OS X Finder Annoyances – Sort Folders Before Files


As a person coming from the Windows world, my mind is hard wired to the idea that in OS X Finder, folders should be grouped on top alphabetically then files should follow. Although this may not seem to be a problem for Mac people, converts from the Windows world have problems with the way finder works by default.

Follow the instructions to enable Finder to sort folders before files.

1. Download TextMate by clicking on the link below.


TextMate — The Missing Editor for Mac OS X

2. Open the below mentioned file via TextMate.

(change English.lproj to your language if necessary)














3. Find (inside the file)

/* General kind strings */
“Folder” = “Folder”;

4. change it to

“Folder” = “~Folder”;


5. Save the file

(this will ask for your credentials)


6. Restart OS X

7. Open Finder and order by kind

voila, finder acts like it should 🙂


8. Add a comment below, to help others. I wrote this a while back on another blog that belonged to me, so I carried over the comments from there to help you get started. I would like to know if this still works in the newer versions of OS X.

9. Good Luck


  1. I found an option to select Kind in Keep arranged by but it doesn’t seem to work. I also get different View options when changing the views. I’m a bit of a noob to the Mac so would appreciate a little expansion on the second part of this guide. Thanks Phil.

  2. No real need to restart OSX, just restart finder. Easy way to do that is to choose “Force Quit” from the system menu, select Finder and hit relaunch. Works a charm, atleast on Leo 🙂

  3. It doesn’t ONLY work with the Icon view. You can make it work in ALL views if you know what you’re doing.

    In List and Coverflow, you make sure the Kind column is visible (click on the Action button – looks like a gear – in the toolbar and then Show View Options and check Kind). Then click on the Kind heading to arrange it by Kind. Click twice if it puts the folders at the bottom at first.

    In Columns view it’s even easier. Action > Show View Options > Arrange by: Kind.

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Berk Cengizhttps://www.helpdeskcat.com/
I am an ICT Consultant, working in the field for almost 20 years and I thought the world needed another blogger to help beginners.

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