Change even more Finder options using defaults

Last month Charles Edge shared a blog post titled, “Change Default Finder Views Using defaults” where he outlined how to switch to List view in Finder from the command line. I’m a big fan of that change and the command shared was just one of a dozen options I configured for new users at my old job.

My list is by no means comprehensive, but read on for same additional commands.

The preferred Finder options will obviously vary between users, so all of these settings are an opinionated decision. However after 15 years at the newspaper I had a pretty good feel for what options worked best, led to the least number of support calls and made troubleshooting easier.

But because everyone works differently we also didn’t want to force these opinionated decisions on anyone. This is why we used defaults commands executed by Outset only a single time, allowing users to make any changes they wanted after that initial login.

Show the Path Bar:
defaults write ShowPathbar -bool true

Show the Status Bar:
defaults write ShowStatusBar -bool true

Always show the Scroll Bars:
defaults write -g AppleShowScrollBars -string “Always”

Set the default Finder location to a user’s home folder:
defaults write NewWindowTarget -string “PfLo”
defaults write NewWindowTargetPath -string “file://${HOME}”

Use list view in all Finder windows:
defaults write FXPreferredViewStyle -string “Nlsv”

Use current directory as default search scope in Finder:
defaults write FXDefaultSearchScope -string “SCcf”

Expand save panels by default:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -bool true
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode2 -bool true

Default to local files instead of iCloud:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool false

Enable snap-to-grid for icons on the desktop and in other icon views:
/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c “Set :DesktopViewSettings:IconViewSettings:arrangeBy grid” ~/Library/Preferences/

Disable from opening when a device or card is plugged in:
defaults -currentHost write disableHotPlug -bool true

Uncheck the “Reopen windows when logging back in” logout checkbox:
defaults write TALLogoutSavesState -bool false
defaults write LoginwindowLaunchesRelaunchApps -bool false

The full script, along with other Outset scripts, are available on GitHub:

What other Finder options do you configure via defaults?

1 comment on “Change even more Finder options using defaults

  1. Pingback: Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-08-26 – Scripting OS X

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