The Desktop Folder is a regular folder with the interesting special feature that files and folders inside it are also display over your Desktop. The files you see on your Desktop are the same files you can view in a Finder window when looking at the Desktop Folder.
The Preview pane gives you so much more than just a simple preview. You can view lots of information about a file, and even change things like the file name and tags. You can customize what is shown in the Preview Pane for each file type.
There are many ways to navigate from folder to folder in the Finder on your Mac. You can go down into folders, up to the enclosing folder, and sideways to adjacent folders. There are many ways to do each, depending on which Finder View you are currently using.
Learn how to search for files in the Finder. You can simply search for words in the names or contents of files, or perform more complex searches in specific locations and for dates, file types and other criteria. Lots of advanced tips too.
Your Downloads folder is the default location for browser file downloads. Learn how this relates to the Downloads folder in the Dock and the Download icon in Safari. If you don't maintain your Downloads folder it will eventually become filled with files taking up lots of space on your drive.
If you want to see the contents of a file before opening it in an app or importing it into a document, you can use many different methods in macOS. You can use Finder icons, Gallery View, the Finder window preview area, or Quick Look.
Simply opening a file will launch the default app for that file. But you can indicate that you wish to open a different app in several ways. You can also set the default app for that file or for all files of the same type.
Here are 20 tips for using the Mac Finder Sidebar, one of the primary tools you have to help you get to and organize files on your Mac.
It important to come up with an organization system for your files on your Mac that meets your needs. Here are some examples of how you can do it. Your system doesn't have to start out perfect and you should always be looking for ways to improve it.
The Finder Info window and Inspector is a basic multitool for viewing and changing information about a file. You can use it in a variety of ways to manage your files.
You can turn a regular file into a template file using the Stationery Pad or Locked file attributes. This lets you start a new file with the content in an existing file, but insures that you don't accidentally overwrite the template.
The Trash, also called the Bin, on your Mac is how you delete files. You can also recover files from the Trash, skip the Trash, and set it to automatically delete files after a period of time.
There are many ways to rename a file or folder on your Mac. You can do it in the Finder with a menu bar command, a keyboard shortcut or the context menu. You can also rename files while working on them in apps. There are also options to batch rename multiple files.
Learn how to use the Finder's four views: Icon, List, Column and Gallery. Each view has its advantages in different situtations.
Mac Finder Aliases, also known as Shortcuts, allow you to access a file or folder from a different location. There are a variety of useful and creative ways to use aliases.
Learn about the folder structure of your Mac's drive from the top level to your user folder. Find out what different folders are for and how using iCloud Drive changes things.
When you click on Recents in the Finder, you get a huge list of all of your files. This is the result of a search, and not a separate location for these files. Recents is useful for quick access to the files you were just working on, but shouldn't be used for deleting or organizing files. You can also search with Recents as a starting point for a more specific search. You can disable Recents in the sideba or create your own version using a Saved Search.
It seems to be impossible to search for files in the Mac Finder in two or more separate locations at the same time. But you can do it ina tricky way by editing the criteria of a Saved Search. While not quick, this does give you the ability and you can modify it later to search in the same locations for different things.
If you use Icon View in the Finder to organize your files, here are some useful tips. You can place the icons where you want, or have them placed automatically by name, kind or time. You can also change the spacing and icon size, add more information to the file name and make other adjustments. You can also set a background color or image.
The Finder's List view gives you a sortable list of files and folders with columns of data such as date, size and kind. You can sort by the columns, add new ones, and arrange them. You can also navigate down into subfolders using the cursor or keyboard. Learn some little-known tricks for using List View.