Mac Finder is the key to getting around macOS. As the name suggests, you can access everything on your computer – applications, documents, media, downloaded files, and more – via the Finder. That’s why it’s so important to master the Finder on your Mac so that you never have a problem finding what you need in no time.
In this story, we’re going to show you 15 tips and tricks on how to better use the Finder, including keyboard shortcuts to open specific folders, quickly delete unimportant files, and hide annoying sidebars.
Set the default folder that will appear every time you open a new Finder window
If you frequently navigate to a specific folder, you can make it the default and save a few clicks every time you open the Finder. Click here Finder menu on the menu bar, then select Preferences. Under General tab, you’ll see that for the New Finder window, the default is All My Files. You can go to the Home or Documents folder or whatever folder you use the most.
Automatically delete items from the Recycle Bin
If you click Advanced in the Preferences tab, you will see several boxes to check, including Delete items from the Recycle Bin after 30 days. This will help prevent the trash from overflowing with files.
Open a new Finder window
You need to open another Finder window. You can use a keyboard shortcut for this. Hit Command + N to open a new Finder window. You can also use Command + T to open a new Finder tab that lets you browse different folders in a single Finder window.
Open a specific folder in Finder
Instead of searching for a folder, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts to open a specific folder in the Finder:
- Command + Shift + C: top-level computer folder
- Command + Shift + D: Folder on the desktop
- Command + Shift + F: Recent folder
- Command + Shift + G: Go to the folder window
- Command + Shift + H: Your account’s home directory
- Command + Shift + I: iCloud Drive folder
- Command + Shift + O: document folder
- Command + Shift + R: AirDrop folder
- Command + Shift + U: Tool folder
- Command + Option + L: download folder
Quickly search for a file or folder in the Finder
While you can click the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner of any Finder window to search for a file folder, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Command + F to open Finder with the search bar activated.
Get information about a file or folder in the Finder
Need more information about a file or folder, such as file type, folder size, date created or last modified? You can hit Command + I to open the Info pane for any selected file in the Finder.
Show or hide the sidebar in the Finder
If you need a clearer view in Finder, use Command + Option + S to show or hide the Finder sidebar. Hit Command-Control-T to add the selected item – usually a folder – to the sidebar.
Show or hide the path bar in the Finder
The Finder has another information bar in addition to the sidebar: the track bar. It is a narrow bar along the bottom edge of the Finder that shows the folder path to the currently selected file. If you want to hide or show it, press Command + Option + P.
Change the Finder view
You can change the Finder view by clicking the four buttons in the menu bar at the top of the Finder window. Alternatively, you can use keyboard shortcuts:
- Command +1: Icon view
- Command + 2: List view
- Command + 3: Column view
- Command + 4: Gallery view
Check your view options
Hit Command + J to open the View Options panel. This allows you to choose the types of columns – Modified Date, Size, Tags, etc. – that you want to see in the Finder Columns view, among other things. You can set up different columns to be displayed for different folders in the Finder.
Quickly browse a file without opening it
Of course, you can always double-click a file to view it, but there’s a way to just preview it. If you click on a file once to highlight it, then press space, you can preview it. If you hold down Option + spaceyou can open a full screen slide of the file.
Create a new folder
Just like on the computer, you can use Command + Shift + N keyboard shortcut to create a new folder in the Finder.
Quickly throw away a file or folder
Save yourself the hassle of dragging the file to the trash on the dock. Instead, select the files or folders you want to throw in the Finder and click Command + Delete. In related news, you can hit Command + Shift + Delete empty the trash.
Add a file or folder to your dock
Use Command + Control + Shift + T to add a file or folder in the Finder to the Dock. It will sit on the right side of the dock baffle.
Customize the Finder Toolbar
From the menu bar at the top of the screen, navigate to View > Customize the toolbar to drag buttons to and from the toolbar at the top of the Finder. If you find you don’t like the changes you made, simply drag the default set back into the Finder to start over.