As many Mavericks users have noted (here and here and here and here, for example), Finder (and consequently TotalFinder) in Mavericks has the decidedly annoying habit of randomly rearranging the sort order of files, completely ignoring the user’s Arrange and Sort by settings. For example, I use Arrange by Kind and Sort by Name, but 90% of the time when I enter a folder, everything rearranges right in front of my eyes. It is truly bizarre that Apple has not fixed this yet. I know it may be a long shot, but is there any way TF can address this insanity?
It’s gotten so bad for me that I have stopped using Finder (and sadly TF) completely. I am instead using a trial version of Path Finder because nothing is more annoying than entering a folder, moving the mouse in preparation to click on another file/folder and having the damn thing move out from under you to a new (random) location right before the pointer gets there. 50 times a day. The problem is completely absent in Path Finder so this is clearly a Finder bug.
Not sure what I’ll do when the trial of PF runs out. I’d really like to go back using TF; I much prefer it over PF (and I already own TF ).
Okay, so I figured out how to stop the annoyance for now. Posting here in case anybody else is bothered by this issue:
If I switch my Column View settings to Arrange by Name and Sort by Kind (opposite of my original settings), then Finder will no longer randomly rearrange items. Folders are still on top (thanks TF!), and sorted alphabetically by kind, but I lose the helpful category headings within each folder (e.g., “Folders”, “Documents”, “Presentations”, etc.), IMO this is totally worth it to stop the re-sorting madness.
Bottom line: I can now use Finder (and TotalFinder!) again without wanting to pull my hair out. Bye-bye PF!
You’ve done a great research, sir. From time to time I get an email from a TotalFinder user describing similar issues and all I could write back is - “that’s it is strange”. I don’t personally use “Arrange by” option at all and this is quite hard to reproduce anyway.
I think I maybe understand why this is happening. Finder sorts items in the view asynchronously. This is probably for performance reasons for situations where you have thousands of files in a folder and they need to be sorted, this would cause UI lagging. This means that when you switch folder view, Finder goes ahead and displays view with files unsorted (probably in order returned by underlying filesystem call) and issues async request for sorting. When sorting is done, it redisplays the view. In folders with few files and on fast machines with fast disks most users won’t notice, because it is instant. But in cases with lots of files and/or slow enumeration of file attributes (e.g. when you are sorting with Date Modified and the files are located on a network drive) this could take noticeable amount of time.
My theory is that the developer implemented it asynchronously but displayed files when finished sorting. But someone complained about Finder snappiness, so they deliberately decided for this solution. And this is why they have not fixed it in subsequent OS X updates - it is hard to fix.