dialog box?

  • 1
    It seems the size was saving until 10.10.1 or 10.10.2. At least Script Editor has a menu option to save the size of the Open dialog, but that's the only one I know of.
    – user11633
    May 29, 2015 at 4:11
  • The open dialog is actually provided by the system these days, for sandboxed applications. There are fewer options for controlling its presentation. May 30, 2015 at 3:18
  • browse true this : apple.stackexchange.com/questions/9659/…
    – Ruskes
    May 30, 2015 at 16:42
  • Have you tried this? Copy and paste the command into Terminal and hit return: defaults write ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist NSNavPanelExpandedSizeForOpenMode '{"926, 639"}'
    – MorganR
    May 31, 2015 at 14:31
  • 1
    @MorganR that command fails with error Could not parse: {"926, 639"}. Try single-quoting it.
    – pseudosudo
    Jun 1, 2015 at 3:42

4 Answers 4


I tested this with TextEdit and it does not remember the size of it's open dialog window. I tested it with Script-Editor and BBEdit and they both remember the size.

After reading something about another, maybe related situation, I tried this:

I resized the open dialog in TextEdit like it is described here (second screenshot).
[ which is: hold the SHIFT-key and click into the right side of the dialog and start dragging it ]

And when I do that this way, TextEdit remembers the size, also between relaunches.

So may be this is possible with all applications you want to remember it's open dialog size? It's not a general solution but a workaround. If it does the job it may be a pretty useful one.

I got the idea to try this from here (second screenshot): http://osxdaily.com/2014/12/08/resize-large-open-save-dialog-windows-mac-os-x/ and I found that site with a google query containing the title of your question.

  • Doesn't seem to work in 10.10.3, what OSX version have you tried this on?
    – pseudosudo
    Jun 2, 2015 at 1:59
  • 10.10.3. It works here when I do it like in the screenshot shown. And it persists, it's still as big as I resized it yesterday (in TextEdit).
    – user128544
    Jun 2, 2015 at 2:16
  • To test it, you could try to delete TextEdit's preferences (if you are willing to start with the default set) and try that SHIFT-CLICK-DRAG again (to delete the prefs, run this code in a Terminal.app window: "defaults delete com.apple.TextEdit" (without the quotes). Quit TextEdit before executing.
    – user128544
    Jun 3, 2015 at 4:23
  • Is your TextEdit connected to iCloud? I noticed that this trick seems to work on all apps except those which use iCloud. So maybe the dimensions for the iCloud-enabled open dialog are hardcoded instead of being read from the NSNavPanelExpandedSizeForOpenMode like regular open dialog boxes.
    – pseudosudo
    Jun 11, 2015 at 19:16
  • No, I don't use iCloud.
    – user128544
    Jun 11, 2015 at 19:25

This may help you. You can set the open dialog to always open in expanded mode - it still will not store the last screen coordinates however that you used - however - always being in expanded mode would help on a 11 inch screen

Open the Terminal

and type:

defaults write -g NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -bool TRUE

You may need to restart the finder

killall Finder

Click the bottom right corner, hold down Option, drag the window to what you'd like. 10/10 times, it saves this X/Y setting.

  • I thought so too... this seems to no longer be working very unreliably in Big Sur. Kind of driving me nuts. So maybe more like 7/10 times? Jan 16, 2021 at 15:07
  • well, yeah, looks like a known annoyance in 11.1 Jan 16, 2021 at 15:09

Not a 'system fix' but using a 3rd party app, DefaultFolderX (approx £30 UK, with 30-day trial period) you can take charge of how you deal with Open/Save file-pickers.

I don't use half of what it's capable of, yet still find it worth the outlay, & have done for 15 years.

My prime use of it is to navigate to any open folder on the desktop, but resizing & remembering file pickers is just one of its features.

no affiliation, just a satisfied customer

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