Finder > Show View Options > Calculate all sizes

Calculate all sizes

This option causes Finder to calculate the sizes of all files and folders and display their sizes in the Finder list view columns, rather than a useless --.

before after

"Calculate all sizes" is OFF by default. I seem to need to enable it on a per-folder basis for every directory in Finder.

How can I enable "Calculate all sizes" as ON by default for all Finder folders?

Are there any performance considerations for this option on a modern Mac and APFS file system? Sizes are listed instantaneously and I have noticed no downside to enabling the option.

2 Answers 2


There's a catch to the accepted practise…

  • Open your chosen folder, then Cmd ⌘ J or View menu > Show View Options
    check 'calculate all sizes', then click "Use as Defaults".

Whilst it's true that setting "Use as Defaults" will change the pref for all future & containing folders, it is only true if no folder inside that hierarchy was ever previously set.

In effect it is "Set as default for all folders without an existing default."

To reset defaults, hold Opt ⌥ & the button will change from "Use as Defaults" to "Restore to defaults". If at any time this button is grey, then the folder is already at Default.

As to the second part; as far as I'm aware the Mac caches the sizes once calculated. Calculating for a big old spinny rust with terabytes of data takes quite some time initially, but going back later seems instant. I'm not sure whether this survives through reboot.


On macOS Big Sur, in Finder, when you 'Show View Options' you get the following window where you can see there is a button at the bottom to use the settings as default. After adjusting the settings, press that button and see if it solves your problem.

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