Open Current Folder in Finder from Terminal of Mac OS X

Nov 30, 2009 - 12 Comments

Terminal in OS X From the Mac Terminal, you can immediately open whatever folder or directory you are working within into the Finder of OS X by simply typing the following command:

open .

This will open the present working directory (PWD in the world of UNIX acronyms) in the Terminal / Command line into the Finder of the Mac – you know, the visual file system.

You can do this from anywhere in the command line as long as you’re in a local path, but it doesn’t matter if it’s system files or user files, you can launch it into the Finder. This can actually be a really helpful way to modify and adjust buried system files if you found them through the command line but now need to interact with them in the Finder.

For example if you’re digging around in /Library/Preferences/Mozilla/ and type open . that folder will be opened in the Finder. Or if your CWD is /etc/ and you want to access that directory immediately in Finder, type ‘open .’ to access it.

open folder from terminal

The screenshot above shows this in action while the PWD within the Terminal is the /Applications directory, thus the Applications folder is opened in the Finder.

This is useful for many reasons that I’m sure you can think of, and it’s one of those must-know tricks for command line users in OS X.

By the way, you can also set this up to go the other way, from Finder to Terminal, if you’d like.

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Posted by: David Mendez in Command Line, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Leho Kraav says:

    how do you do it the other way around – i often want to open Terminal at the path open in Finder.

  2. […] Shared Open Current Folder in Finder from the Terminal. […]

  3. […] Shared Open Current Folder in Finder from the Terminal. […]

  4. […] Oops looks like David covered this a month ago: Open Current Folder in Finder from the Terminal, Thanks for pointing this out […]

  5. john says:

    life saver!

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  7. […] option is to use the command line and open to bring the root directory into the GUI through […]

  8. mb says:

    thank you. :)

  9. dirtycold says:

    thank you. :)

  10. DJ says:

    Works perfectly! Thanks for your help…

  11. Zeke says:

    Nice tip, but is there a command to close the folder?

    • Paul says:

      As far as I know you can not close a specific Finder window from Terminal, but you could use the Keystroke Command+W to close it in Finder, or you could kill the Finder application with killall Finder

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