How to Configure the Finder's Spring-Loaded Folders

Set the Amount of Time to Pass Before Spring-Loaded Folders Get Sprung

Finder Preferences for Spring-Loaded folders
Use the slider to adjust the spring-loaded folder delay time. Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.

Spring-loaded folders, which have been part of the Mac OS since before OS X, let you click and drag files or folders. When you let the mouse pointer hover over a folder, the folder will open to display its contents. You can quickly and easily drill down through folders to locate a specific folder or file, and then click and drag the file or folder to its target destination.

The amount of time the mouse pointer must hover over a folder or window before it springs open is governed by a user-set preference.

Configure the Spring-Loaded Delay (OS X Yosemite and Earlier)

  1. Open a Finder window by either clicking the 'Finder' icon in the Dock, or clicking on a vacant area of the desktop.
  2. Select 'Preferences'from the Finder menu.
  3. In the Finder Preferences window, click the 'General' button.
  4. Use the slider to set the spring-loaded folder delay time.
  5. When you're done, close the Finder Preferences window.

Configure Spring Loaded Folder Delay (OS X El Capitan and Later)

  1. Launch System Preferences, either by click its icon in the Dock, or selecting System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Select the Accessibility preference pane in the System Preferences window.
  3. In the left-hand sidebar of the Accessibility pane, select the Mouse & Trackpad item. You may need to scroll down the list to find it.
  4. Use the slider to adjust the Spring-loaded delay time.
  5. If you wish to disable the Spring-loaded folder feature, you can remove the checkmark next to the slider.

    Published: 1/30/2008

    Updated: 1/22/2016