Command-Click in Finder Window to Get Path & Navigate to Enclosing Folders

Mar 19, 2007 - 3 Comments

Finder icon on the Mac

Need to quickly see where you are in the Finder by showing the current windows path on a Mac?

There are a few ways to do this in Mac OS X, for example you can use a defaults command to show the full path in Finder window title, and we’ll show you another couple of great tricks that are super easy to display the path itself at all times.

First, you may be aware that you can show the path bar in Mac Finder windows to always see the current path to folders on the Mac. That method was discussed by Lifehacker, who posted the following Mac tip about including a specific Path button in Finder windows:

“One of my main complaints about Mac’s Finder versus Windows Explorer is the inability to move up and down a folder tree easily. However, Finder’s Path button lets you do just that. The Path button isn’t included on the Finder toolbar by default, but you can add it by Ctrl-clicking and choosing “Customize Toolbar.” Then drag and drop the Path button – which kind of looks like a staircase – onto the toolbar. From there, use it to see where you are in the folder tree, and move up to enclosing folders in a click.”

That will enable a path button and it’s a great tip, but… there is an easier way to see the path details, and even navigate within the file system through the path structure: Just Command-Click on the Finder window’s titlebar to get the same path on the Mac.

Command + Click on Finder Titlebars to see the Directory Path on Mac

Finder icon You can then select any of the directories within the pulldown path menu to instantly jump to that directory. Keep in mind that you can navigate down to parent directories this way, but not to child directories, which is best handled through the traditional Mac OS X File browser (you know, just double-clicking a folder to open it like usual).

This nifty path trick also works in some other applications too, particularly the ones from Apple, but many third party developers also include the support in their own Mac apps too. Try it out!

Want to learn more? Don’t miss these 9 tricks for improving your Mac file system experience and to help master the Finder in Mac OS X, you’ll be close to power user status in no time.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. deck2 says:

    ha ha, i knew this tip and its very usefull and i think better than win explorer, as i work on both platforms (i have to) i use both of them every single day and finder is much better app than explorer ever be. cmd+click title bar is best way to find where you are plus i can use cmd+3 and see everything clealry. i agree with debacle : they are new to mac :)))

  2. In the Finder
    Command + Up = Go Up One Level
    Command + Left Bracket = Go Back
    Command + Right Bracket = Go Forward

  3. debacle says:

    you’d really think that the people over at LifeHacker would have known this considering its been a part of the Mac OS for as long as I can remember, what a bunch of goofs!

    maybe theyre just new to Mac? Switchers are often smart but don’t know all the secrets the long-time faithfuls know.

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