I've been doing some development work on my Mac lately (I normally use Windows for that) that required me to access some hidden files and can't seem to figure out how to properly sort my Home directory in Finder now. With hidden files shown, everything looks about right.

Regular and hidden files organized neatly

When I re-hide the hidden files, though, I'm left with this.

Hidden files taking up space even though they're not displayed

I've tried doing Clean Up By Name (or Kind) but that makes it even worse - when I re-show the hidden files some of them overlap the positioning of normal ones.

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I understand that MacOS allows me to place files anywhere without snapping them to a grid or anything, but is there a way to prevent Finder from leaving empty space where hidden files would be? That seems to be the default behavior in all my other folders.

I've tried restoring view options to default, as well as deleting all .DS_Store files on the system, but that hasn't seemed to help.

1 Answer 1


You can use the Sort By feature in View > Show View Options to keep a folder's contents sorted and thereby both eliminate empty space and prevent icons from stacking.

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