How to resize multiple Finder columns at once in OS X Yosemite

Column view is a handy way to look at large collections of files in the Finder. It's my go-to default when I want to arrange contents of Finder windows in easy-to-track lists. I like to reset the column width, however, and I've discovered a handy trick to reset it across an entire window.

How to resize all columns in a Finder window

  1. Open a new window in the Finder.
  2. Organize the view by column by clicking the third button from the left above the word View (or, alternately, by typing command 3).
  3. Hold down the option key on the keyboard.
  4. Position the cursor over the edge of a column. It will change from the regular cursor to a column width cursor.
  5. Click the mouse and drag the column to its new width. All the other columns in that window should move with it.
  6. Let go of the mouse button to set the width, and let go of the option key.

If you don't hold down the option key, only the column you've selected will resize.

Any questions? Let me know.

Peter Cohen
  • Great tip! For Step 5, instead of clicking and dragging, you could also simply double-click and have all columns automatically resize to the width of their respective folder names and filenames.
  • Or install XtraFinder and it will automatically (no double clicking) resize each column to the width of the longest file name (you can set a limit). Sent from the iMore App
  • I second that endorsement. I don't use half of Xtra Finder's features but that one alone is worth the price (which is free).
  • Thanks--will really come in handy!
  • For the record, this also works when you double-click the auto-column width button (the vertical "equals" sign on the edge of the column).
    Neat trick! Thanks Peter.
  • I would rather have the columns expand to fit the widest item in each column. I don't have access to my iMac at the moment to play with this.
  • Great tip! That option key is something of a multitool / force multiplier! Thanks chief Sent from the iMore App