Prevent automatic scrolling in the OS X Finder

If views in the OS X Finder shift around, you may be able to control this by a quick settings change.

The OS X Finder offers a number of different views for organizing folder contents; however, in some of these views you may notice periodically that contents will shift around. This usually is not an issue, but sometimes it may result in the window view switching to a different position, resulting in you losing your place. This can be especially frustrating when you are managing a long list of items in a folder and the view keeps returning to a specific locaiton in the list.

View menu options in the Finder
Set the view arrangement to None to prevent the Finder from shifting items around in a given folder. Screenshot by Topher Kessler/CNET

This generally happens because you have the Finder view listed by date modified or a similar criteria that can be dynamically updated. In these cases, even if you have not adjusted the file, a background task or other program may do so, and this update could result in the file disappearing from view. If the file is selected, then your view may follow the file to its new location in the list.

To prevent this from happening, try reorganizing the list view by a different criteria. To do this, with the folder open in the Finder you can press Option-Command-0 (zero) or go to the View menu and choose "None" from the Arrange By submenu. In addition, if you are in list view then after setting the arrangement to None, be sure to sort the list view by a fairly static column category such as the item's name.

With these changes in place, the folder view should not shift around when items in the folder are updated.

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About the author

    Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.


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