I'm accessing a Windows File Sharing folder on my home server in Finder on my Mac (OS X 10.7.2) using the SMB protocol. When I'm navigating through the folders, sometimes (most of the time) I have to wait up to 10 seconds until I can see the list of files in the selected folder. Also, there is no visual clue that Finder is fetching the file list, so the first time I got this behavior in Mac OS X Lion, I was thinking the folder was empty.

Even worse, when I'm copying some large files to the server, Finder is delaying the process of getting the file list more or less until the copying is finished.

Is this something I can fix? Or is it a known bug in the Finder/SMB protocol implementation?

  • I'm experiencing the same thing with SL as client and Lion as server via Apple File Sharing (not Samba), however I think it is related to the network (wifi), as via Firewire the problem does not occur. Do you use wifi? If so, how many clients? Do you experience the same issues with another machine / is it a new phenomena?
    – scravy
    Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 12:20
  • @scravy It doesn't matter if I connect through Wifi or Ethernet cable – it's slow in both cases.
    – splattne
    Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 14:10
  • I find the same problem. Tbh, I think it's just not been optimised very much and it's an Apple system connecting to a Microsoft system. It probably has to go through many different processes to match the protocols up properly and then it has to be converted back once the query has been completed. Also, I would not think there is a great deal of money in Apple optimising how the Mac works with Windows, so there won't be a great deal of money spent in making these tools. Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 8:57
  • 1
    Please check also here apple.stackexchange.com/questions/37543/…
    – sumx
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 18:55
  • Similar problem on Mountain Lion connecting to a Windows Home Server NAS. Things got a bit better after I installed DAVE from Thursby Software - at least now I don't get disconnected all the time - but it's still kind of slow. I'm using Path Finder and it's not really any faster than Finder at doing this. Not particularly impressed with Mac networking so far. Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 11:16

4 Answers 4


In finder make sure you have status bar showing under view options. You should see a spinning gif animation while the folder is loading. If you have visited the folder recently the file list should be cached.


It is an issue with Apples smb implementation. They used to use Samba but because of licensing issues they have now created their own smb client.

There are two solutions you can choose from:

  1. Configure the server to play nice with Apple's smb (if you have access to the server). You can do this by enabling the vfs_fruit module in samba.

  2. Replace Apple's smb implementation with Samba3.

I detailed the solution in more depth in Slow SMB connection Buffalo Linkstation and you can see everything else I tried and my complete experience in Apple OS X Finder Is Listing Files Very (Very) Slow Over SMB With Shared Hard Drive Connected Directly to a WiFi Router at my company's blog.


I would say this is an expected result of mixing designs.

  • Windows wants certain information to paint the folder contents and serves that to anyone that asks.
  • OS X wants different information to paint the folder contents and takes longer to retrieve things from each file (icons to drawn, etc...) since it doesn't get what it wants from the initial directory listing request.

You can experiment with different views (list view, icon view, etc...) to see if your 10 second delay can be minimized, but using the Mac OS to view remote files on a windows share can take a while to get the listing if the data takes time to arrive. You can convince yourself it's not the mac by opening a local folder with similar file count.


Doing option-command-escape and relaunching Finder helps me.

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