OS X: Turning Off “All My Files”

| TMO Quick Tip

The “All My Files” view has been with us for quite some time now, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s a fan.

I’ve written before about how to use this feature to your advantage, but what if you just hate it? Well, there’s an easy way to turn it off entirely so you don’t have to look at its ugly face ever again. To do that, visit Finder> Preferences

…then click on the General tab and change "New Finder windows show" to whatever you want. 

In my case, I’ve decided to use my Home folder, but you’re free to pick whatever you like.

After that’s done, you can also get rid of “All My Files” from Finder’s sidebar in a couple of different ways. Depending on which version of the operating system you’re running, either drag or Command-drag its icon right out of the sidebar until it disappears in a puff of smoke.

Or you could go back to Finder> Preferences instead, click on the Sidebar tab, and deselect “All My Files” from the list.

(That’s a handy way to put stuff back in Finder’s sidebar if you’ve accidentally removed it, too.)

In any case, if you follow these steps, “All My Files” will be gone, and your Finder will work the way it did back in the pre-Lion days. Things were so much simpler then, weren't they?

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As always, thanks for a great tip Melissa.

Lee Dronick

Thanks Melissa. There are some things I like about the All My Files folder, but sometimes I find it annoying. Anyway just now when I went to try your trick it dawned on me that I could just rearrange the order of the folders. So what I did was move All My Files to the cheap seats, best of both worlds.

Melissa Holt

Aw, you’re welcome! Happy you guys are still reading my stuff. grin

That’s a great idea, Lee! Though I personally kind of hate “All My Files,” so I’ve just removed it entirely. Some people really seem to find it useful, though.

Lee Dronick

I always read your articles, stories, but I don’t always comment. Anyway, if you have All My Files sorted by Date than you can quickly find a recent file. Now to that end I also use the Recent Items under the Apple icon, but if you clear that then you need to dig deeper. Of course I also use appropriatly named folders for files and put frequently used folders in the Sidebar.

Melissa Holt

That’s a good idea, too! I almost always use Spotlight for opening files and folders—I’m a big fan of using the keyboard instead of my trackpad/mouse to be as speedy as possible. I rarely even click on the Dock.

It’s funny how we get so accustomed to doing things a certain way…I’m very much a creature of habit!

Lee Dronick

  I’m a big fan of using the keyboard instead of my trackpad/mouse to be as speedy as possible.

Speaking of keyboard shortcuts, on my iPad typing zxz creates the BB Code for quote and close quote for use in MacObserver comments. This saves me steps from digging down to find the square brackets. The shortcut also puts some spaces between the code so I can more easily insert copied text.

Melissa Holt

Boy, you’re just full of good ideas today, aren’t you?! That ROCKS.

Lee Dronick

I am a font of knowledge smile

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