Is there a way to make Finder always expand to "Show All" by default in "Icon View"?

I am referring to this situation where the "Show All" is collapsed by default:


I have a two-part answer for you. The short answer is no, you cannot "Show All" by default in the Icon view you are using.

The good news, and second part of the answer, is that you can change the folder View settings to eliminate this completely.

  1. Open one of the folders with which you are having an issue.
  2. Select Show View Options from the View menu.
  3. Change the Arranged By setting to Name or None.
  4. Then Select Sort By to whatever way you prefer. Kind will be the secondary arrangement.
  5. You may also wish to check the box, Always open in Icon view.

Once this is set the way you wish, you can also click the Use as Default button at the bottom of the View options window.

  • Thanks, this is I think more tolerable, but ideally I liked to be able to arrange my files by Kind. That's what I've been doing since Snow Leopard, as far as I can remember. – TheFooProgrammer Jan 6 '13 at 2:56
  • Well, there is no out-of-the-box way to achieve this. Are there any way to achieve this using Apple script? – DUKE Feb 16 '14 at 16:58

On closer inspection this appears to be a bug. If you populate a folder with only sub-folders (no other file types) then the 'show all' remains the default when you leave and re-enter the folder. Also, I mysteriously have one folder on my mac with multiple file types where the 'show all' option appears to be the default. Definitely a bug.


Update: like Alex said - but you need to click the "Help" option and type "Sort By" in order to get the menu to give you a sort-by option - it does not show up by default, but the "help" option somehow activates it to show.

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