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Question: Mavericks files / directories in finder slow showing up

I have had this problem happen very consistently. When pulling up finder or an application that needs to call on an open file dialog to look for something, the files and subfodlers take a long time to actually show up. If I select a subfolder, the progress wheel will grind in the lower-left corner for 15-30 seconds before the files in that subfolder show up. Selecting another level under that will give me the same delay.

I'm running an 2012 27" iMac, fully loaded with an i7 and max mem.

Anyone else having ths problem? I thought at first it might be a spotlight/index issue with my drive once I initially upgrade, but I have had it now for several days with my computer left on the entire time, so indexing should have been done.

Any ideas on what is causing this is or how to work around it?


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Oct 28, 2013 12:03 PM in response to kb8wfh In response to kb8wfh

I am having the same problem. When I use any of the file menu functions (open, print, save, etc) where a window opens to compile a list of files, I see a blank column for at least 10 seconds before anything appears. This has happened with multiple apps over the past few days. I don't get the beach ball either, just the progress wheel in the bottom left corner of the window.

Oct 28, 2013 12:03 PM

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Oct 28, 2013 1:42 PM in response to kb8wfh In response to kb8wfh

I'm not only having the same problem, but I've reindexed spotlight and finally, out of frustration, reinstalled Mavericks again last night.

Every time I reboot my computer, I get the spinning gear and a long wait when accessing folders in the finder that have lots of files in them.

Oct 28, 2013 1:42 PM

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Oct 28, 2013 3:04 PM in response to kb8wfh In response to kb8wfh

I did another spotlight reindex and then rebooted. Same result. Any time I need a list of files in a folder (in a Finder window or in an open/save dialog box), I get the spinning gear.

There's just no excuse for something so basic to be wrong after an OS update. Did the beta testers report this and/or did Apple just ignore it to make the October deadline for Mavericks?

The irony is that many users will never notice this because they only access their "important" files within apps such as iTunes and iPhoto or in iCloud. I'm a higher-ed faculty member with hundreds of active files at any point in time and literally thousands of semi-active files. I began to use a Mac in the summer of 1984 as a graduate student.

Please submit a bug report at:

Oct 28, 2013 3:04 PM

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Oct 28, 2013 3:07 PM in response to Scott Newman In response to Scott Newman

I have been working with several things to try and find out what is causing this. Still nothing. Various disk utilities report everything is fine, but even they seem sluggish determining the file system than Lion did. DiskUtility repairs, & verification of permissins, some command line commands for clearing file issues...nothing's making a difference.

I did see one article somewhere that said with Mavericks, Apple was abandoning their AFP (Apple Filesharing Protocol) and using the Microsoft standard from now on. My heart kinda sank with that. But maybe their foundational changes to the OS for that reason are effecting it. smb2-in-os-x-109-mavericks

I agree, there are way too many issues with Mavericks that someone must have seen in beta and Apple should have fixed.

Oct 28, 2013 3:07 PM

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Oct 28, 2013 11:03 PM in response to kb8wfh In response to kb8wfh

same problem here.

when i attach a file in Mail, after hitting the attach paperclip icon, the finder appears and it takes about 9 seconds for the files in the folder i want to attach somehting from to show up.

i read that apple introduces something in Mavericks where it back burners some info that is not being recently used.

sound to me like this is the problem.

forcing Spotlight to re-index does NOT work. it is not what this problem is about.

it will take apple to have a sofware revision to fix this.

i am using a mid-2012 mac Book air 13 inch. with 4+4GB Ram and 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5 processor

since i dont see everyone complaining it is probably system specific that needs optimization.

Oct 28, 2013 11:03 PM

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Oct 29, 2013 5:03 AM in response to kb8wfh In response to kb8wfh

I was ready to reinstall the Mavericks in my macbook when I found this post. My problem is identical: when I try to access the files in finder, the spining appears and I'm waiting 15-30 seconds for the list of applications appears.
Macbook Pro 13 Mid 2012 16Gb RAM, 256 Gb SSD.
While the mountain lion, ever behaved that way.

Oct 29, 2013 5:03 AM

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Oct 29, 2013 6:56 AM in response to kb8wfh In response to kb8wfh

Same problem here, with a 2011 (or 12, I forget) Macbook Pro. It's not the file system itself, I don't think, since when I look at directories in Emacs, the response is almost instantaneous, as always. So I'm guessing it's a Finder issue. (Whose bright idea was it to use the full Finder for the open file dialog every time, anyway? Did it do that in Mountain Lion, too, and I've only noticed because I have so much time to stare at the blank window now?)

Sure hope Apple fixes this soon; otherwise, Mavericks has been good. But there's no excuse for this kind of wait time for the Finder.

Oct 29, 2013 6:56 AM

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Oct 29, 2013 12:48 PM in response to royturner In response to royturner


can someone who has this finder delay issue try the following:

in System Preferences/General preference pane, toggle the "Show scroll bars: " to Always.

then see if this has helped fix the issue.

and then toggle it again to "When scrolling"

then see if this has helped fix the issue.

i am curious to see if this helps.

thanks very much.

Oct 29, 2013 12:48 PM

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Oct 30, 2013 6:03 AM in response to azamino In response to azamino

azamino, this fixed the issue for me. I was running into this problem when I'd try to attach a file in an email. It would take at least 15 seconds for the directories and files to show up.

If I switch to "Show scroll bars: Always," the problem goes away. If I switch back to "Automatically based on mouse or trackpad," the problem comes back.

Here's the steps I followed:

1. Open, compose a new message, attempt to attach a file (to see if you have the slow finder problem)

2. If you do have this problem, quit the

2. Open System Preferences

3. Open the General preference pane

4. Check "Always" next to "Show scroll bars:"

5. Go back to step 1 and test to see if you still have the same problem. The directories and files displayed immediately for me.

Oct 30, 2013 6:03 AM

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Oct 30, 2013 6:57 AM in response to kb8wfh In response to kb8wfh

There are two parts to this issue. The first part is what's been discussed above. The second part is that routine caching, over time, appears to "fix" this issue--until the next reboot.

I take my 2011 MacBook Air to work with me each day. Because it boots so fast, I shut it down when it leave for work, and shut it down again when I'm reading to return home. Right after a reboot, the issue in this thread seems the worst.

But, if I leave my computer on then slowly this issues fixes itself because of what appears to be caching of directories and files. Every time there's a slowdown because of this issue, the folder or folders that are creating the problem seemed to cached. The "fix" above may work because of this.

The problem is that there shouldn't be this kind of problem even after a computer is rebooted--it hasn't happened in any prior version of OS X. I'm expecting it to be fixed by 10.9.2. 10.9.1 may already be too far along.

Oct 30, 2013 6:57 AM

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Question: Mavericks files / directories in finder slow showing up