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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder Desktop
A relatively trivial annoyance for several years, I've hated the fact my preference to change the Finder's windows to column view never seemed to "stick." I finally discovered that this apparent bug is actually a feature: The only folders your preferences will "stick" on are the folders in your own home folder. Since permissions are an issue, nothing outside of it will adhere to your preference.

Enter root. Open Applications: Utilities: Netinfo Manager, then choose Security: Authenticate, enter your admin user password, then choose Security: Enable Root User, and provide the root user its own password. Now switch over to System Preferences: Accounts, and select the Login Options button at the bottom of the account list. Make sure that the the "Display Login Window as" option is set to "Name and password."

Log off and back on as username 'root' (with the new root password). Once logged in, open Finder: Preferences: General, and check the "Open new window in column view" item. Log off root, login as your normal user again, and now, every user will benefit from the much more productive column view as the default ... finally!

[robg adds: I would also recommend opening NetInfo Manager again and using Security: Disable Root User (after authenticating again) to disable root.]
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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder | 24 comments | Create New Account
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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: baba on Feb 23, '05 09:12:06AM

Has anyone found where this is actually stored? I'd like to change the defuault view to list view but that's not an option.



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List view default
Authored by: ssevenup on Feb 23, '05 09:01:47PM
Has anyone found where this is actually stored? I'd like to change the defuault view to list view but that's not an option.
Not likely, since the column view default is a boolean toggle in com.apple.finder.plist.

It may be you could copy a plist into /Library/Preferences to accomplish this tip without enabling root though. Someone should try the long way to see where the plist gets stored or what plist gets the property. You might be able to just copy your com.apple.finder.plist there but I suspect it would need some "tuning".

---
Mark Moorcroft
ELORET Corp. - NASA/Ames RC
Sys. Admin.

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List view default
Authored by: rprestonatmitre on Sep 22, '05 10:06:20AM

I copied the following to /Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist and it seems to be working.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
<key>AlwaysOpenWindowsInColumnView</key>
<true/>
</dict>
</plist>



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: disinfor on Feb 23, '05 09:41:04AM

thanks for this hint! I was looking all over for this yesterday and here it is!



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: pete on Feb 23, '05 09:57:06AM

I just wish that however a folder is set as per view, it would remain that way forever! The always-there side-bar, which is nice in some views is a pain in most.

Auto-resizing folder windows, as in the distant past would be nice to see again also!

Be nice too is those .DS_Store files in every folder could be edited to save your pref's WRT window re-sizing, views and styles. But that is asking for too much - too much work also!



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: aMacUzur on Feb 24, '05 04:09:00PM
As I posted in the main area, you can use FolderControl to effectively do exactly this.

It's evident from the myriad of preference settings and various messages it produces that FolderControl is driving the Finder to make the settings in the .DS_Store files. According to some of the information on www.derman.com, Apple doesn't supply a programmer's interface to this ... only the Finder knows!

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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: ofermod on Feb 23, '05 10:12:15AM

I can't try this right now since I'm not at my Mac :(

Would you get a 'privileged' window using:

sudo open /path/to/directory

If that works, it saves you the whole enable root logout login thing.



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: goatbar on Feb 23, '05 10:50:26AM

Is this hint changing the ownership of .DS_Store to root so that wandering through as a user can't change the preference? If that is the case you could do this once the view is right:

sudo chown root .DS_Store

-kurt



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Thanks for digging into this
Authored by: MtnBiker on Feb 23, '05 11:05:17AM

I've always wondered about this, and just assumed it hadn't really been implemented. I have three drives in my G4, and my main (the one I use for documents "Documents" folder is not on the main drive.

Never would have occurred to me since I don't mess with permissions much. Mac OS X Hints and it's users are great.

---
Hermosa Beach, CA USA



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: unixjunkie on Feb 23, '05 12:10:26PM
Just enabling
Finder > Preferences > General (tab) > Open new windows in column view
worked for me.

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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: disinfor on Feb 23, '05 12:27:33PM

For me that didn't work. Once I logged out and logged back in the folder view that folder previously had was reinstated (whether it be list or icon view). I guess everyone's macs are different!



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: fivefifty on Feb 23, '05 01:21:39PM

I think you can accomplish the same thing without enabling root. Just quit/kill finder, then in terminal:

cd /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/MacOS
sudo ./Finder

This will open Finder as root (you'll know cause the home folder on the side bar will be root), and then you can work from there.



