How to create custom Finder views in macOS on the Apple Mac

Finder on the Apple Mac hides information from you and by customising the view for a folder, this information can be made visible. show it and rearrange it as it suits you.

Finder on the Apple Mac is more customisable than you might think and the information that is displayed by default is not the only information available. Create your own custom Finder views.

Creating special views for specific folders has the benefit of showing the information you are interested in and hiding details that you do not need to see. A custom view shows only what you need. It also shows the information in the order in which you prefer. You might want the date before the size or the size following the name, and so on.

Related: How to customise Folder icons in Finder and on the desktop

Show file extensions

Open a Finder window and set the view to List either by clicking the toolbar button or using the View menu. Is there a Kind column that shows what type of file each one is? An alternative way to show the kind of file is to show the extension. You can tell a file is an image if you can see it has a .jpg extension. A .pdf or .png or .mp3 are all equally obvious. Why bother with a Kind column?

Go to Finder > Preferences > Advanced and tick the box, Show all filename extensions.

Finder Preferences in macOS on the Apple Mac

Choose the file details to display

Finder shows the file details in columns. However, there are more columns than is currently visible and some are hidden. Unhide them.

Right click any heading and a list of file attributes is displayed. Select an item to add it or select a ticked item to remove it. Now that we have enabled file extensions in Preferences, we don't need the Kind column because we can see the kind from the filename. Right click a heading and clear the tick next to Kind.

Choose the file details to display in Finder on the Apple Mac

Rearange columns in Finder

File information is arranged in neat columns. We now know how to show and hide columns, but are they in the optimal order? Maybe you would like Name, Size, Date Last Opened, ot Name Date Last Opened, Size.

Click and drag a column header left or right to change the order. The other columns scoot around to make space. Here I dragged Size so it follows Name.

Rearrange the file details columns in Finder on the Apple Mac

Extra music information in Finder

If you go to the Music folder or a subfolder of Music, and right click a column header, you will see a different list of attributes. For example, there is Album, Duration, Musical genre, and more. Select the information you want to see when viewing this folder.

I added Album and Track duration to these MP3 files.

Choose the file details to display in Finder on the Apple Mac

Extra photo information

Right click the headings in the Pictures folder or a subfolder and there are a couple of extra tags - Dimensions and Resolution - that are related to images. It is so useful being able to see the image dimensions when browsing a folder containing images or photographs.

Don't forget you can click and drag headers to rearrange the order of the columns. Here I added a Dimensions column.

Choose the file details to display in Finder on the Apple Mac

If you right click the headers in the Videos folder or subfolder, different information is available because of the different type of media. Are there other special folders? try right clicking the headings and see what information is available.

Make it stick

You don't need to configure a folder every time you view it in Finder because the different views are remembered. After customising a folder's view, it will always display that way, even after restarting the Mac. It stays that way until you change it.

It would be tedious to customise every folder on the Mac's disk, but you should consider customising your most used ones. For example, All My Files is a common view that is frequently used, so customise it by adding or hiding columns, and putting them in the order that is best for you.

Related: Speed up Finder - tweak All My Files



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