How to Select Multiple Files on a Mac

How to select more than one file on your Mac

What to Know

  • Hold down the Command key on your keyboard, then click each file to select multiple files.
  • Hold down Command and A to select all files in a folder.
  • Use your mouse to select files by clicking and dragging. If you have a multi-button mouse, left-click and drag to select the files.

This article teaches you multiple methods to select more than one file on your Mac. It looks at the most straightforward approach first then offers alternatives. 

How Do I Select Multiple Files at Once?

If you want to select multiple files within a folder on your Mac, the process is quite simple once you know what to do. Here's how to select multiple files at once.

This process also works if you wish to select multiple folders too.

  1. Open the folder containing the files you wish to select.

  2. Hold down Command on your keyboard while left clicking each file.

    Selecting a file in MacOS Finder
  3. Once selected, you can now drag them elsewhere, delete them or do any other task that you would do with one individual file.

How Do I Select All Files in a Folder?

If you'd prefer to select all files in a folder rather than click on each file individually, there's a convenient shortcut for doing so. Here's what to do. 

If you want to deselect one file, hold down Command and left-click the item.

  1. Open the folder containing the files you wish to select.

  2. Tap Command and A on your keyboard.

    Selecting all files on MacOS Finder
  3. All files are now automatically selected within the folder.

How Do I Select Multiple Files at Once With the Mouse?

It's also possible to select multiple files simultaneously with the mouse rather than using keyboard commands. Here's how to do so.

  1. Open the folder containing the files you want to select.

  2. Left-click drag the mouse down the selection of files you want to highlight.

    Selecting files with the mouse in MacOS Finder
  3. Release the mouse and the files will remain selected.

How Do I Select Multiple Emails or Messages at Once?

The process is slightly different if you're trying to select multiple emails or messages on your Mac, such as via Mac Mail. It's still straightforward to select multiple messages in Mac Mail, however.

 Why Can’t I Select Multiple Files on a Mac?

Generally, selecting multiple files on a Mac is pretty straightforward. If you find you can't, there may be some easy-to-fix methods you can try instead. Here's a look at what the problem could be.

  • You're holding down the wrong key. If you're used to Windows systems, it's easy to press the wrong key when selecting multiple files. Be aware of which keys you're using. 
  • You're right-clicking instead of left-clicking. Similarly, make sure you're pressing the correct button on your mouse or trackpad. 
  • You're not dragging correctly. If you're new to Macs, it can be easy to drag the mouse or trackpad wrong, so it doesn't work as well as it should. Practice the dragging motion before moving files. 
  • There's a problem with macOS. Try restarting your Mac if the problem persists. Sometimes, Finder can just run into some issues for no particular reason with a restart correcting the problem. 
  • How do I view all my Mac files?

    If you want to see all your files in Mac Finder, open the Terminal and enter the appropriate command to show hidden files on Mac. Be careful when dealing with hidden files.

  • How do I find the location of a file on my Mac?

    To see the location path of a file, enable the Finder Path Bar by opening Finder and selecting Show Path Bar in the View menu. The Path Bar shows the path from the folder you're currently viewing to the top of the file system.

  • How do I open zip files on my Mac?

    To unzip a file or folder on Mac, all you need to do is double-click the zip file. The file or folder decompresses in the same folder as the compressed file.

  • How do I delete files on my Mac?

    To delete files on a Mac, right-click the file you would like to delete, then click Move to trash. Then click the Trash can to open your Trash, right-click the deleted file(s) in the trash and click Delete Immediately.

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