macOS High Sierra

Organize files in folders

Everything on your Mac—documents, pictures, music, apps, and more—is organized in folders. As you create documents, install apps, and do other work, you can create new folders to keep yourself organized.

Create a folder

  1. Click the desktop if you want to create the folder on the desktop; otherwise, open a Finder window and navigate to where you want to create the folder.

  2. Choose File > New Folder, or press Shift-Command-N.

    If the New Folder command is dimmed, you can’t create a folder in the current location.

  3. Enter a name for the folder, then press Return.

Move items into folders

Do any of the following:

  • Put an item in a folder: Drag it to the folder.

  • Put several items in a folder: Select the items, then drag one of the items to the folder.

    All selected items move to the folder.

  • Keep an item in its original location and put a copy in a folder: Press and hold the Option key, then drag the item to the folder.

  • Keep an item in its original location and put an alias for it in a new folder: Press and hold the Option and Command keys, then drag the item to the folder to create the alias.

  • Make a copy of an item within the same folder: Select the item, then choose File > Duplicate or press Command-D.

  • Copy files to a different disk: Drag the files to the disk.

  • Move files to a different disk: Press and hold the Command key, then drag the files to the disk.

Quickly group multiple items into a folder

You can quickly create a folder of items on the desktop or in a Finder window.

  1. Select all the items you want to group together.

  2. Control-click one of the selected items, then choose New Folder with Selection.

  3. Enter a name for the folder, then press Return.

Merge two folders with the same name

If you have two folders with identical names at two different locations, you can merge them into a single folder.

  • Press and hold the Option key, then drag one folder to the location that contains a folder with the same name. In the dialog that appears, click Merge.

    The Merge option appears only if one of the folders contains items that are not in the other folder. If the folders contain different versions of identically named files, the only options are Stop or Replace.

To organize your files automatically, use Smart Folders. Smart Folders automatically gather files by type and subject matter, and are instantly updated as you change, add, and remove files on your Mac.