How To: Disable ._ Files and .DS_Store on Network Shares

How To: Disable ._ Files and .DS_Store on Network Shares

In heterogeneous networks of Macs and Window users, few things tick off Windows users then the “droppings” Macs leave behind in the form of files with . or ._ in front of them. These files are known as resource forks on the Mac side and store all kinds of really nifty information that makes OS X interact with files quicker and more efficiently. Among their uses they store metadata about files such as keywords, file size, and preview information.

None the less for various reason Windows (and to a lesser extent, Linux) is not able to always ignore these files and automatically sorts them to the top of the file view list. These files tend to be confusing if one is not aware of what they are. Or worse yet cause problems in directories with thousands of files present.

If on a small network with only a few Macs there is a program that takes care of this automatically. For $13 BlueHarvest works just perfectly.

Of course there is a simple trick to disable .DS_Store files. In Terminal run the command:

defaults write DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

If the network is Leopard only, then editing nsmb.conf is a good trick too. In /etc/nsmb.conf look for the following line: streams=no and change to streams=yes .

If the file does not exist, then it can be created via TextEdit or VI.

These files are only viewable under very certain circumstances but they can cause a lot of coworker friction, and worse yet even cause management to question the usability of OS X in the work place. These simple tricks will go a long ways to resolving those issues and making work much more friendly.

3 thoughts on “How To: Disable ._ Files and .DS_Store on Network Shares

  1. Marc Reply

    Maybe I’m thick but I can’t get these instructions to work for me ….. doesn’t make much sense to me

  2. shaan Reply

    yeah me either, I’m totally clueless, I have managed to open terminal and I’m guessing I need to copy and paste either – defaults write DSDontWriteNetworkStores true
    or different parts of this which I’ve tried.

    Is there an easier to describe this for a newbie?


    • Rick Post authorReply

      In Finder, hit the Command+Shift+Dot keys at the same time. This will show the .DS_Store files. You’ll need to manually delete them from each folder. Also, they’ll be recreated each time you open the folder. But if you do it folder by folder it might work.

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