AFP, Apple, NFS, Network, OSX Prevent .DS_Store File Creation on Network Volumes

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This KnowledgeBase article explains how to prevent OS X from creating new .DS_Store files when opening folders on remote volumes mounted using SMB/CIFS, AFP, NFS, and WebDAV. The creation of .DS_Store files (and more so, ._AppleDouble files which are not covered in this hint) is frequently the source of complaints against Mac users, who often leave a trail of these files scattered throughout the filesystem when “visiting” a Windows computer. Even with this hint in place, the .DS_Store files will continue to be created on local volumes (which is a good thing).

To prevent the creation of these files, open the Terminal and type:

defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

It may be necessary to log out and back in, or even to restart the computer (which is what the article states), for the change to take effect.

Note: Most of the settings controlled by data in .DS_Store files are “cosmetic” in nature – for example, Finder window position, view style, icon position, etc. However, .DS_Store files in OS X also store Finder “comments” so in this sense, disabling .DS_Store files may result in loss of data.