Show Icon Preview policy

Not applicable

Hi All,
I wonder if you can help us with something, or know a way to do the following.... we need a way to disable the "Show Icon Preview" option, for the finder, completely, in all views (list, column, cover flow and icon).
We've been looking at the keys which would need to be modified by either MCX or a defaults write command, but unfortunately can't find any keys for List or Cover Flow views. There are however values present for icon and column which we found strange. The preference is we don't think any other preference is being touched?
Basically we're about to deploy an Archiving solution but when the "Show Icon Preview" option is selected the finder pulls back all files in the window from archive automatically. We need to apply this via policy else pay for a 3rd party app to do the job.
I've been trawling the web and experimenting for a few days but can't find these options which appear to be hidden.
Any help much appreciated...

Ewan McSween Apple Systems Administrator
P +44 (0)20 7656 7754 M +44 (0)7825 781 401 E ewan.mcsween at<mailto:ewan.mcsween at>
JWT London 1 Knightsbridge Green London SW1X 7NW

![external image link](attachments/d7345c5938404313a91f77577711e3b0)


Valued Contributor


If you aren't sure what files are used to contain anything, be it settings, licenses, etc, then you could use composer, run a snapshot, change the setting/s and then use Composer to show you the list of files change during that period of time!


![external image link](attachments/4c50287c37b44a15891f791330704e60)

New Contributor III

this might help, sorry if you already know about it

Similar to composer but quicker and graphical.. Its very useful.

![external image link](attachments/5b6efdce62574d2a91a2608b2f20c4ef)

Not applicable

Hi Guys,

Ran Composer in the end just to be sure and the only file modified is

Thanks for the FSEventer link wasn't aware of that product

Any other ideas much appreciated?



That Finder .plist file is pretty big. If you haven't already, set your
On 8/26/11 8:03 AM, "McSween, Ewan" <ewan.mcsween at> wrote:
preferences to default and open a *copy* of the file in something like
TextWrangler or BBEDit. Set your preferences and open a copy of the file
after the changes. Use either application's ability to compare the two
documents (Search menu --> Compare Two Front Documents) to show you
exactly what has changed between the two. Maybe you've missed something.

On my Lion machine I also see a ByHost file for Doesn't look like it contains much but it
may be worth checking too.

TextWrangler is great for this. It's free and displays binary .plist files
in XML format without conversion.


William Smith
Technical Analyst
Merrill Communications LLC
(651) 632-1492

New Contributor

If you're looking to change the Finder view options settings for icon previews via a script, check out this thread: