What are '.DS_Store' Files on Mac?

What is a ".DS_Store" file?

A ".DS_Store" file is a hidden file that's generated by Mac OS X, and it has a hidden folder in a visible folder. The hidden folder contains a list of settings for the folder it's in, and you can't see it. If you delete the ".DS_Store" file in Finder, it goes away. Removing the direct connection with the Finder means you can open any file directly. Experiment around with what gets opened and see how it changes your workflow.

How do ".DS_Store" files help Mac OS X?

".DS_Store" files are created by the Mac OS X operating system to store custom attributes for folders. These files can sometimes be found in folders that you've downloaded from the Internet, but they shouldn't be deleted because they're necessary for Mac OS X to read the folder's attributes correctly.

While this is an issue that affects the iPad as well,”.DS_Store” files are created by the Mac OS X operating system, not iOS. Fortunately, there’s a solution to it, without having to reinstall iOS or mess around with startup files.

Here’s how to get rid of these mysterious files:

  • First, open System Preferences, and go to the Security & Privacy section.
  • Tap the Content Menu at the top right-hand corner of the window.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the list, find “Customize Disk,” and press the Delete key on your keyboard. Confirm when prompted that you want to delete the file.
  • Exit out of System Preferences and you should see a new file sitting there, .DS_Store.
  • The only thing you need to do now is create it whenever you want.

What happens if I delete my ".DS_Store" files?

In a nutshell, if you delete your ".DS_Store" files, your Mac may not operate properly. According to many posts and forums, Apple’s decision to remove the venerable “DS_Store” files from the operating system could potentially cause your iMac to be malfunctioning and unable to use the applications stored on it. As of now, there is no conclusive proof that the removal of the Registry entries causes any backlash or drastic consequences to the user experience, and many, genuinely reputable sources, have stated that the removal of these files could pose no threat to the user experience.

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