When you are working in List view in the Finder, clicking on the disclosure triangle (the right-pointing triangle to the left of the file name) will display all files and subfolders within that folder. If you hold down the Option or Alt key however when clicking on the disclosure triangle, the Finder will also open the first level of every subfolder within that folder. That can be helpful when searching for a specific file.
With all of the subfolders expanded, hold down the Option or Alt key and click the disclosure triangle again. This will collapse all of the subfolders in the tree before closing the main folder. This way, all those subfolders will not be open the next time you open the Folder.
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