How to Rename Tags on Mac

Sep 9, 2019 - 3 Comments

How to edit and rename tags on the Mac

If you use the Tags feature to tag files and folders on the Mac you may find it helpful to know that you can edit and rename tags to be more descriptive or to better suit your purposes for those tags.

For example, perhaps you want to rename some tags to be used as indicator of priority, so rather than having a tag simply named “Red” or “Blue” you could rename those tags to be “Urgent” and “Low Priority”. Or perhaps you’d like tags named something like “Personal”, “Family”, and “Work”, or to be project specific, or anything of that sort. Renaming tags on the Mac is easy, as you’ll see.

How to Rename Tags on Mac OS

The process of renaming tags works the same on all versions of Mac OS:

  1. From the Finder on the Mac, pull down the “Finder” window and choose “Preferences” (you can also hit Command , to open Finder Preferences)
  2. Choose the “Tags” tab
  3. Select the tag you want to rename and then click the tag name text, OR right click on the tag name and choose “Rename (tagname)”
  4. How to rename tags on Mac

  5. Give the tag a new name and then hit the return key
  6. Repeat with other tags to edit and rename them as needed
  7. How to rename tags on Mac

  8. Exit out of Finder Preferences when finished

Changing the name of the tag will carry throughout the entire file system rather quickly, so if you have applied that tag to files or folders you will find that shortly the new tag name will set for each of those tagged items.

How to Edit Tag Names from Finder Sidebar on Mac

You can also rename tags directly from the Finder Sidebar, assuming you have Tags visible and not hidden in Finder sidebar. Doing this is super easy, just right-click the tag name and choose to “Rename” the tag from there:

How to edit tag names from Finder sidebar

File tagging can be a powerful way to label and sort files and folders on the Mac, so familiarizing yourself with how to use tags is a good idea, and you can even tag files by keystroke or by drag and drop. And of course you can remove tags from files and folders too at any time, they are not permanently applied to anything in Finder.

Tags are also not just for the Mac, if you use iCloud Drive and the Files app for iOS / iPadOS, then you can also tag files in the Files app on iPhone and iPad even using the same tags that you would on the Mac as the tag names will sync over between devices.


Related articles:

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


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  1. NotarySojac says:

    Do tags travel with a file from Mac to Mac?

  2. rpk says:

    Here we go, you can use homebrew or macports (homebrew spies on you by default with googleanyltics, not sure about macports) or just compile it.

  3. rpk says:

    There’s also a great command line program called ‘tag’, I’m not sure if it comes pre-built or if you have to compile it.

    It allows for raeding, clearing, adding tags and if you’re into scripting can help a lot by working on a batch of files.

    duckduckgo or it, it might even be on github by now.

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