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: spenton on Feb 23, '05 05:23:38PM
How is this different from
sudo defaults write com.apple.finder AlwaysOpenInColumnView True
???

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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: mazatty on Feb 23, '05 11:25:59PM

i have a little script to restart the finder from back in the day when you couldn't authenticate to manipulate files you don't have permissions on. if you execute it with sudo the finder will restart as root. to get your finder back you just execute the script as yourself. here is the script:


#! /bin/sh

# quit the finder
echo "quiting the finder"
osascript -e 'tell application "Finder" to quit'

echo "restarting the finder"
# open the finder again
/System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/MacOS/Finder &

echo "done"

i have found it very useful to change the appearance for the root user to the opposite of you user account. so, i use the blue appearance and have set root to use graphite. this way i can easily see who is running what. although now-a-days i don't run apps as root very often.



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: davidmorr on Feb 23, '05 07:47:05PM

An easy way to enable root is

dsenableroot -u adminusername

adminusername is the username of someone with admin privileges.

It asks for the password of that account, then the password to use for root.

See more:

man dsenableroot

There does not seem to be a similar command to disable root.

David



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: MarcodD on Feb 23, '05 07:58:34PM

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!
This has bugged me forever. I work on several macs and on some of them the preference stuck and on some it didn't. Thanks for the hint.



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NO left column...
Authored by: ioweb on Feb 23, '05 09:09:26PM

Hi, does anyone know hot to make that all the new windows created show directly the APPLE-2 (2nd view) insetad of the default APPLE-1 view?

And... does anyone know how to make that the created window or the default windows avoid to show the left column with the volumes and the user default icons? I really don't like the left column that I've to cancel trough the right up corner symbol or through the ALT-APPLE-T keyboard shortcut.

Also another bug I checked in the finder: if you open a window trough an alias that window doesn't maintain the orinal setting but presents the default ones.

Thanks for your precious help! Michele



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NO left column...
Authored by: Molate Pt on Feb 24, '05 01:14:04PM

If you ever find a way to make one's window settings the default please let me know. I would like to make the default to be: List View, No sidebar - can this be done?



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: aMacUzur on Feb 24, '05 04:00:29PM
If you want to gain control over all your Finder/folder windows, you might try the product FolderControl.

FolderControl allows you to easily set all your folder's views, sizes, poisitions, etc. I've been using it for over a year and wouldn't want to be without it.

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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: jonn8n on Feb 24, '05 04:34:17PM
For unique Finder window management, you could also take a look at my shareware application Finder Window Manager.

Jon

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Column view sort by date
Authored by: ad7am on Feb 24, '05 06:27:51PM

Does anyone know how to change the default column view to sort by date modified, rather than alphabetical?
'Course, even a hotkey to change it would be great, if a default solution is unavailable.
Thanks--

a d a m



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: seancorfield on Mar 02, '05 01:50:52PM

This didn't work for me (10.3.8). But then I've noticed the view change even for folders that I absolutely do have permission over!

Copying com.apple.finder.plist into /Library/Preferences/ didn't work either.

Folder Control isn't free and I'm not paying $25 to see whether it fixes the problem (the trial definitely does not).

---
"If you're not annoying somebody, you're not really alive."
-- Margaret Atwood



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: audioaquatic on Mar 05, '05 12:56:37PM

At issue is the inexplicable inability to set system-wide view options. In addition, I think there is a fundamental incoherence in trying to combine Icon/List/Column & Toolbars without system-wide settings. All I know is that I click many more times to get a window the way I want it than I ever did in OS9. And if I want a plain ol' list view in toolbar mode, and click the green button, it will not properly wrap the text of the file names and cuts them off, so I have to manually resize. I've been trying to get my head around these kind of annoyances for a long time, without really knowing what my issue was, and even mentioned it to one of the typical pricks who works in the Apple store, who thought I was talking nonsense -- if you don't use columns exclusively you should go back to OS9. It seems that the whole deal just wasn't thought through in the beginning, conflicting paradigms or something.



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Set a permanent column view default for the Finder
Authored by: dmccord on Dec 16, '05 09:23:44AM

Perhaps I'm being REALLY old-fashioned, but I heartily subscribe to the KISS principle. Can I set a defult to LIST VIEW rather than columns?

---
- David McCord, Creative Guy



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