If you need to find, move, copy, or delete files on your Mac, you’ll need to use the Finder, which is similar to File Explorer on Windows. We’ll show you some basics on how to browse and manage files.
Browse for files with Finder
Finder is a special app on your Mac that helps you manage files. The easiest way to open it is to click its icon on your macOS dock. The icon looks like a smiling blue face.
When you click on it, a Finder window will open. You can also open multiple Finder windows at once. To do this, select File > New Finder Window from the menu bar (or press Command+N on your keyboard).
Using a Finder window, you can browse files on your Mac by double-clicking folders and then the back arrow in the top-left corner (“
As you browse, you’ll see “breadcrumbs” (a list of folder locations) in the path bar at the bottom of the Finder window. This shows your current location in the file path. (If you don’t see the path bar, choose View > Show Path Bar from the menu bar.)
You can also quickly jump to locations in Finder. One way is by using the “Go” menu in the menu bar, which allows you to quickly navigate to different folder locations on your Mac, such as your “Home” folder.
You can also quickly navigate using the sidebar in any Finder window. This sidebar is usually full of shortcuts to important locations such as images, downloads, and documents.
To use it, click on one of the items in the sidebar list and the Finder window will immediately display the contents of that location. (If you don’t see the sidebar, select View > Show Sidebar from the menu bar or press Ctrl+Command+S.)
If you prefer to view your files in a different way (such as a list instead of icons and thumbnails), click the icons that look like small groups of squares at the top of a Finder window. You can also use them to change how files are sorted, such as alphabetically or by file type.
And finally, if you need to find a specific file on your Mac, you can do a quick search by clicking the magnifying glass icon in the top-right corner of any Finder window. After typing a search query, you will see the results below.
Another great way to search for documents or apps on your Mac is to use Spotlight, which you can access by clicking the magnifying glass icon in your menu bar (or pressing Command+Space).
RELATED: Quickly launch a Mac app with Spotlight
Copy and delete files
It’s easy to move, copy, or delete files in the Finder using click-and-drag techniques. To move a file between two folders, drag a file’s icon from one Finder window to another. Dragging an item between Finder windows on different drives (such as one in the sidebar) creates a new copy of the file or folder, leaving the original item in its original location.
You can also copy files by right-clicking a file and selecting “Copy” in the source folder, then right-clicking a destination folder and selecting “Paste”.
To delete a file in Finder, drag the file’s icon from the Finder window onto the trash can icon in your dock. Or you can select it and choose File > Move to Trash from the menu bar.
You’ve seen the basics of browsing and managing files on your Mac with Finder, but there’s a lot more to explore. For example, you can change Finder preferences at any time by selecting Finder > Preferences from the menu bar (or pressing Command+Comma). Have fun browsing!
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