Totalfinder shows strange question mark

Totalfinder shows strange question mark “?” on tab instead of the name of the computer (“Sebastian’s MacBook Pro”) when I click on my Mac under devices. When I click on Macintosh HD I see “/”. If I click on Remote Disk I also see “?” instead of the correct device name. See screenshot. This does not happen if I login with a different user name I just created for testing so it seems to be related to my profile somehow. Do you have any explanation what might be wrong?

This behaviour is by design. If there is no name to be displayed for folder/location I display question mark. This was explicitly requested by some confused user who complained about empty names.

The name I display in tab is the same name which would be displayed in Finder’s title bar. I don’t have any special code to try to guess names when Finder reports empty string.

Hi Darwin,

unfortunately I can’t agree to your answer because if I login with a different user name Totalfinder shows “Sebastian’s MacBook Pro”, “Macintosh HD” and “Remote Disc” because these devices have these names. Only if I use my own profile/user name I get these strange “short names” although the devices have the same correct long names in this profile.

This means the behaviour is different and depends on the user name / profile and I don’t understand why. Is there a way to see the correct device names instead of these ugly “?” or “/” on the tab?

In which location (path and file) do you store TotalFinder settings per user?


If you run basic Finder without TotalFinder. Do you see full names in the window titlebar or just icons? In my case for example my computer looks like this:

TotalFinder displays what would be displayed in titlebar. Except it replaces empty name with “?”. Do you have a better idea? Maybe I could call some library function to get friendly name of item if the name is empty. But I will have to reasearch this.

Affected user with older profile shows

with TotalFinder: Comp Icon + “?” respectively HD icon + "/"
and with basic finder: Icon only.

In a default profile of a newly created user I see

with TotalFinder: Icon + “Sebastian’s MacBook Pro” receptively HD icon + "Macintosh HD"
and with baisc finder: Icon + “Sebastian’s MacBook Pro” receptively HD icon + “Macintosh HD”

The second is the default!

This means some app or other modification changed the default basic finder setting in our matured profiles and also affects TotalFinder.

The issue is caused by a certain setting in the Finder preference file. Unfortunately there are a lot of properties in this xml file so that I decided to go back to default instead of searching hours which parameter might be wrong.

To go back to default we need to delete the Finder preference file. At next launch the Finder will then create a new one with default settings.
But there is a small hurdle because user app preferences are also cached in memory so that you get the same config file as before if you don’t restart or wipe the cache.

  1. Open Finder and navigate to ~/Library/Preferences/
  2. Make a backup of the Finder preferences file “”
  3. Delete the file or rename it to “”
  4. Open a terminal
  5. Wipe Finder Preferences cached in memory with the command:

killall -u $USER cfprefsd

  1. Kill all Finder instances:

killall Finder

  1. Start the Finder again

I have a fix for this (at least in my case):

I confirmed that another user did not have this same problem (new account).

I started checking with various Tweak utilities to see what might have been set outside Finder/Preferences.

I found the iTweaX setting “Show Path in Window Title” was checked. When this is set, Finder displays an icon, and does not show the machine name. TotalFinder displays a question mark.

When this is setting is un-set, the machine name appears for both Finder and TotalFinder.

I don’t know if iTweaX caused this issue or one of the many other utilities that I may have used over the last few years. I am pretty sure that this has only shown symptoms recently, and is not anticipated behaviour.

I would describe this as a bug (although more so with OS X, than TotalFinder). Why the machine name is hidden, when ‘Show Path’ is selected appears to be counter-intuitive.

I have now selected Paths to off, and am relying on the Status Bar for this information instead.

Hope this helps: but can we have a better implementation for TotalFinder than ‘?’…
[Darwin - can we just have the Machine Name? As displayed when ‘Show Path in Window Title’ is set off?]

Many thanks.

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Sweet, Thank you awair. This did the trick for me using Secrets. After the finder restart the normal titel (Thomass iMac) was back.

Here’s a less-risky and less-brutal way to resolve this issue:

In a terminal window, type:

defaults read _FXShowPosixPathInTitle

It will return either 0 or 1. If you’re seeing the mysterious question mark, it’s likely going to return 1.

If so, you can turn off this feature with this command in the terminal:

defaults write _FXShowPosixPathInTitle 0

Good luck!