Is there any way to enable automatic reflow of icons in Finder while resizing the window?

One constantly has to to resort via "clean up by ..." after resize.

I've yet to find a piece of software that handles that ridiculous shortcoming of Finder.

  • Now that you point it out, I also am annoyed!
    – Zo219
    Apr 9, 2013 at 23:05

4 Answers 4


If you change your "arrange by" options via "right click" > "arrange by" to any other than "none" spaces between the icons is clinched/stretched according to window size, or icons even get rearranged to the next line if space gets to narrow.

This should be default behaviour without "arrange by" since it kind of breaks list view if active. Sadly Apple rarely listens to customer needs, since they "know what the customer wants".

  • 5
    This is now View > "Sort By" Mar 26, 2020 at 15:15

You can go to Finder>View>Arrange By>Name.

It'll resize in real time if you do that.


In macOS 12.5.1:

With the folder open in finder, right-click in the blank space. Then go to Sort By, and select any option except None or Snap to Grid.


I tried the suggestions above, and for me (running Ventura 13.4.1), it only rearranged the icons one time, not automatically. However, I found another site that said to do this and IT WORKED:

Finder --> View --> Show View Options --> Set "Group By" and "Sort By" to any option other than "None" --> Click "Use as Defaults" at the bottom if you want all folders to be that way, or you can set preferences for each individual folder.

Then, it will automatically sort in real time as you resize the finder window.

  • Link to other site? Jul 21, 2023 at 16:06

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