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OSX - slow finder listings - updated

on Tue, 02/01/2011 - 09:41

The problem

The finder listing on a 10.5 or 10.6 is really slow when you browse folders, move files, detele etc. - you see the turning wheel all over the place...

Solution - the hard way

The solutions below works, but somtimes you need to get a fresh start. 

Make a running boobeable copy of your system on an external disk with superduper

Once you have found that the disk works you have two options:

A: Format your system disk and reinstall OSX. Then make a transfer of the programs you need from the old system (follow the guide)

B: Just install OSX on top of your system. Update system.

Solutions - on a running system

First check that your file systems permissions and structure is ok with disk utilities.

Then run ONYX or similar programs. I use automated settings like 

Normally that should be sufficient.

Then you could remove the listing cache

rm /Users/hans/Library/  

If you use a mouse the following could maybe be of help [forum post ]

So exist one strange relationship between mouse settings and this slowly thing, when I set the mouse in the system preference rapidly the finder start to go slow, the solution is write below:
Open and write:
defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder
Go to username/Library/Preferences and delete .GlobalPreferences.plist
Open again and write:
defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE

killall Finder


For setup the mouse I suggest to use Steermouse and never again the apple menu in system preference.

VMware shared folders

Some people have reported that the folder sharing feature in VMware fusion can make trouble. Turn it off if your trouble continues.

Last resorts

If nothing works (it has not been necessary for me) you can make a new account on the machine. If that doesn't work you should reformat and reinstall.

SMB listings

The file listing is sent over the network, so it will take more time especially over an VPN. If it gets really slow there are resorts online to solve it. I've not tried it yet.


This should work:

create a simple configuration file for SMB requests "nsmb.conf" in /etc with

domain=<your windows domain>
<your smb server1>
addr=<ip address of the "your smb server"

From the settings "minauth=none" seems to have the most impact.

Disable extentions from preference pane etc

Use to disable some of your extentions. 

I´ve had problems with slow listings and file-gui performance i general for a long time. The above has been helping, but not for long.

I removed extfsmanager, macfuse, ntfs-manager etc. and got my computer back. Now I can enable them whem needed, and let the ones on that does not slow my finder down;)





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