How to Open Finder on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hello there! If you’re new to Mac OS, you might find yourself wondering how to open Finder on your Mac computer. Finder is the default file manager and graphical user interface shell of Mac OS X and macOS operating systems. It lets you navigate, organize and access files stored on your Mac. In this article, we’ll guide you on the basic steps to open Finder on your Mac. Here’s what you need to know.

Steps to Open Finder on Mac

Step 1: Click on the Finder icon on the Dock

The most straightforward way to open Finder is to click on its icon on the Dock. The Dock is usually located at the bottom of the screen, and it contains frequently used applications, including Finder. Click on the blue and white icon with the smiley face to launch Finder.

Step 2: Use Spotlight to search for Finder

Spotlight is a tool on your Mac that lets you search for anything on your computer, including applications. To access Spotlight, click on the magnifying glass icon on the top right corner of your screen, or use the Command + Space keyboard shortcut. Then, type in ‘Finder’ in the search bar, and click on Finder when it appears in the search results.

Step 3: Use the Launchpad to open Finder

Launchpad is an application launcher that lets you open and organize your applications. To access Launchpad, click on its icon on the Dock, which is a silver rocket ship. Once the Launchpad opens, click on the Finder icon to open it.

Step 4: Use Siri to open Finder

If your Mac has Siri, you can use it to launch Finder by simply saying, “Hey Siri, open Finder.” Siri will then open Finder for you.

Step 5: Use the Go Menu in Finder

Once Finder is open, you can also use the “Go” menu to navigate to your files and folders. Click on “Go” from the menu bar at the top of the screen, then select “Home” to see the files and folders saved in your user folder.

Step 6: Use the Finder Window Toolbar

The Finder window toolbar gives you quick access to commonly used folders, such as Documents, Downloads, and Music. You can find it at the top of the Finder window. Click on the folder icon to access the drop-down menu of folders.

Step 7: Use the Finder Sidebar

The Finder sidebar is located on the left-hand side of the Finder window, and it gives you quick access to your favorite folders, external drives, and other locations. If the sidebar is not visible, click on the “View” tab in the menu bar and select “Show Sidebar” to enable it.

Step 8: Use the Command-N Shortcut

If you want to open a new Finder window quickly, you can use the Command-N keyboard shortcut. This shortcut will launch a new Finder window with your user folder as the default location.

Step 9: Use the Command-Shift-A Shortcut

The Command-Shift-A keyboard shortcut opens the Applications folder in Finder. This can be a faster way to access your installed applications instead of navigating through the Finder window.

Step 10: Use the Command-Shift-H Shortcut

The Command-Shift-H keyboard shortcut opens your home folder in Finder, allowing you to access your personal files.

Step 11: Use the Command-Shift-U Shortcut

The Command-Shift-U keyboard shortcut opens the Utilities folder in Finder, which contains system utilities and other useful applications.

Step 12: Use the Command-Tab Shortcut

The Command-Tab keyboard shortcut lets you switch between open applications, including Finder. Hold down the Command key and press the Tab key to toggle through your open apps until you reach Finder.


Opening Finder might seem like a basic task, but it’s essential to navigate and manage your files effectively. We’ve provided you with several ways to quickly and easily open Finder on your Mac. Whether you prefer using the Dock, the keyboard shortcuts, or other methods, Finder is a must-have application that you’ll use often.

Tips and Tricks

1. Customize your Finder toolbar and sidebar

You can customize your Finder window by adding or removing shortcuts in the toolbar or sidebar. Right-click on the toolbar or sidebar, then select “Customize Toolbar” or “Customize Sidebar” to make changes.

2. Use the Preview Pane

The Preview Pane in Finder gives you a quick preview of selected files without having to open them in another application. Enable the Preview Pane from the View menu in the Finder menu bar.

3. Use Quick Look

Quick Look lets you preview a file without even opening it. Select a file, then press the Spacebar to bring up the Quick Look window.

4. Use the Path Bar

The Path Bar shows you the location of the selected file or folder in the Finder window. To enable it, go to the View menu, then select “Show Path Bar.”

5. Use Finder Tabs

Like web browsers, Finder allows you to use multiple tabs to keep different folders open at the same time. Enable Finder Tabs by going to the File menu, then select “New Tab” or use the Command-T keyboard shortcut.

6. Use Smart Folders

Smart Folders are dynamic folders that automatically update based on your search criteria. To create a Smart Folder, go to the File menu, then select “New Smart Folder” or use the Command-Option-N keyboard shortcut.

7. Use Tags

Tags let you organize and find files quickly. Simply right-click on a file or folder and select “Tags” to create or assign tags.

8. Use the Dropbox Integration

If you use Dropbox, you can integrate it with your Finder by installing the Dropbox app. This allows you to access your Dropbox files and folders directly from Finder.

