If you are a Mac user only, you might not be aware of the trail of files our OS leaves in every folder you open and browse but as soon as you share data/external hard drives or network drives with a Windows or Linux user (or if you use multiple OS) they become a bummer appearing in every folder.

I will not go into the details of why Apple implemented the Finder with the use of these files (or whether this was a bad idea) but I will simply list some solutions I found around the Net to fix the “problem”.

The free and incomplete solution

It is possible to prevent OS X from writing these files on network drives (SMB/CIFS, AFP, NFS and WebDav to be exact). If this is the only way you and Linux/Windows users share access to the same data, this might be good enough for you.Note that it will not prevent OS X from writing these files on USB mounted drives if oyu happen to share data that way as well.

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Execute the command
    defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true
  3. Either restart the computer or log out and back in to the user account.

Source: Apple Support


There is also a software way to acheive the same goal for those who do not wish to use Terminal or might be curious as to what other options are hiding in their OS

Tinker Tool is a software that lets you tweak the guts of OS X including the option to write or not write the DS_Store files to your network drives.

Of course, by deciding to not use these files you will loose the features they are responsible of like the saving of your window position, custom view, etc.

Now, if you chose this path, these files will not be created on your network drives anymore though you might still need to remove the existing one.

Still using the terminal, you can do so by running the following command :

find /path/to/share -name .DS_Store -exec rm {} \;

The rich and complete solution

Another software, called Blue Harvest, enables you to decide whether these .DS_Store files should be written on network drives or USB mounted drives and will also handle the cleaning of these files in drives where they have already been written. There is a 30 days trial available so you can check this solution out and decide if this is worth it to you.


Well, unfortunately, we just found out that OS X is not 100% awesome, but we can still make it look like it is to our “Windows users friends”.

Filed under: Mac OS X, Système

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  • About Me

    photo of Samantha Halfon Samantha Halfon
    Software Engineer
    blueKiwi software
    Paris, France
    I enjoy playing with my computer(s), listening to Bob Dylan (and related artists) and watching movies (especially if they were directed by Martin Scorsese or John Cassavetes). Sometimes, I play a little guitar... If not doing any of the above, I am either riding a small red bike around Paris, or, making videos. About my videomaking please check out World Wide Angle and its blog.