I have figured out how to make folders auto arrange their contents. This is achieved in Finder->View->Show View Options (or cmd+J).

From the newly opened window, setting the arrange by dropdown will set the folders behavior from then on. But it is only for the folder this menu was opened in. How do I set this as a Finder rule for all directories?

I am using Mountain Lion - 10.8.2
I don't have a 'Use as Defaults' button in my view panes - here's a screen grab:

enter image description here

  • 1
    I find this particularly annoying as well. Have you found a solution yet?
    – Nate
    Nov 11, 2013 at 20:34
  • When you go to a non-dynamic folder like downloads or documents you should see the "Use as defaults" button. Aug 24, 2018 at 6:34

1 Answer 1


If you select Use as Defaults from the view options panel, Finder will use those settings as defaults for all folders that don't have folder-specific settings stored in .DS_Store files.

You can clear the folder-specific settings by running sudo find / -name .DS_Store -delete && killall Finder. It also resets other view options, resets the positions of icons, and deletes Spotlight comments.

  • 1
    I don't have a Use as Defaults button... I'll upload a screencap to my question.
    – drewwyatt
    Mar 12, 2013 at 14:01
  • It's not shown in column view. AFAICT, new column view windows use the same arrange by (FXPreferredGroupBy) and sort by (StandardViewOptions:ColumnViewOptions:ArrangeBy) modes.
    – Lri
    Mar 13, 2013 at 6:55
  • 3
    @drewwyatt To show 'Use as Defaults': Finder > (in sidebar) Click your home folder > (menu bar) View > Show View Options Sep 25, 2015 at 2:18
  • 1
    Still works in Yosemite
    – abjbhat
    Oct 8, 2015 at 5:27
  • This does not work anymore (Catalina). The clear terminal function just throws out Operation not permitted and the Use as Defaults does literally NOTHING whatsover
    – Frank
    Apr 24, 2020 at 17:18

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