How to set the default view and sort order for a folder on Mac

If you work with the same folders regularly on your Mac, you can adjust the view options so that the folders always display the same way. This is helpful if you prefer a certain view like List or Column or want your items ordered by name or date.

Here’s how to set the default view and sort order for a folder on Mac.

Set default view for Finder folders on Mac

Open Finder and navigate to your folder

  1. Select your preferred view for the folder from the toolbar, whether it’s Icon, List, Column, or Gallery. You can also choose one of these options by clicking View in the menu bar.
  2. Click View > Show View Options from the menu bar.
  3. The options you see in the pop-up window will differ depending on the view you chose in Step 1. But they will display, Always open in…Group By, and Sort By. (Except Gallery view does not offer Group By).
  4. At the top, under Always open in, you’ll see the view you chose. Make sure the checkbox is marked so that every time you open that folder, it opens in the same view.
  5. Next, select the Group By and Sort By drop-downs and pick the options you prefer.
  6. Close the View Options window when you finish.
Icon and Gallery View Options on Mac

Customize your view options

You’ll notice that each view offers different display options. You can adjust these as well before you close the View Options window.

For instance, if you like the List view, you can mark those columns you want to see when you use that view, like date modified, size, or kind. Similarly, for the Icon view, you can pick the icon size, spacing, and text size.

List View on Mac

Use as Defaults

For each view, except the Column view, you’ll see a Use as Defaults button. If you customize the view as described above and want those settings to apply every time you use that specific view, then click that button.

For example, if you selected a certain icon size or grid spacing to display in the Icon view, you’ll see those same customizations any time you use a folder in Icon view.

Icon View Use as Defaults on Mac

Note: The button will be grayed out until you make a change.

Setting default views and sort orders can help keep things consistent and easier to use. Which folder view do you like the most, or do you use different ones like Icon view for photos and List view for documents?

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