I have found OS X's default column width to be a bit too narrow. Is there any way to make it wider?

I know how to resize columns manually, but it's annoying to repeat the process every time I open a new folder. Can I force Finder to "remember" the new column width? Also, if this is possible, can anyone point me toward the official Apple documentation that describes how to do it?

  • Join me in telling them you'd like this auto-column width size too here: apple.com/feedback (under "OS X APPS" choose OS X for category to report in)....maybe if enough of us keep telling them, they will write some script to add to OS X!
    – user147295
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 3:43

3 Answers 3


In column view in the Finder, you can resize columns by positioning the mouse pointer over over the thin line that separates column panes, and dragging it to the left to make it narrower or to the right to make it wider.

To make the Finder remember the new width, hold down the option key() while dragging the pane separator to the desired width.

The best documentation I can find on this from Apple alludes to the fact that holding down option resizes "all columns at once" but does not explicitly say that this makes the change persistent.

  • 2
    The option key! I keep pressing it in menus just to discover new and hidden features in MacOSX. It's as if I'm on a treasure hunt :)
    – gentmatt
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 8:32
  • 2
    Adding the best Apple documentation I can find.
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 16:08
  • 4
    This doesn't work on OS X Yosemite.
    – RǢF
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 12:59
  • 5
    Still doesn't work on OS X El Capitan
    – eshellborn
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 17:02
  • 2
    This does not work in Sierra, in list mode, on the desktop. Other folders seem to remember their last setting, but the desktop resets the moment I click away and return to it. The only option is to have two finder windows, one that is always on desktop and the other for all others. Not a good solution. There's got to be a better way. Commented May 16, 2018 at 1:53

In MacOS Catalina, You can OPT-Drag the thick divider by dragging it from the bottom most part. You'll see an icon like ||. Use that to drag. Clicking anywhere else, doesn't work.

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  • 2
    For what it's worth, I could only get the thick dividers to appear by selecting System Preferences > General > Show scroll bars > Always on macOS Catalina, but your mileage may vary. Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 6:15

I am using El Capitan. I have found the following:

  • Shift + Left click on right hand border makes width and height change.
  • Option and Left click on right hand border reduces horizontal width from the right maintaining column width.

At the bottom of the column borders are 2 small vertical lines. Placing the cursor on these will ...

  • Shift + Left click changes column width of the left side column.
  • Option + Left click changes column width of all columns to the same size.

Using Command instead of Shift seems to have the same effect.


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