The Finder on your Mac
Represented by the blue icon with the smiling face, the Finder is the home base for your Mac. You use it to organize and access almost everything on your Mac, including documents, images, movies, and any other files you have. To open a Finder window, click the Finder icon in the Dock at the bottom of the screen.
The Finder window. Click the pop-up menu button at the top of the Finder window to change how you view documents and folders. View them as icons, in a list, in hierarchical columns, or in a gallery. The sidebar on the left shows the items you use often or want to open quickly. To see all your documents stored on iCloud Drive, click the iCloud Drive folder in the sidebar, and to see only the documents you’re sharing and that are shared with you, click the Shared folder. To change what’s shown in the sidebar, choose Finder > Preferences.
Get organized. Your Mac has folders already created for common types of content—Documents, Pictures, Applications, Music, and more. As you create documents, install apps, and do other work, you can create new folders to stay organized. To create a new folder, choose File > New Folder. See Organize files in folders in the macOS User Guide.
Sync devices. When you connect a device like an iPhone or iPad, it appears in the Finder sidebar. Double-click the device’s icon to see options to back up, update, sync, and restore your device.
Gallery View. With Gallery View, you can see a large preview of your selected file, so you can visually identify your images, video clips, and other documents. The Preview pane on the right shows information to help you identify the file you want. Use the scrubber bar at the bottom to quickly locate what you’re looking for. To close or open the Preview pane, press Shift-Command-P. To show the Preview pane options in the Finder, choose View > Show Preview. To customize what’s shown, choose View > Show Preview Options, then select the options for your file type.
Tip: To show filenames in Gallery View, press Command-J and select “Show filename.”
Quick Actions. In Gallery View, click the More button at the bottom right of the Finder window for shortcuts to manage and edit files directly in the Finder. You can rotate an image, annotate or crop an image in Markup, combine images and PDFs into a single file, trim audio and video files, run shortcuts created with the Shortcuts app, and create custom actions through Automator workflows (for example, watermarking a file). See Perform quick actions in the Finder on Mac in the macOS User Guide.
Quick Look. Select a file and press the Space bar to open Quick Look. Use the buttons at the top of the Quick Look window to sign PDFs; trim audio and video files; and mark up, rotate, and crop images without opening a separate app. To learn more about Quick Look and markup features, see View and edit files with Quick Look on Mac and Mark up files on Mac in the macOS User Guide.
Tip: You can add alternative image descriptions that can be read by VoiceOver using Markup in Preview or Quick Look.
Get there faster. The Go menu in the menu bar is a quick way to get to folders and locations. Instead of using several clicks to navigate to the Utilities folder, choose Go > Utilities. You can also choose Go > Enclosing Folder to return to the top level of nested folders. If you know the path to a specific folder, choose Go > Go to Folder, then type the path. See Go directly to a specific folder in the macOS User Guide.