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?

  • In column view in the Finder? – Daniel Dec 27 '11 at 23:06
  • @Daniel Exactly – Chris Frederick Dec 27 '11 at 23:22
  • 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 Sep 18 '15 at 3:43

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.

  • Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for. I can't believe how non-obvious it is, though. – Chris Frederick Dec 27 '11 at 23:26
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    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 Dec 28 '11 at 8:32
  • @Chris if it's exactly what you're looking for, you can accept it as the correct answer so future people with the same problem can more easily find this answer. – Daniel Dec 30 '11 at 3:26
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    This doesn't work on OS X Yosemite. – RǢF Feb 5 '15 at 12:59
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    Still doesn't work on OS X El Capitan – eshellborn Jul 15 '15 at 17:02

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.

  • Please reformat your answer using the proper punctuation. As it is now, the answer is very difficult to read and understand. I think you can provide a good answer with this info but it's very hard to read. – fsb Aug 16 '16 at 17:18
  • Interesting. Could you provide some screenshots to show what you're talking about? – Chris Frederick Aug 17 '16 at 2:49

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.

enter image description here

  • 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. – Chris Frederick Jan 14 at 6:15

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