When you get to know macOS, you can’t ignore the Finder app. An important component in it is the function of working with tabs. Just as in Safari or another browser you can use tabs to open several sites, rather than create a separate window for each, Finder uses a similar approach. By opening different folders in this application as tabs instead of windows, you can make it easier to work with them. It also saves screen space.
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In this article, we’ll give you some helpful tips for working with tabs in the Finder to get the most out of this essential macOS tool.
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How to open a new tab in Finder
If you first open the Finder by clicking on the icon in the dock, and don’t click on a specific folder, for example, “Applications”, you will probably keep in mind the path where you plan to go. This could be, for example, a folder in the sidebar. When you select it, it will replace the contents of the current Finder window.
But perhaps this is not quite what you want. You may need this folder to open with another.
Let’s try using this example. Let’s say you want to open a folder “Downloads” and move something from it, for example, a picture, to another folder, let it be “Documents”… In such a situation, it would be appropriate to use tabs in the Finder.
You can open the “Downloads” folder, select in the menu bar File -> New Tab or use the keyboard shortcut Command (⌘) + Tto open a new tab and then open the folder on it “Documents”…
Now you can just drag the file from the folder tab “Downloads” to the tab “Documents”…
You can continue to open new tabs for other folders by clicking the plus sign in the tab bar or by using the above methods.
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Double click to open a new tab
Now suppose you want to open a subfolder in a new tab and then open all three folders at once. As an example, we will use “Downloads”, “Documents” and subfolder Yablik…
Hold down the Command (⌘) key and double-click on this subfolder. You will now see an open subfolder Yablik in a new tab next to the other two.
You can use the same action to open a folder in the Finder sidebar in a new tab.
If you try this method to create a new tab, but instead it opens in a new window, you just need to change the settings.
1. Open Finder → Settings on the menu bar.
2. Click the “The main“.
3. Check the box next to the option below “Open folders in tabs, not in new windows“.
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Finder Open Tab Navigation
There are various ways to navigate your tabs besides simply selecting the one you want to view. These methods are most useful when you have many tabs open at the same time.
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Swipe to view hidden tabs Finder
If you continue to open new tabs in the Finder, and then suddenly realize that you do not see them all in the tab bar, this does not mean that they have disappeared or closed.
Hover over the row of tabs, and then swipe left or right to see other tabs.
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Use the Window tab in the Finder menu bar
You can also use the Window menu to navigate your tabs.
Press “Window” on the menu bar and then select Show previous tab or Show next tab, or select the tab with the folder name at the bottom of the menu.
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Browse open Finder tabs
Another way to see or switch to another tab is to use the tab overview. Similar to the similarly named feature in Safari, this view displays all open tabs. Then you can choose an action: view the tab, close it, or open a new one.
Click View → Show all tabs in the menu bar, right-click on the tab and select “Show all tabs ” or use the keyboard shortcut Shift (⇧) + Command (⌘) + (backslash).
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Moving Finder Tabs
If you have several tabs open and you want two of them to be next to each other, you can easily change their order. Select one of them, drag it to a new position in the tab bar and release.
If you would like to create your own window for a tab, right-click on it or choose Window from the menu bar. Then select “Move tab to new window“.
You can also move a tab to its own window by selecting it and dragging it from the Finder window to your desktop.
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How to close Finder tabs
You have several ways to close a tab, so use the most convenient one.
- Place the cursor on a tab in the tab row or tab overview and press X.
- Click File → Close tab on the menu bar.
- Right click on the tab and select “Close tab“.
If you want to close all tabs except the one currently in use, right-click on the tab you want to keep open and select “Close other tabs“.
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As you can see, you have many different and flexible options for working with tabs in Finder. These tips will help you next time you use this app and work with multiple tabs at the same time.