That spring-loaded folder technique sounds good in theory, but it can be disconcerting in practice. For most people, the long wait before the first folder opens is almost enough wasted time to negate the value of the feature altogether. Furthermore, when the first window finally does open, you’re often caught by surprise. Suddenly your cursor—mouse button still down—is inside a window, sometimes directly on top of another folder you never intended to open.
Fortunately, you can regain control of spring-loaded folders using these tricks:
Choose Finder→Preferences. On the General pane, adjust the “Spring-loaded folders and windows” delay slider to a setting that drives you less crazy. For example, if the first folder takes too long to open, then drag the slider toward the Short setting.
You can turn off this feature entirely by choosing Finder→Preferences and turning off the “Spring-loaded folders and windows” checkbox.
Tap the space bar to make the folder spring open at your command. That is, even with the Finder→Preferences slider set to the Long delay setting, you can force each folder to spring open when you are ready by tapping the space bar as you hold down the mouse button. True, you need two hands to master this one, but the control you regain is immeasurable.
The space bar trick works even when the “Spring-loaded folders and windows” checkbox (in Finder→Preferences) is turned off. That’s a handy arrangement, because it means folder windows never ...