OS X Mavericks: Folder basics

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Folder basics

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.

You can automate organizing your files by using Smart Folders. Smart Folders use search to automatically gather files by type and subject matter, and are instantly updated as you change, add, and remove files on your Mac. For more information, see:

Create or modify a Smart Folder

Create a new folder

  1. Click the background area of your screen if you want to keep the folder on the desktop; otherwise, open the window where you want to keep the folder.
  2. Choose File > New Folder or press Shift-Command (⌘)–N.

    If the New Folder command is dimmed, you do not have permission to create a folder in the current location.

  3. To give the folder a name, click it, then press Return. Type a name for the folder, then press Return again.

Move items into folders

  • To put an item in a folder, drag its icon to the new folder.
  • To put several items in a new folder, select all the items, then choose File > New Folder with Selection.
  • To keep an item in its original location and put a copy in a new folder, hold down the Option key while you drag the item.
  • To keep an item in its original location and put an alias for it in a new folder, hold down the Option and Command (⌘) keys while you drag the item.
  • To make a copy of an item within the same folder, select the item, then choose File > Duplicate or press Command (⌘)–D.
  • To copy files to a different disk, drag the icons to the disk. To move files to a different disk without copying them, hold down the Command (⌘) key while you drag the icons.

Group multiple items quickly

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 from the shortcut menu.
  3. Type a new name for the folder.

Merge two folders

If you have two folders with identical names at two different locations, you can merge them into a single folder. To do so, you must copy (not move) one folder to the location that already 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.

Published Date: Oct 20, 2015
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