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December 13, 2004

What are .DS_Store Files?

This morning I finally got around to researching Apple's .DS_Store files.  I've notice these files on my Windows server, whenever I connect my powerbook to move files.  I have found .DS_Store files on my USB thumb drives as well.  If you use Apple's OS X operating system, you probably have these files littered all over your file system.  The best explanation I found on .DS_Store file is listed below. (via TinkerTool)

The .DS_Store files are created by the Finder during its normal course of operation but they are invisible by default. The Finder will automatically put a .DS_Store file into every folder you have opened. These files are used to save the positions of icons, the size of the respective Finder window, the window's background, and many more view options. While professional users consider the .DS_Store files to be a design flaw of the Mac OS X Finder, a mechanism like this is necessary when opening Finder windows for exchangeable disk media to give former users of the classic Mac OS the same user experience they had in previous operating system versions. If you don't like to see the .DS_Store files, replace the Finder by a better file management application.

I located another site, Rixstep,  discussing .DS_Store files with an Apple employee.

If you need a short script to remove these peevish files, try the one-liner I found on Macromedia's site.

sudo find / -name ".DS_Store" -depth -exec rm {} \;


Posted at 12:25 PM in General IT | Permalink


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Another solution is this

defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

Your finder won't create any DS_Store file on a network volume

Greets Bas

Posted by: bass-x | Nov 23, 2006 9:29:03 AM

How do you put those lines to use? Where do I copy/paste it to?

Posted by: Clueless | Jan 24, 2007 3:18:14 PM

Clueless -

The one-liner I mentioned in my post would be run from a command prompt. From Finder, navigate to the Applications directory, then Utilities, and finally click on the "Terminal" application.


Posted by: Chris | Jan 24, 2007 11:23:47 PM

I appolagize for my ignorance, but my situation is as follows:

I use a flash drive to transfer files from my PC to apple computers at school. I guess the whole DS flie thing isn't that big of a deal, but I just find it irritating and annoying. I personally am not allowed to change settings on the multipal Macs at school. Is there something I can do to my PC at home that automatically deletes those files or something that would satisfy my situation?

Posted by: Still Clueless | Jan 25, 2007 6:06:37 PM


Try this little app: Onyx
I don't know if it will work, but under maintenance they are mentioned. Also what made them invisible for me is:

Hope this helps.


Posted by: Oreo | Feb 26, 2007 10:17:51 AM

My friend put around 400 pictures and several short videos onto a DVD-R. They were burning using a Mac. When I got home to my PC and opened the DVD, a pop-up saying that my DVA version could read the files, it just couldn't edit them. I opened the DVD from My Computer and the only file on the DVD was the .DS_Store file. What is that and how do I got my files?


Posted by: Z | May 5, 2007 3:25:55 PM

The '-depth' in your command line would seem to be redundant. The manpage specifies it's used in conjunction with cpio which wouldn't apply here. Otherwise if you want commands to get rid of these and other critters, try this.

Posted by: Rick | May 15, 2007 12:51:18 AM

hello i download a small game from the internet... it is a slot machine casino game and it was a torrent file. it was about 70.2 mb and after i Download it and extract the zip file i get only a .DS_Store file and 4 folders with it and there is no exe ile to start the game do anyone knows what i can do or do i need some an a emulator or someting .... sorry for my spelling i can't really speak eng good

Posted by: Wicus | May 30, 2008 10:09:54 PM

For Wicus -

The solution to those extra files in your zip file is a handy little program:

For people who know how to use the terminal, prevention can be accomplished by this line:

defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

Posted by: Brian | Jun 17, 2008 6:20:10 PM

i got some file in .DS_Store.
Please can some one tell me how to access those file?

Posted by: chris | Aug 18, 2008 11:33:20 PM

I entered the line that Chris said to enter, and now my Macbook won't log in and continually shuts down and restarts. When I entered the single line, the problem was not fixed, and the .ds_store files still appeared.

What am I supposed to do now?


Posted by: Kireeti | Dec 20, 2008 7:34:28 PM

I have several USB drives that are all formatted as FAT32, so that I can exchange information with Windows systems.

I'd like to stop OS X from creating these hidden files, since they certainly aren't hidden to Windows. It's even worse when the USB drive is a friend's, and they've never heard of resource forks. What settings can I adjust to remove this?
all of my datas in my usb are gone

Posted by: Sahar | Jul 14, 2010 8:03:51 AM

I have no idea about this .DS_files but like to know about them. Are they harmful for your system?

Posted by: Blinds and Shades | Jan 10, 2011 11:10:08 PM

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