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Removing .DS_Store Files on Mac

Removing .DS_Store Files on Mac

Removing .DS_Store Files on Mac

The .DS_Store files on your Mac may seem like a mystery. These hidden files, created by the Mac OS X operating system, are often unnoticed by users until they begin to clutter up your system. While they serve a purpose, they can sometimes become a nuisance, especially when you're trying to keep your system clean and organized. In this guide, we'll explore what .DS_Store files are, why they exist, and most importantly, how to remove them from your Mac.

Understanding .DS_Store Files

The .DS_Store (Desktop Services Store) is a file format used by Apple's Mac OS X operating system. These files are created automatically in every folder you open on your Mac. Their primary function is to store custom attributes of a folder such as the position of icons or the choice of a background image.

While .DS_Store files are generally harmless, they can become a nuisance in some situations. For instance, they can clutter up your system when you're trying to keep your folders clean and organized. Moreover, they can cause issues when you're transferring files between a Mac and a non-Mac system.

How to View .DS_Store Files on Mac: By default, .DS_Store files are hidden on Mac. However, you can make them visible by using a simple command in the Terminal app. Here's how:

  • Open the Terminal app. You can find it in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder.
  • Type the following command and press Enter: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES
  • Hold the 'Option/alt' key, then right click on the Finder icon in the dock and click Relaunch.

    Now, you should be able to see the .DS_Store files in any folder on your Mac.

    Removing .DS_Store Files

    Once you've made the .DS_Store files visible, you can remove them. There are two main methods to do this: manually or using Terminal.

    Manually Deleting .DS_Store Files: To manually delete .DS_Store files, simply navigate to each folder, select the .DS_Store file and move it to the Trash. This method can be time-consuming if you have a large number of .DS_Store files to delete.

    Using Terminal: A quicker and more efficient way to remove .DS_Store files is by using Terminal. Here's how:

    • Open Terminal.
    • Type the following command and press Enter: sudo find / -name ".DS_Store" -depth -exec rm {} \;
    • Enter your password when prompted.

      This command will find and remove all .DS_Store files on your Mac.

      Preventing .DS_Store File Creation: If you'd rather not deal with .DS_Store files at all, you can prevent your Mac from creating them. However, this is generally not recommended as it may cause issues with how your Mac operates. If you still wish to proceed, you can use the following command in Terminal:

      • Open Terminal.
      • Type the following command and press Enter: defaults write DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

        This command will prevent your Mac from creating .DS_Store files on network volumes, but it will still create them on local volumes.


        .DS_Store files are a normal part of using a Mac, but they can sometimes become a nuisance. Whether you choose to delete them manually, use Terminal, or prevent their creation altogether, it's important to understand what these files are and how they function. With this knowledge, you can keep your Mac clean and organized.

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