I'd like to get the same folder view for every folder, that means, to have my stuff being sorted always by type and then by name. is that possible with automator?

Till yet, I set my view via cmd+j (List view, sort it by type and name) and set it as "default". It just sets the view as default for this particular folder. But I'd like to set it for all the subfolders too. When I change the folder, the documents are sorted different and not as I set it as default for the previous folder before...

So I tried to make a workflow with Automator, but it doesn't work. Or I just can't handle this program.

  1. First I clicked on "workflow" (is that right or should I have chosen another icon?)
  2. define the automation: "Get Folder Contents" --> "Sort Finder Items" (Type) --> "Sort Finder Items" (name) --> "Repeat for each subfolder found",

That's how it looks: (sry for the german, but the description is in (2)) enter image description here

--> Or is it possible to do it apart from automator?

  • This is driving me crazy too!!! Jun 27, 2015 at 7:24

3 Answers 3


As bmike mentioned, the default settings are not used for folders that have folder-specific settings saved in a .DS_Store file. You can just delete .DS_Store files though:

sudo find / -name .DS_Store -delete; killall Finder
  • if I delete them, will new .DS_Store files be created with the settings I have at the actual moment? Or do I have to create thes files then manually?
    – Kirinriki
    Jun 23, 2013 at 10:44
  • Finder will recreate .DS_Store files, but they won't include folder-specific sort by or arrange by modes until you change the modes manually.
    – Lri
    Jun 23, 2013 at 10:58
  • 2
    Just a warning. I ran this command and my computer hung. I rebooted and it went into a kernel panic. I had to reinstall Mavericks.
    – RHPT
    Jul 26, 2014 at 19:13
  • How do you set default settings then? Jun 27, 2015 at 7:25

Perhaps the trick is to identify where the system gets its default settings for creating a .DS_Store file and modify those settings. This would, in theory, make the Finder perform the way you would like as it's default.

Other methods seem to have significant pitfalls and unfortunately force the view to icon using the browser window in the finder. I personally want to conserve screen real-estate and use more than one window in the finder... thus taking that whole browser window and reducing it to icon view without the superfluous adornments is my ideal state. Then being able to flip to list, with a command key and back, perfect.

As it is, it is a long standing FTFF issue in Mac OS X. Apple is trying to make the Mac more like an iPad which is no smarter than Microsoft trying to make a tablet more like a desktop.

So... where does the Finder get the settings to create the .DS-Store file. If it is a structured approach, the settings are hidden in some plist buried deep in a package or elsewhere. If it is unstructured, it is stored in the binary code of the Finder... (hoping for former)


The system design isn't easily amenable to this task.

You can change the default view so that all folders that do not have a customized .DS_Store file to over-ride the default all take your desired default folder view.

You can change each folder's .DS_Store file to have them all use common settings, but since there isn't an API for making atomic changes to a .DS_Store file and it's a binary file format, you'll need some serious low level skills to tweak this. Have you tried just setting up a shell (or better python or perl) script to put a desired .DS_Store file recursively in all the sub folders (and handling aliases and sym-linked folders as you wish) from the target folder?

  • Wow, that means I have to go very deep into the system for that... okay... I don't know if I would make it worse or not. I'm not so deep into the shell that I could do anything serious with it. So I better keep it like that :( Thanks for your answer!
    – Kirinriki
    Jun 22, 2013 at 14:38
  • Yes - the design of the system makes this a painful thing to automate. It could be done, but most people just delete all .DS_Store files (or a subset of .DS_Store files) and then set a new default view for the system in this case.
    – bmike
    Jun 22, 2013 at 14:48

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