Finder windows can open in one of four different views: Icon, List, Column, and Cover Flow. If you don't set a default view, then folders will open depending on how they were last viewed, or to the last view that was used.
That may sound fine, but consider this example: You like to see your Finder windows use List view, but every time you install an application from a CD/DVD or disk image, the Finder views get set to Icon, because that was the view used for the CD/DVD or disk image you opened.
Setting the Finder View Default
Setting the Finder view default is a simple task. Just open a Finder window, select the view you want, and set it as the default for your system. Once you've done that, all Finder windows will open using the default view you set, unless a specific folder has a different preset view.
- Open a Finder window by clicking the Finder icon in the Dock, or by clicking on an empty space on the desktop and selecting 'New Finder Window' from the Finder's File menu.
- In the Finder window that opens, select one of the four view icons in the Finder window toolbar, or select the Finder view type you want from the Finder's View menu.
- After you select a Finder view, choose 'Show View Options' from the Finder's View menu.
- In the View Options dialog box that opens, set any parameters you wish for the selected view type, then click the Use as Defaults button near the bottom of the dialog box.
That's it. You have defined the default view for the Finder to display whenever you open a folder that hasn't had a specific view assigned to it.
Read on to find out how to assign a different view to specific folders.