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Finder preferences in Snow Leopard

Last updated December 21, 2009 - Send Feedback

One disturbing aspect of a fresh Snow Leopard install is that by default, volumes do not appear on the desktop.

It is terribly confusing to not see one’s volumes (drives), so confusing that when I first installed Snow Leopard I thought my main “Master” volume had suddenly gone bad, and was therefore not showing up! This behavior is just plain idiotic with more than one volume, especially with six volumes as I have. So here’s how to fix the Finder to behave more sensibly.

Finder preferences —General

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Finder preferences
Finder Prefs — General

Set the General preferences as shown at right.

I want drives of all kinds to show up on my desktop; I don’t like flying blind with stuff lurking around “somewhere”.

Your stuff should be tangible so you know where it is, to where you’re saving your files, and what files to backup.

I also want to know whether I’ve connected to a server, so select Connected Servers also.

New Finder windows open to my home directory by default, but I change that to my Master drive, to remind myself to save files there, and not on my boot drive. Mixing system, applications and data is bad computer hygiene, at least on multi-drive systems where you have a choice.

The Labels and Sidebar preferences I mostly ignore, play with them as you see fit.

Here are the volumes on my desktop; these won’t be visible unless Hard Disks is checked, as shown above.

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Finder preferences
My volumes —I want to see these on my desktop!

Finder preferences — Advanced

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Finder preferences
Finder Prefs — Advanced

This is a nanny interface, run amok.

I want to see file name extensions. It matters to me whether an image is a JPEG, PDF, NEF, CR2, TIF, APP, etc.

I don't need to be warned when I change a filename extension; the idea here is that you might change it inadvertently, or remove the "." separator by accident.

I’ve already put stuff into the trash, so I don’t need to be warned when I empty it. Besides, I use Time Machine, so it’s no big deal even if I both throw something out and empty the trash.

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