Performance issues when Mac OS X client is unable to read .DS_Store file

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Mac OS X Client Symptoms:

  • Slow browsing on a specific Volume or folder
  • Finder may hang on a specific Volume or folder
  • Mac OS may hang on a specific Volume or folder

Server Symptoms:

  • Server performance degrades when a single Mac OS X client is logged onto an ExtremeZ-IP Volume.
  • CPU spikes and high network traffic even though the client appears to be idle.

Steps to Reproduce:

  1. Deny read/write/delete access to .DS_Store files at the root of a network Volume or inside a folder within a share.
  2. Navigate to the folder using Mac OS X Finder.
  3. Examination of packet capture of the conversation between client and server reveals millions of read/delete requests per hour for .DS_Store files.


By default, the Mac OS X finder will read/write/create .DS_Store files on network Volumes. If for some reason the client does not have permissions to read an existing .DS_Store file the Finder will attempt to delete and recreate this file. Without the proper permissions the Finder can get caught up in an endless loop where it will issue millions of read/delete requests per hour. This unexpected behavior can degrade performance on both the client and server.


There are two options available to work around this problem.

  1. From the Windows Server, confirm all Mac users have read permissions on all .DS_Store files (check permissions via the Security tab – not the Sharing tab).
  2. Disable .DS_Store file creation over network connections (full instructions on how to do this can be found from Apple here) For this option, the workaround must be performed on each Mac client. Please note: Finder preferences such as color labels and file comments will no longer be displayed.


    This issue has been reported to Apple