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How to use Finder tabs on Mac

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On a Mac, Finder is the file management app that comes with every Mac. Thanks to tabs, you can keep multiple folders open in the same window, reducing clutter. Here’s how to use it.

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It’s no secret, but perhaps one of the least appreciated features of the Mac Finder is the tabs. Tabs are a user interface concept that descends from physical file folders. Tabs gained popularity in web browsers in the late 1990s, first appearing on macOS with 10.12 Sierra in 2016.

In Finder, tabs let you keep multiple folder windows open at the same time without cluttering the screen. You can even move files between tabs, which is great for quickly organizing your files.

How to use tabs in macOS Finder

To use tabs in Finder, first open the Finder app by clicking its icon on your dock.

In the Finder window that opens, the tab bar may not be visible by default. To show the tab bar, click the “View” menu at the top of the screen and select “Show Tab Bar.” Or you can press Shift + Command + T on your keyboard.

(If you see “Hide Tab Bar” in the “View” menu, then the tab bar is already visible and you can skip this step.)

In Mac Finder, select "Watch" and then choose "show tab bar".

When the tab bar is visible, you’ll see it near the top of the Finder window, just below the toolbar.

When the tab bar appears in the browser, you'll see it just below the toolbar.

At any time, click the plus (“+”) button to create a new Finder tab. Or you can press Command + T on your keyboard.

To toggle between viewing each tab, click the tab you want to view in the tab bar. To close a tab, simply click the “X” button that appears on the tab when you hover your mouse cursor over it. Or you can press Command + W on your keyboard.

To move files between tabs, simply drag and drop a file or folder onto another tab. In this scenario, each tab acts almost like a shortcut to the folder it points to.

Also, Finder allows you to open as many tabs as you can. If the number of open tabs exceeds the width of the tab bar in the open window, the tab labels will scroll horizontally to the side. You can navigate between them by clicking the left or right ends of the tab bar. Happy finding!

RELATED: What is Finder on a Mac?


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