Resize the Large Buggy Open / Save Dialog Windows in OS X Yosemite
OS X Yosemite has a rather peculiar bug with Open and Save dialog windows, where the file selector or saver dialog window shows up as inappropriately large. Sometimes the Open / Save window gets so big that it goes underneath the users Dock or even off screen, effectively preventing the dialog window from being resized.
This bug has been around in OS X 10.10 and has yet to be fixed, so while Mac users wait for another bug fix and system update to OS X Yosemite, we’ll cover a few workarounds that you can use in the meantime if and when you encounter the jumbo Open / Save dialog window.
1: Re-Size the Open / Save Window in OS X Yosemite
If you can select the very bottom of the Open / Save dialog window, you can simply drag it back up to the top of the screen to resize the dialog box. Yes, the open/save window is going to grow to a large size again, but this is a fairly easy fix. Unless of course you’re impacted by the window hiding under another item like the Dock, or, in some reported situations, the Open and Save dialog window actually runs off screen.
If you’re having trouble with that, hover the cursor over the side of the enormous window until the cursor turns into a little arrow icon, then hold down the Shift key and then click and drag from the side of the dialog window to resize it anyway – even if you can’t reach the bottom. The Shift+Click+Drag trick actually will resize any window, but it works particularly well for a situation where something is inaccessible or partially offscreen.
(Note that some apps allow you to use the maximum / zoom trick to indirectly control the size of the save sheet, this is not consistent across apps though so it’s not really a reliable method of handling this bug)
2: Shrink the Save Window in OS X
If you encounter this when you go to save files, simply clicking the upside down arrow icon next to the file name will shrink and minimize the Save window to a more minimal view. This removes the file browser in the dialog box, but you can still save things into primary directories like Documents, Desktop, Pictures, etc.
Unfortunately, this method doesn’t work with Open dialog windows, since the little triangle box will not appear when you’re using the Open File browser dialog, so you’d need to use one of the other methods.
What if the OS X Open / Save Dialog Boundaries are Totally Off Screen?
In some rare situations with multi-display Mac setups, the Open / Save dialog window may actually increase to such an enormous size that part of the bounds of the window actually go off screen and can’t be selected at all. I’ve ran into this once when disconnecting an external screen, and it was resolved by forcing the entire window back onto the screen with this resolution trick, which basically resizes the window along with a temporary change to your screen resolution.
This is a really silly bug, isn’t there another solution?
The solution will arrive in a bug fix from Apple, likely as part of an OS X 10.10.2 or OS X 10.10.3 update.
There is no specific timeline on those public releases, however, so in the meantime you can use the above mentioned tricks, or if you’re inclined to use the command line, a defaults command string can be issued on a per-application basis to temporarily resolve the enormous save and open dialogs, at least until they grow to a large size again. Details on the defaults command strings required for this can be found here at SixColors, though it’s probably impractical for most casual Mac users to be going the defaults string route. On the other hand, advanced users may appreciate the ability to script or automate a solution to this while a bug fix is being cooked up by the Macintosh software team.
Know of another solution? Do let us know in the comments!