9. Use the Airdrop Integration

If you need to quickly share files with other Apple users, you can use Airdrop. Airdrop lets you share files wirelessly between Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Enable Airdrop from the Finder menu bar, then drag and drop files to share them.

10. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Learning keyboard shortcuts can save you time and make your workflow more efficient. Memorize the Finder shortcuts mentioned in this article, and explore others that can help you do more with Finder and your Mac.

So there you have it – all the ways to open Finder on your Mac. We hope this article has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or additional tips, feel free to share them in the comments below. Happy computing!

Advantages and Disadvantages of How to Open Finder on Mac


Opening Finder on Mac is a basic task that everyone should know how to do. Here are some advantages of knowing how to open Finder on Mac:

Advantages Description
Easy access to files Finder is the default file manager for Mac, so opening it gives you easy access to all your files and folders.
Customization You can customize the Finder window to display your files and folders the way you want, making it easier to find what you need.
Quick search Using the search box in Finder, you can quickly find the files or folders you need.
Integration with other apps Many apps on Mac integrate with Finder, making it easier to manage your files and documents.
Batch operations You can perform batch operations on files in Finder, such as renaming and moving, which saves time and effort.


While there are plenty of advantages to knowing how to open Finder on Mac, there are also a few disadvantages to consider:

Disadvantages Description
Can be overwhelming With so many files and folders at your fingertips, it can be overwhelming to navigate Finder, especially for first-time users.
Requires some knowledge To fully utilize all the features of Finder, you need some knowledge of Mac and its file system.
Can be slow Finder can be slow to load and navigate, especially if you have a lot of files and folders.
Prone to errors If you’re not careful, you can accidentally delete or move files in Finder, causing errors and loss of data.
Not intuitive at first For users used to Windows, Finder’s interface may not be intuitive at first, requiring some time to adjust.

Overall, learning how to open Finder on Mac is a useful skill to have, but it’s important to weigh both the advantages and disadvantages before diving in. With a little practice and patience, you can make the most of what Finder has to offer.


1. What is Finder on Mac?

Finder is the default file browser on Mac, which allows you to easily navigate and manage files, folders, and apps on your computer.

2. How do I open Finder?

You can open Finder by clicking on its icon located in the Dock, or by using the keyboard shortcut Command + N.

3. Can I customize the Finder window?

Yes, you can customize the Finder window by adding or removing items from the toolbar, changing the view options, or adjusting the window size.

4. How do I search for a file on Finder?

You can use the search bar located in the top right corner of the Finder window, or use the keyboard shortcut Command + F to open the search function.

5. How do I create a new folder on Finder?

You can create a new folder by right-clicking on the desktop or in a Finder window, and selecting “New Folder” from the dropdown menu.

6. Can I change the default folder for downloads?

Yes, you can change the default folder for downloads by going to Finder > Preferences > General, and selecting a new download location.

7. How do I move a file or folder to a different location on Finder?

You can drag and drop the file or folder to the new location, or use the keyboard shortcut Command + drag and drop to create an alias instead.

8. Can I preview a file on Finder?

Yes, you can preview many different file types on Finder by selecting the file and pressing the spacebar to open Quick Look.

9. How do I eject a device on Finder?

You can eject a device such as a USB drive or external hard drive by right-clicking on the device in Finder, and selecting “Eject” from the dropdown menu.

10. Can I access network folders on Finder?

Yes, you can access network folders by going to the “Shared” section on the left sidebar of the Finder window, and selecting the network folder you want to open.

11. How do I delete a file or folder on Finder?

You can delete a file or folder by selecting it and pressing the “Delete” key on your keyboard, or by right-clicking and selecting “Move to Trash” from the dropdown menu.

12. How do I recover a deleted file or folder on Finder?

You can recover a deleted file or folder by going to the Trash folder, selecting the item you want to restore, and dragging it to a new location.

13. Can I access hidden files and folders on Finder?

Yes, you can access hidden files and folders by using the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + . (period), which toggles the visibility of hidden files and folders.

How to Open Finder on Mac

Finder is a powerful tool that allows Mac users to access and manage files, folders, applications, and even network devices. It’s the equivalent of Windows’ File Explorer or Linux’s Nautilus. So, if you’re new to the Mac world or you’ve been using it for some time but haven’t explored Finder yet, this article is for you. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to open Finder on Mac.

Conclusion and Closing

Opening Finder on Mac is quick and easy. You can either use the Dock, the Finder icon on the menu bar, or the keyboard shortcut. Once you’ve opened Finder, you’ll be able to explore your Mac’s files and folders, create new ones, search for specific documents, and even connect to remote servers. The possibilities are endless, and the experience is user-friendly and intuitive.

So, what are you waiting for? Give Finder a try and experience the convenience of managing your Mac’s files and folders with ease. We hope this guide has been helpful, and we wish you all the best in your Mac journey. Until next time, happy computing!