10 essential tips for using Apple’s macOS Finder more efficiently

“The Finder is a classic Mac system component that’s ever-present on your desktop, ready to help you find and organize your documents, media, folders, and other files,” Tim Hardwick writes for MacRumors. “It’s the smiling icon known as the Happy Mac logo on your Dock, and includes the Finder menu bar at the top of the screen.”

“A lot of hidden power resides in every Finder window,” Hardwick writes. “In this article, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite Finder tips and tricks to help you work more efficiently with files and folders on your Mac.”

“If you often work with files in a specific folder, then it’s worth setting it as the default folder that every new Finder window opens with automatically,” Hardwick writes. “Click Preferences in the Finder menu bar, and under the General tab you’ll see a dropdown menu under ‘New Finder windows show:.’ Select one of the options in the list, or click Other… to choose a custom location.”

Hardwick writes, “You can add convenient shortcuts along the top of the Finder window to any app, file, or folder you like, simply by holding down the Command (⌘) key and dragging the item onto an available space in the toolbar.”

Eight more essential Finder tips – with helpful marked-up screenshots – in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There are some good Finder tips in the full article, many of which we use extensively. One of the most important is that we customize our Finder toolbars on all of our Macs to provide our most-needd tools. Another is using Finder Tabs, which, as longtime Mac users, was a bit of a hurdle to get used to at first!


  1. Finder’s usable and the dock’s alright, but the file explorer and taskbar in Windows 10 are, in my opinion, better all around. Surprisingly, the are occasionally things that the MS interface implements in a way that lets the user be more efficient (but of course there are a whole lot of things that don’t. Ha)

    1. For people who use multiple screens on desktop instead of dinky laptops, macOS hasn’t improved in user efficiency since Jaguar. More annoyances, not a more intuitive or faster user interface. Notifications, Spaces, all the iOS ification has been a big disappointment. Meanwhile every other Microsoft release actually made progress. They slowly polish their ugly OS , I don’t like it, but MS obviously listened to users and made corrections. Meanwhile Apple let Jony ruin osx from a stylistic standpoint and delivered a still incomplete apfs at least 5 years late, well after MS had modernized its file system. Over and over Apple made stupid mistakes like DNS screw ups. Or burying Save As and other useful commands under pulldowns and multi-keystroke longcuts. Stripping out useful features from apps, especially Disc Utility. Long ago Apple chose to implement horrid Microsoft style file extensions instead of retaining superior file metadata in the file itself, and now chose to keep doing it after apfs has been released. How stupid is that? Basically I see Apple losing focus and putting the B team on the Mac. Going half a decade between significant hardware refreshes is yet another signal that Apple doesn’t care. Schiller sings praises about how great its new Gimmick bar is, but as a developer, why rush to support it? Only two macs have it. If it was important, wouldn’t you roll it out quickly across the lineup? Apple is still selling a non-retina laptop, for crying out loud. If it can’t fix the obvious easy stuff, I worry about the future of the hard stuff like the OS. Apple is getting sloppy and s l o o o o w.

      It is to the point that in direct OBJECTIVE comparison between Windows and macOS, I don’t think macOS would win by much, if at all. I think Apple deserves all the scorn it gets from longtime Mac users for this.

  2. Still puzzled why Apple removed the “coverflow” viewing option for the finder window for selecting attachments to emails etc. It makes locating the right document much more difficult. I can’t think of a single change in Mac OS that was a pleasant surprise to discover. The latest one was that the calculator in the “today” sidebar, now clears itself whenever you close the sidebar, it used to retain the latest calculation..

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