Default Folder Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions and problems that people often encounter when using Default Folder.

Before consulting this list, please check to make sure you are running the latest version, which is Default Folder 3.1.5. If you need an update, you can get one from the Download Page. If you have a problem that is not addressed here or feel a question should be here but isn't, please send mail to

Will there be a version of Default Folder for OS X?

Yes, Default Folder X is now available. See the Default Folder X page for complete details.

Default Folder seems to be crashing my Mac when I try to restart or shut down.

This is caused by damage to Default Folder's preference file. Follow the instructions below under How do I delete my preferences file? and all should be well again.

Is Default Folder compatible with Mac OS 9.2.2 and Mac OS X Classic?

Yes, the latest version of Default Folder is compatible with both Mac OS 9.2.2 and the Classic environment of Mac OS X. Earlier versions will not run correctly in these enviornments under some circumstances, so please be sure to visit our Download Page and get the latest revision.

Default Folder never adds folders on our Windows NT server to the Recent Folders menu.

This is due to a bug in Windows NT Server. Whenever the "share point" of an NT Server disk is at the root level of the disk (ie. "C:\" or "D:\" is shared on the NT server), Windows NT tells the Mac OS that the topmost folder on that disk is invisible. Default Folder honors this "invisibility" and refuses to add any folders on that disk to the Recent Folders list because doing so would compromise the privacy or security of those folders.

To work around the problem, you can do one of two things:

  1. Change the Windows NT server so that the "share point" for Mac file sharing is a subdirectory of the server's hard disk (ie. "C:\Shared\" or "D:\Files\").
  2. Command-option-click on the Prefs button in the Default Folder control panel and turn on the "Add invisible folders to recent folder menu" option in the Expert Preferences dialog.

What is "Navigation Services", and does Default Folder support it?

"Navigation Services" is the name Apple gave the new Open and Save dialogs which they introduced in Mac OS 8.5, and yes, Default Folder supports them. These new dialogs offer significant enhancements over the old "Standard File" Open and Save dialogs, including the ability to resize, sort the file listing by name or date, use hierarchical list views to show the contents of multiple folders, and directly access a network without going to the Chooser.

However, there are some shortcomings to the new Navigation Services dialogs. The first is that applications have to be upgraded to support them, so you'll see a mixture of both types of Open and Save dialogs for some time to come. The second is that, despite being "new and improved," they still don't supply some of the features that Default Folder has been delivering for years.

Default Folder provides buttons and menus in old Open and Save dialogs, and enhances the ones in Navigation Services dialogs, so that you have a consistent set of features for navigating between folders and files on your hard disk. Default Folder also provides things like "Finder Window Clicking," a consistent list of recently visited folders, and Favorite folders shared between all file dialogs, so that you've got what you need, no matter which type of Open or Save dialog you happen to encounter.

My Mac pauses for long periods of time or suddenly freezes.

This sometimes occurs if you turn on Default Folder's "Put recent and favorite folders in Apple menu" feature when you have the Apple Menu Options control panel installed. The problem is actually with Apple Menu Options, which can become unstable when there are a lot of folders in the Apple Menu. Apple Menu Options may also corrupt its preference file in the process.

To eliminate the problem, replace Apple Menu Options with another Apple menu utitility such as BeHierarchic or MenuChoice, or do the following:

  1. In the Default Folder control panel, click on the "Prefs..." button, select "General Settings" from the popup menu at the top, and turn off the "Put recent and favorite folders in Apple menu" checkbox.
  2. Restart with extensions turned off by restarting your Mac and holding down the shift key until you see "Extensions Off" or "Extensions Disabled" on the startup screen.
  3. Find the "Apple Menu Options Prefs" file in the Preferences folder within your System folder, and throw it in the Trash.
  4. Restart again to allow your extensions to load.

The "Click In Finder Windows" feature doesn't work since I upgraded to MacOS 8.x.

Older versions of Default Folder will not reliably recognize clicks in windows of newer versions of the Finder. Upgrading to the latest version of Default Folder will fix this (Default Folder 2.9.1 recognizes Finder windows in Mac OS 8.5 and earlier).

You can download the latest versions of all St. Clair Software products from the St. Clair Software Download page.

