Keyboard Shortcuts for Finder Windows in macOS

These keyboard shortcuts can really speed up your workflow

The Ultimate Guide to Keyboard Shortcuts
The Ultimate Guide to Keyboard Shortcuts
Introduction

The Finder is your window into the Mac's file system. The system works well with a mouse or trackpad. But you can also control it directly from the keyboard.

The keyboard has the advantage of allowing you to navigate through the Finder and interact with devices, files, and folders, all without ever having to take your fingers off the keys.

These instructions apply to all versions of Mac OS X, but some may differ between operating systems.

Mac keyboard with iMac
David Paul Morris / Stringer / Getty Images

Keyboard Shortcuts for the Mac Finder

These keyboard shortcuts for the Finder can help you streamline how you work and play with your Mac.

File and Window-Related Shortcuts

The following commands will help you use the Finder, including opening files, creating new windows, and getting info on items.

Keys

Description

Command+N New Finder window
Shift+Command+N New folder
Option+Command+N New Smart Folder
Control+Command+N New folder containing selected item
Command+O Open selected item
Command+T New tab
Shift+Command+T Show/Hide a Finder tab
Command+W Close window
Option+Command+W Close all Finder windows
Command+I Show Get Info for selected item
Command+D Duplicate selected file(s)
Control+Command+A Make an alias of selected item
Control+Option+Command+A Show original for selected alias
Command+R Rotate an image 90 degrees right
Command+L Rotate an image 90 degrees left
Command+Y Quick Look selected item
Command+P Print selected item
Control+Command+T Add selected item to sidebar
Control+Shift+Command+T Add selected item to Dock
Command+Delete Move selected item to Trash
Command+F Open Spotlight Search
Command+E Eject selected device
Command+Click window title Show path to current folder

Finder Viewing Options

The shortcuts in this table affect how the Finder looks. You can also use them to get around folders and subfolders and change the view.

Keys

Description

Command+1 View as icons
Command+2 View as list
Command+3 View as column
Command+4 View as cover flow
Shift+Command+P Show/Hide preview pane
Right Arrow Expands highlighted folder (list view)
Left Arrow Collapses highlighted folder (list view)
Option+Command+Right Expands the highlighted folder and all subfolders
Command+Down Opens the selected folder
Command+Up Returns to enclosing folder
Control+Command+0 Toggles groups
Control+Command+1 Group by name
Control+Command+2 Group by kind
Control+Command+3 Group by date last opened
Control+Command+4 Group by date added
Control+Command+5 Group by date modified
Control+Command+6 Group by size
Control+Command+7 Group by tags
Command+J Show view options
Option+Command+P Show or hide the path bar
Option+Command+S Show or hide the sidebar
Command+/ (forward slash) Show or hide the status bar
Shift+Command+T Show or hide the tab bar
Shift+Command+\ (backslash) Show all tabs
Control+Command+F Enter or leave full screen

Quick Ways to Navigate in the Finder

These keyboard commands will get you around windows, special locations, and other areas in the Finder.

Keys

Description

Command+[ (left bracket) Go back to previous location
Command+] (right bracket) Go forward to next location
Shift+Command+A Open the Applications folder
Shift+Command+C Open the Computer window
Shift+Command+D Open the Desktop folder
Shift+Command+F Open Recent Files window
Shift+Command+G Open Go to Folder command
Shift+Command+H Open the Home folder
Shift+Command+I Open the iCloud Drive folder
Shift+Command+K Open Network window
Option+Command+L Open Downloads folder
Shift+Command+O Open Documents folder
Shift+Command+R Open AirDrop window
Shift+Command+U Open Utilities folder
Command+K Open Connect to Server window

Disadvantages of Using a Keyboard to Use the Finder

The disadvantage of the keyboard is that your interaction with the Finder is achieved through the use of keyboard shortcuts, a combination of two or more keys that, when pressed at the same time, perform a specific function, such as pressing the Command key and the W key to close the front-most Finder window.

Trying to remember all of the Finder keyboard shortcuts would be quite an undertaking, especially for shortcuts that are rarely used. Instead, it's best to pick out a few that you'll use all the time. Some commonly used shortcuts to add to your arsenal could include the various Finder viewing options, along with the Arrange By option, to quickly sort a window's contents for you.