Change Finder Windows View Style from Command Line on Mac OS

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Unless it’s turned off, every Finder window in Mac OS X has a View option buttons in the Windows toolbar. From left to right you can select icon view, list, columns and cover flow. You may have noticed that the window view style doesn’t always persist in the Finder windows, even if you selected “Always open with _view” in the display options. One way to get around that is to change the default style of the Finder windows view from the command line using the default settings.

How to Set the default viewfinder display style to Column, Icon, List, or Cover Flow

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

defaults write com.apple.Finder FXPreferredViewStyle xxxx

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

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

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

default settings write com.apple.Finder FXPreferredViewStyle Nlsv

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

killall Finder

You can also combine the two into one easy-to-use command as follows:

Set Icon View as default:defaults write com.apple.Finder FXPreferredViewStyle icnv; killall Finder

List view as standard:default settings write com.apple.Finder FXPreferredViewStyle Nlsv; killall Finder

Column view as standard:default settings write com.apple.Finder FXPreferredViewStyle Nlsv; killall Finder

Cover Flow view as standard:default settings write com.apple.Finder FXPreferredViewStyle Nlsv; killall Finder

If you find that these settings are inconsistent in Finder windows, you should delete .DS_Store files from the inconsistent folders. Since the .DS_Store files are prefixed with a period, they are hidden, making it generally easier to delete them via the command line.

Columns:

Finder View type in OS X

Icons:

Type Finder icon in OS X

Once this is set, the default choice will be your new default view type for Finder windows, and it is rather sticky, persists on reboots or new Finder window openings. Thanks to Rob for submitting this tip. If you have a different sentence tricks, let us know.

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

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

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What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the Change Finder Windows View Style from the Command Line in Mac OS X tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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