In finder, we can 'arrange by' for each folder separately, but how to set these settings for all folders.

NOTE: i have tried 'Use as defaults' in info dialog but of no use

  • Does it have to be a script?
    – Daniel
    Sep 2, 2011 at 0:40

4 Answers 4


To answer your first question, this isn't a script, but it is a procedure you can follow to make all Finder windows sorted by name. Open a Finder window. Select a regular folder; not a pseudo-folder (the Use as defaults button does not appear on Airdrop or Recents). Press Command-J. In the Sort By drop-down control, select Name. Click the Use as defaults button at the bottom of the window.

For the second, no, "sort by" sorts everything, including folders. If there are particular files or folders you want at the top of the list, you could start their name with a space, but don't do that to folders that applications or the system expect to have particular names. It does work for folders you create within your own Documents directory, however.

  • Go to a folder that should be arranged by Name.
  • Open "View Options" with ⌘+J.
  • Select "Arrange by Name".
  • Select "Use as Defaults" to make it default to all folders.
  • 1
    "Use as Defaults" does not apply to "Arrange by". Sep 28, 2016 at 19:57

You can use TotalFinder to do this.

  • 11
    Sweet. $12 to "Arrange By" defaults! I'm not buying another Mac. :\ Nov 29, 2016 at 21:16
  • @corysimmons that's apple, man.
    – Roman
    Jan 28, 2018 at 15:48

Unfortunately, I don't know of any scripts that can arrange all files in EVERY folder by name, or scripts to keep the folders at the top, but you can sort your files by type (extensions, alphabetically), and by name through right clicking (Control-click) in your folder (not selecting any specific file), and select Clean up by -> Kind or Name.

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