Default Folder doesn't switch to the default folder I have in my folder set.

Check to make sure you are using the right folder set by looking in the middle pop-up menu. The currently active set is shown with a check mark.

Apple put a rudimentary default folder capability into System 7.5, and this can override Default Folder's actions when the other settings are used. If you have System 7.5 or 7.6, make sure that the General Controls control panel has the "When opening or saving documents, take me to" option set to "Folder which contains the application." In Mac OS 8 and later, the option is called "Folder that is set by the application."

Default Folder only switches to the default folder sometimes.

This behavior is intentional. If you start an application by double-clicking on a document, Default Folder will not switch the file dialogs to your default folder. It assumes that you will be saving files in the same folder as the start-up document. This is generally more consistent with people's expectations (where would you expect to be if you opened a document and then chose "Save As..." to save a copy with a different name?).

If you want to, you can change Default Folder's settings to override this. See the "Folder Switching" section of the "Preferences" chapter in the documentation.

I've changed the name of my hard disk, and now none of my default folders work.

Because of the limitations of the Mac OS, there is no practical way to store the identity of a disk between restarts except by using its name. So, if you change the name of a disk, Default Folder will no longer be able to find any of the folders on that disk.

The simplest way to work around this shortcoming is to export your folder sets from the Default Folder control panel before changing the name of the disk (if you've already renamed the disk, change it back and export your folder sets). Then rename the disk and edit the exported folder set files with a word processor, replacing all occurrences of the old name with the new one. Finally, import the folder sets back into Default Folder.

Default Folder has suddenly forgotten I'm a registered user.

Your Default Folder Prefs file may have gotten corrupted. Please refer to the How do I delete my preferences file? section, below. After deleting the preferences file, re-register your copy by clicking on the question mark icon in the control panel and using the "Enter Code" button. If you've misplaced your registration code, contact St. Clair Software and we'll send it to you again.

How do I delete my preferences file?

This procedure requires that you restart your Macintosh without Default Folder enabled, to ensure that any corrupted data is not written back into the preferences file when you shut down. To delete your Preferences file:

  1. Use the "Export..." button in the Default Folder control panel to save any folder set information that you don't want to lose.
  2. Turn off all extensions by holding down the shift key while restarting your Mac. This step is very important - if you delete the preferences file while Default Folder is active, it will just write the corrupted data back to a new preferences file at shutdown.
  3. Throw the Default Folder Prefs file in the Trash. It's located in the Preferences folder within your System Folder.
  4. Restart again, without the shift key held down.
  5. Open the Default Folder control panel, import any folder set information you saved to files, and re-register your copy. You'll also have to reset any settings you made in the Prefs dialog.

Is Default Folder accelerated for PowerPC?


Why doesn't Default Folder do [feature XYZ]?

Default Folder's feature set has been chosen to provide the greatest functionality while keeping memory and processor demands low and ensuring compatibility. In keeping with this philosophy, there are certain features that have been intentionally avoided, including keeping track of recently used files for each application.

This does not mean you shouldn't make suggestions, however! If you have a good idea or desired feature, by all means let us know. That's how products improve!

Default Folder 3.1.5 
Downloads are free and all features are enabled for 30 days
Default Folder is $25
Click here to buy it now 
More Information
About Default Folder
What's New
Menu Commands
Reviews and Comments
In my opinion, it's the single most important add-on a Mac user can get!
- Ross A. Reyman
Default Folder is one of the coolest, most useful things I ever dropped in my system folder, and one of the first to get dropped back in when I update the system and the last to get dropped out when I'm having extension problems.
- Nick Wilde
I spend about half my time building and maintaining web sites and can't imagine doing it without Default Folder giving easy access to the multitude of files spread across various disks. It's one of those features that should have been built into the MacOS. Since it wasn't, I'd say it should be added to every web builders' toolkit.
- Ken Wilson
System Requirements
Default Folder works on Macintoshes running System 7.1.2 through 9.2.2, as well as in the Classic environment of Mac OS X.
If you're looking for a version of Default Folder for Microsoft Windows, you want FileBox eXtender from Hyperionics, which was modeled after Default Folder.

Home | Apps | Store | Support | Contact | Blog

© 1996-2021 St. Clair Software