I am also having the same problem. Had it for some time now. Can't find a solution that works consistently. Seems to only happen in the "search results" window created after a Spotlight search.
Using Mountain Lion (although same behavior in Lion)
Selected none in "arrange by" in finder window,;
Turned off "show Columns"--no selection by kind, modified, size, name, etc.
Turned off "use relative dates" and "calculate all sizes".
Turned off "spring-loaded folders and windows" in Finder preferences.
Still will snap back to selection when I scroll through the search results.
I did this:
Go to Finder Preferences and turn "Spring-loaded folders and windows" off.
Also make sure that your server has a valid gateway setup in it's network settings.
Ours didn't (it's a NAS running embedded Linux) and I fixed it at the same time as we changed the "Spring-loaded..." setting.
The lack of a default gateway could have being causing communications problems.
So not sure which of the two fixed the problem.
The saga still continues in Mountain Lion 10.8.2.
I just don't understand it. The Finder with such a basic yet important role is the biggest bottle neck the entire Mac OS X has to offer.
The jumping issue is entirely counterproductive and I personally do not understand why the development team keeps ignoring this issue for years now.
This is not the only issue in regards of the Finder. It is impossible to effectively/reliably find your files. I have cases where I type the filename properly and the finder just doesn't find it, even though the hard drive has been indexed and the file is not located in a system/hidden folder. When I navigate to the file it is right there.
The Finder should be created from scratch and brought up to par.
What good are all these new Mac OS X functions when the most basic, which the search for file definitely is, doesn't work?
Just my 2 cents!
Thank goodness for this thread! This problem was driving me crazy. Thank you for all these posts.
1. As one post observed, it was only happening in my download folder.
2. As another post observed: I had recently set my folder to calculate all sizes (command - J).
3. As another post observed: the .DS_Store (invisible system) file might be a factor.
4. This only occurs in list view.
A. Going to Finder > Show View Options (Command - J) and selecting any option (caculate size, Date modified etc.) causes a:
file to be placed in the root of the folder being modified (see the top of the file list).
1. Show hidden files: http://osxdaily.com/2009/02/25/show-hidden-files-in-os-x/
2. Select the ".DS_Store" file at the top of the file list and place it into the trash.
3. Live Happily Ever After.
None of the work-arounds mentioned work for me and all are ... clumsy (10.6.8 iMac 12,2 3.4 GGHz 32 GB RAM SSD and HD).
Unmentioned so far as I can see, but what does now seem to work for me is to check the preference "Always open in list view". It seems to work when ticked for any window, and can be made a part of the defaults. This is still somewhat ... clumsy ... but at least rational and not intrusive, as I always work in list view to start anyway.
Actually guys, I have found a solution. Here in the office we realised the jumping of the folders were always with folders with accents. We are using French Canadian writing so we asked everybody to stop using accents when they name their folders and it's MUCH MUCH better.
It's worth giving it a try.
Finder, more or less, is a frozen product. It's very poorly designed and doesn't work accurately any more with Mavericks, even. The API for the new Finder causes external apps to take up to 30-45 seconds or more to give you a list of files - completely unacceptable, but this seems to be Apple's developer philosophy since the departure of Steve Jobs who paid attention to detail.
I have solved most of my problems by purchasing Path Finder, which is a clearly superior product. Unfortunately, but predictively, Apple will not let you default your file browser, but I use Path Finder for everything else. It elimnates most all major issues.