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Icon previews on Leopard are a love hate relationship. For example images, videos, and any other program which renders a large visual image is great for an icon preview. You can quickly see what is happening with out looking at the file name or using quick look to view the file properly. On the other hand it can be a bit of a pain. For example if you have a lot of work documents, including text, spreadsheets, websites to some extent you will probably get a white icon with very small text. This means that in a Finder window full of icons it can be hard to find and differentiate the between files, due to them all being white squares. The option is very simple, turn off preview.

If you right click on your folder, or your hard drive and select show view options, you will get a pane a pop-up pane full of options. Half way down the list there will be an option called “Show Icon Preview”. If you untick this box at the bottom of the items, all the icons will stop rendering live previews and instead default back to the file icon. You can of course re-tick it to show them again.


By disabling previews this may also help speed up any aging Mac’s (as well as my MacBook Pro sometimes). This is because Finder doesn’t then have to open up every file do a bit of processing and then render an image. Although the image is probably cached and the process doesn’t take up that much CPU, for anyone who does find Leopard a bit unresponsive sometimes when you open a folder full a images, this may help out.

It can help out by speeding up your computer and helping you see the files in Finder but then again you do lose that cool functionality for live previews for files that make Leopard so cool. At the moment I still have it left on, although for some, mostly work, folders its off to help speed things up. If only you could apply it to certain files, then this “feature” would be pretty useful.


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