macOS Big Sur: Adjust Finder column width with this trick

Everyone knows the problem that the width of a column in Finder is just not large enough to show the entire file name. You can then easily adjust the column width via the dividing line or one of the column display options in Finder.

Using a handy trick you can easily adjust the column width based on the content, this can be done for one column as well as all columns in Finder. We explain how to adjust the column width in Finder and how to apply the smart display options.

Adjust column width from macOS Big Sur

Have you installed macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 or later on your Mac? Then you will have noticed that adjusting the column width is no longer as it used to be. For example, you can no longer use the divider to adjust the width. From macOS Big Sur you can adjust this by clicking on the two dashes at the bottom of the line. Hold the click and drag the line left or right.

Adjust column width based on content

  • Open Finder
  • Place the mouse pointer on the two lines at the bottom of the dividing line
  • This changes into a line with a double arrow
  • Then double-click on the two dashes

Have you installed macOS Catalina or earlier? Then you can directly double click on the dividing line.

column display options in finder

The column width is automatically adjusted to the longest file name present in the current column. In this way, all file names will be displayed in full. Note that this trick only works when you have activated the view in Finder on List or Columns.

Extra tip: When you double-click on the dividing line, press the option⌥ key, then all columns that are currently displayed will be adjusted based on the content. In addition, you can also click with a secondary click (right mouse button) on the dividing line for extra options.

Consult Finder column display options

Do you want to get even more out of the Finder columns? Then you can use the display options. Secondary click (right mouse button) on the two dashes at the bottom of the dividing line to open the context menu. You will immediately have the option to change the column width for the current column, one column, or all columns.

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