How to Reset All Folders to Default Viewing and Sorting Options on Mac

Joel Lee 10-11-2016

Have you ever wondered why you always see .DS_Store files everywhere on Mac? Not really sure what it does? Well, as it turns out, .DS_Store contains all of the custom attributes that define the look and feel of a particular folder.


So regardless of what your default folder view options have been set to, any folder with a .DS_Store file is going to override those defaults. This can be frustrating for a Mac newbie 8 Finder Tips for Mac Newbies Navigating files and folders using the native Mac file browser Finder is easy enough, but there are many more features hidden behind menus and keyboard shortcuts. Read More who doesn’t know why a folder’s options won’t change back.


Fortunately, this is easy to fix. You just need to mass delete these .DS_Store files and all of those folders will revert to the default look and feel.

But make sure you type the following command EXACTLY otherwise you could end up deleting ALL of your files by accident! Here’s the command:

find ~ -name .DS_Store -delete

This will delete all of the .DS_Store files within your Home folder and all subfolders. Launch the Terminal app These 6 Awesome Terminal Commands Will Boost Your MacBook You can only cram so much into graphical user interface before it becomes cluttered, so it should come as no big surprise that you can do some really cool things using the Mac Terminal. Read More and copy/paste into there (or type it out by hand) and press Enter. It may take a while to complete depending on the size of your Home folder and your computer specs.


Change the ~ to / if you want to delete them across your ENTIRE file system.

What are your preferred viewing and sorting options for folders in Mac? I like the Column view sorted by Kind, but not everyone does. Share with us by commenting below!

Image Credit: AlexHliv via Shutterstock

Related topics: OS X Finder, Troubleshooting.

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  1. Ken Kline
    November 16, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I use this software, DSWipe, "". It allows you to wipe ,DS files on your entire computer, or your user folder, or a specific folder you you won't have to fool with the Term. This software goes back to Mac OSX 10.2 + above. Works for me, but as always, use at your own risk.