Prevent Finder from Opening to All My Files

   Posted December 5, 2012 by David Kirk in Apple Mac

In recent versions of OS X for Mac systems, new Finder windows default to the All My Files favorite listing. This can be changed to a different folder location instead.

The “All My Files” feature is an attempt to make the OS X Finder more user friendly. This hybrid view for Finder will group files based on whatever criteria the user wishes. I frequently use it to see which files are consuming the most space. Other users enjoy sorting by the master application that opens the files. However, many users do not like this feature.

Charles sent us the following question:

“Since upgrading OS X on my MacBook Pro, new Finder windows always show the All My Files window upon loading. This screen takes a few seconds to load and it drives me crazy! Is there any way to disable this feature or force it to load a different folder instead?”

Since these complex functions requires OS X to know information about every file on your computer, on some systems the “All My Files” window can be slow. Additionally, if you always work from my particular folder (such as the Desktop), having Finder default to that location makes a lot of sense.

Luckily, we can change the location through Finder’s preferences.

Preferences - General - New Finder windows show

1. Open the Finder menu
2. Select Preferences
3. Pick the General tab
4. From the New Finder Windows Show drop-down box, select the new default location.


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

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  • Tony Veroeven

    Perfect. Exactly what I was looking for! Tweeted and shared. Thanks much.

  • Red

    Thanks! This had been annoying me for weeks and finally found a solution via your blog.

  • JC


    I have a mystery going on in my MacBook Pro. Can you help me?

    When I open Finder in Mac OSX, in myDocuments I see files that are supposed to be opened and sometimes in properties I can read that the creation date is the same as the last read one, but the file was there beffore!! this happens even when I’m not there, or I’m sleeping etc…

    I have the Firewall on, password, even the wifi and Bluetooth OFF, but usually are files from a specific folder in my desktop that is blocked to ‘everyone’, only read for ‘staff’ and read & write for me, and the files still being opened!!

    Any clue what’s going, I’ve have checked the processes with the activity monitor and the only suspicious thing for me is ‘distnoted’ being used by User, root, and spotlight.

    Any clue? Does the files get refreshed or something?!

    Thank you in advance for any clue you may share,

    All the best


  • Dom

    Thanks for sharing! I was getting more and more frustrated with the time “All My Files” was taking to load, as clearly my SSD is getting full, and finally figured I better google it.

    Such a simple resolution and perfectly explained, many thanks.

  • Lee

    Many thanks 🙂

  • Marc

    Thanks for the information, but is also possible to let Finder forget the last opened folder? Whenever I start Finder it now always shows up with the last opened folder displayed…