Speed up Finder - tweak All My Files on Mac OS X

When you open a new Finder window in OS X on the Apple Mac, does it instantly appear or does it take a couple of seconds for the contents to refresh? It can be irritating when Finder is slow and you are in a hurry, and the problem could be the All My Files feature. It is possible to speed up Finder by customising All My Files.

Click the Finder icon in the Dock or open a new Finder window by pressing Command+N. It displays All My Files by default and this feature lists every file on the disk in chronological order. That is nice in theory, but if you have a lot of files, it could take a couple of seconds for the contents of the Finder window to display.

One way to avoid this annoying delay is to change the default view when opening new Finder windows and avoid showing All My Files. Go to Finder, Preferences and on the General tab use the menu under New Finder windows show and select an alternative, such as your home folder or your Documents folder:

Select the default display in Finder

Another way to avoid the initial delay is to remove All My Files from Finder’s sidebar. Right click it and select Remove from Sidebar:

Remove All My Files in Finder's sidebar

Before you remove it completely though, you might want to add it to the Dock first. After all, it might be useful on occasions. This will enable you to access All My Files even after removing it from Finder. After adding it to the Dock, right click it and select the options you want, such as Fan, Grid, List or Automatic, and the sort options for the files:

Dock icon options

Now you can click All My Files in the dock to see the files you have accessed recently. Here is the automatic mode:

View All My Files from the Dock

Suppose after making these changes to Finder, you want to put things back how they were. This is easy. The All My Files icon can be dragged off the Dock and dropped on the desktop to remove it. Then go into Finder’s Preferences, select the Sidebar tab and tick All My Files to show it in the sidebar again:

Reset Finder options

The solution to speeding up Finder is to reduce the work it has to do when a new window is opened. Get rid of All My Files. It's nice, but slow, and add it to the Dock instead.



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