How to customize your Finder view options in macOS Sierra

Previously, we looked at how to set a default view in the macOS Sierra Finder. In the four Finder views, there are additional ways to customize how your items are displayed. Sort items, arrange icons, and resize columns.

Your settings for sorting and arranging items in a folder apply until you change them. For example, if you sort your Documents folder by Date Added, the next time you view your Documents folder, it’s sorted by Date Added.

To sort items, in any view, choose View > Show View Options, click the Sort By pop-up menu, then choose the sort order, such as Date Modified or Name. In List view and Cover Flow, move the pointer over the column name you want to sort by, then click it. Click the column name again to reverse the sort order.

To arrange items, in any view, click the Item Arrangement button, then choose an option, such as Date Created or Size.

When arranging by name, you can keep folders (in alphabetical order) at the top of the list. Choose Finder > Preferences, click Advanced, then select the “Keep folders on top when sorting by name” checkbox.

To arrange icons neatly, in Icon view, choose View > Clean Up.

To resize columns, in List view, Column view, and Cover Flow, drag the line that’s between the column headings.
To expand a column to show all filenames in their entirety, double-click the column divider.

You can also show or hide columns. In List view and Cover Flow, Control-click any column to view all columns available. Choose a column name to display or hide it (visible columns have a checkmark next to their name).

You can also customize each view to suit your preferences. For example, you can change the text size of file names and, in some views, change the size of file icons.

Open a Finder window, select the folder you want to change, then click a View button: Icon, List, Column, or Cover Flow.

Choose View > Show View Options, then set the options you want. 

Have the folder always open in this view: Select the “Always open in” checkbox.

Have subfolders also open in this view: Select the “Browse in” checkbox.
If a subfolder opens in a different view, select the subfolder, choose View > Show View Options, then deselect the “Always open in” and “Browse in” checkboxes. The checkboxes must be selected for the main folder and deselected for the subfolder.

You can change the icon size, grid spacing, text size, and more by choosing the Select Icon view options.