When loading a folder which contains around 500 video files (each approximately 200mb-700mb in size), Finder becomes unresponsive and displays the beach-ball.

The folder in question is a networked folder (on an AvidISIS server). Network speed shouldn't be an issue as we are accessing the server using dual ethernet cards (high-end).

What's annoying is that this only occurs on systems running Snow Leopard. Our Lion systems (which dont even have the dual ethernet set-up) have no problem accessing the folder. I've also tested this on SL computers without the dual ethernet and the issue still exists.

Furthermore, if I open the folder, wait 10 seconds and then scroll around with the mouse, the folder responds fine for a while. But if I click and drag the scroll bar Finder shows the beach-ball again.

  • Is there a way to prevent Finder from slowing down when accessing the folder?
  • Could it be due to Finder trying to load thumbnails of the video files?

(both the Snow Leopard and Lion systems are fully up-to-date - mix of Mac Pros and Mac Minis)

  • are both Finders set to the same view type? Is there any software on the SL mac that might perform QuickLook on the files
    – Stu Wilson
    Jan 19, 2012 at 9:37
  • No software that I'm aware of. And they are both on the list/details view. I've played around with the different views but they all produce the same result
    – OrangeBox
    Jan 19, 2012 at 11:07
  • the only way I can think of diagnosing some thing like this is to analyse the network traffic on the machines, and physically see the requests being made. You could use the Activity Monitor and Network tab to see relative traffic that will confirm whether the issue is a network traffic issue or software based issue.
    – Stu Wilson
    Jan 19, 2012 at 13:16
  • We tested the network speeds and it doesnt appear to be a contributing factor. None of the computers connections are maxing out (client or host) nor is the servers access rate. Both the main SL machines are new installs, I cant think of any software that could be causing the issue.
    – OrangeBox
    Feb 3, 2012 at 3:19

2 Answers 2


I have a similar problem with a network drive that is over ethernet on 10.6.x

If the folder has a list of image files that approach 3000 or over, it will slow down the finder.i.e constant beach balling. The only solution is to break the files down into sub folders that have no more than 2000 file each. I also make sure that Calculate all sizes is not on or icon preview.

The problem seems to be that the finder is waiting for the ethernet to return the data but is not getting it quickly enough so beach balls. Simliar to when you try and mount a share that is not on the network anymore.

I suspect it is actually not the finder but the ethernet component on 10.6 that cannot handle either the number of items or the overall data size of the list.

  • So far this seems the most logical explanation! Thanks!
    – OrangeBox
    Apr 8, 2013 at 5:49

Quicklook may want to read the remote files to generate an icon preview, and that on a slow network can be problematic.

A trick that helps me in similar situations is to uncheck "Show icon preview" from menu View -> Show View Options (Command-j)

See image

  • Unfortunately it didnt improve the situation. Its odd because on our Lion machines the folder works fine, but on some of our SL machines it doesnt...
    – OrangeBox
    Feb 3, 2012 at 3:17
  • this has helped me. Feb 23, 2014 at 5:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .