How to Move a File on the Mac by Using the Window Title Bar in OS X
Longtime Mac users are accustomed to moving files around in OS X by dragging and dropping them between folders and directories, or perhaps using the more Windows-like file cut and paste ability. Both of those methods work just fine to relocate files and move things about, but another lesser known option to move a file can be done when that file is currently open, just by using the files window titlebar.
This is a fairly hidden feature in Mac OS X, so if you’ve never seen file relocation done entirely through the documents active window titlebar before, don’t be too surprised. Hidden or not though, you’ll find it useful and a cinch to use. You’ll need OS X 10.8 or 10.9 or newer to have this feature, so be sure the Mac has a modern version of OS X, then launch a file within an app before trying this out yourself.
How to Move an Open File Directly from the Title Bar
- With a file open, click on the files name in the window title bar to reveal a contextual menu (be sure to click on the text name itself, not the little document icon)
- Click on the pulldown menu alongside “Where” (the location shown is where the file is currently located)
- Select the destination you want to move the file to from the list, (including iCloud), or choose “Other” to browse the file system and select somewhere specific
- Click away from the titlebars contextual menu to hide it and resume work within the document as usual
That’s it, the document has moved. Simply changing the “Where” selection will move the file to the chosen destination instantly. There’s no confirmation, no dragging and dropping, nothing else is necessary to relocate the file, it will move immediately as the window titlebar action is taken, to the location specified by “Where”:
This is an incredibly useful feature for those of us who use “All My Files” to manage files and don’t necessarily pay attention to where every single thing is stored, and it’s also extremely handy for when you’ve used Spotlight to open a file directly from wherever it was stored.
While the example here used a document that is opened within TextEdit, moving a file from the “Documents” folder to the “Desktop”, you can move a file from anywhere to just about anywhere in OS X. The same menu can even let you move a file to iCloud so that it’s accessible from other OS X and iOS devices using the same Apple ID, offering this as an alternative option to more traditional file sharing.
The titlebar moving feature is only available in newer versions of OS X, but is largely supported throughout most new Mac apps. Similarly, you can also rename a file in OS X through the titlebar too by using the same dropdown menu. Apps that support one of these features always support the other as well.