Tech, Gadgets, Photography, Social Media and Poor Spelling

Change Finder Windows View Style from the Command Line in Mac OS X

This is another great OSXDaily tip which i’ve found myself using..

Finder window list view options
Unless it’s been disabled, any Finder window in Mac OS X has the View option buttons in the windows toolbar. From left to right you can select icon view, list, columns, and coverflow. You may have noticed the window view style doesn’t always persist across Finder windows though, even if you selected “Always Open With _ View” in the View Options. To get around that you can change the Finder windows view style through the command line:


Launch Terminal found in /Applications/Utilities/ and use the following defaults write command:

defaults write FXPreferredViewStyle xxxx

Change the four ‘xxxx’ letters at the end to the setting you wish to be the default. The Finder view choices are as follows:

  • Nlsv – List View
  • icnv – Icon View
  • clmv – Column View
  • Flwv – Cover Flow View

For example, to always use list view the defaults command would be as follows:

defaults write FXPreferredViewStyle Nlsv

Follow that up with a Finder restart for changes to take effect, achieved by killing the Finder process:

killall Finder

If you find these settings to not be consistent across Finder windows, you must remove .DS_Store files from the inconsistent directories. Because the .DS_Store files are prepended with a period they are hidden, making it generally easier to delete them through the command line.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on July 7, 2012 by in Apple, guides, OsX, osxdaily, tip and tagged , , , , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: