Get the most out of Finder

Olga Weis

Finder is the file management solution that comes along with macOS. It is pretty easy-to-use and does a fairly good job when it comes to managing the contents of your Mac. You might have used Mac Finder for a while now without knowing that tweaking its default settings can make a lot of difference for your user experience. Read on to find out more.

Tweak Mac Finder

1. Finder Settings is a good place to start

  • Set the Home directory

    What do you see when you open a new Mac Finder window? All My Files? Is this the first thing you need to view? If not, make sure to set a new destination.
    Go to Finder menu > Preferences > General Tab > New Finder windows show.

  • Use the Sidebar to show your Home Directory

    We more often than not keep files in folders in the Home directory, so it makes sense to see it in the sidebar of a Mac Finder window at all times and drag-and-drop things to your Home folders, when required.
    Go to Finder menu > Preferences > Sidebar tab. You will see your user name and the home icon in the list displayed, check the box next to it.

  • Make use of the Status Bar

    Status bar in Finder in Mac displays the number of files in the current location and how much space is available on your Mac. This info proves to be handy at times. Go to Finder’s View menu and select ‘Show Status Bar’.

  • Make use of Path Bar

    Seeing the path to the currently open Mac folder is helpful, especially if you aren’t very familiar with the structure of files and folders on your machine. It also allows you to jump places on selecting a folder in the Path Bar, and you can even drag-and-drop files and folders into various locations using Finder on Mac.
    Go to Finder’s View menu and Select ‘Show Path Bar’.

  • Customize the Toolbar

    Finder’s toolbar displays default options such as back/ forward buttons, arrange, share, etc., and you might not be even using them most of the time. Why not to add buttons that allow you to access frequently used features? This will save you a lot of time and effort.
    Go to Finder’s View menu and select ‘Customize Toolbar…’ Here you can add actions to be shown in the toolbar of Mac Finder app and choose whether to display ‘Icon only’, ‘Text only’ or ‘Icon and Text’.

  • Show File Extensions

    By default Apple Finder hides file extensions – this keeps things simpler and interface cleaner. However if you want to know what type of file you are working with, it is better to enable displaying file extensions in Mac preferences.
    In Finder menu choose Preferences > Advanced and check ‘Show all filename extensions’ option.

Finder Preferences and viewing options

2. Show Item Info

You can choose what kind of information about your files and folders you would like to see. This will prove handy especially to those who work with graphics and images. Right-click on a Finder window > View Options. Choose relevant options and see if you want to ‘Use as Default’ to apply the changes to all Finder windows.

3. Always Show User Library Folder, Hidden & Invisible Files

To do these tweaks, you’ll need Terminal. User’s Library Folder is where all your preference files, caches and user data are stored. Open Terminal and type chflags nohidden ~/Library/, now you can exit Terminal.

Displaying hidden files is an option much required by advanced users and web developers. Open Terminal and type defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool YES && killall Finder. Exit Terminal.

You will see that hidden files’ icons displayed in Finder app for Mac look slightly different from those of regular files. Do note that the second command displays the Library too.

4. Simplify working with data stored on cloud services

CloudMounter is the solution

You’ll need CloudMounter, a third party application that allows mounting cloud services on your Mac. You thus get to access and manage files stored there directly from Finder window for Mac as if they were on local drives. CloudMounter is compatible with all popular cloud storage services – Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Amazon S3. It also allowing connecting to remote servers via FTP/ FTPS/ SFTP and WebDAV protocols.

CloudMounter

Requirements: OS X 10.10+ , 13.1Mb free space
Version 1.2.277 () Release notes