For many versions of macOS and OS X I have suffered from an issue where Finder would forget my default window preferences (size, position, column widths, etc.). On the old TidBITS comments system we had an entire thread about things to try and make it work. We went through every single thing. Nothing fixed it. It seemed though at least some others also encountered the issue (thread link) and eventually the workaround became to write a little AppleScript app (thread link) that would set the right window properties and you’d just run it whenever Finder restarted or you launched your Mac so that you got the default window back to how you want it. I’ve been using that trick ever since and had kind of forgotten about the issue.
Anyway, my wife just two days ago got her brand new M1 MacBook Air to replace her trusty old 2010 MBP. She spec’ed the little machine to the max and it’s an absolute joy to see it destroy my 2020 $3k Intel MBP. That said, she set it up from scratch with a vanilla Big Sur and to my great surprise, her Finder did not preserve her default window settings across relaunches/reboots.
In the past I always had this suspicion that I might have some defaults setting set somewhere that was the root cause of my Finder not preserving its defaults while others who didn’t have that (unknown) defaults setting seemed to report it working just fine. So much for my theory. But now I see that on a brand new vanilla Big Sur system, the same issue pops up and Finder is not preserving user settings. Only Finder BTW, no other app seems to be showing this behavior.
So my question to all of you out there: do you always see Finder preserve your preferences for default window? Do your choices get retained across Finder relaunches and Mac reboots? I’m starting to wonder if what I consider a bug is actually desired behavior, so I’m curious to hear what behavior other users see.