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I would like to reset the preferences for all my Mac OS X folders. Is this possible?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

This would find and delete the files storing view options under your home directory:

find ~ -name .DS_Store -delete

(And don't forget the -name flag — without it it the command would delete everything in your home directory.)

As far as I (and Wikipedia) know, the .DS_Store files mostly store information about folder-specific view options.

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Do these files only contain Finder view preferences, or maybe also some other data (e.g. thumbnail caches?) – Daniel Beck Nov 23 '11 at 20:32
@DanielBeck The Quick Look thumbnails are stored in /private/var/folders/*/*/*/ – user495470 Nov 23 '11 at 20:55
Nice read about where they come from. – slhck Nov 23 '11 at 20:56

To restore a folder to the default view settings,

  1. Open the View Options panel (Command-J, or View » Show View Options);
  2. Then hold down the Option key and click the bottom button. With the Option key down, the ‘Use as Defaults’ button will change to ‘Restore to Defaults’.
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