Surviving on Mac – Tips for Windows Users: Part 4 – Finder

In previous parts of the series we’ve discussed shortcuts, applications and windows, in this episode I’m going to give you some tips about Finder, the file manager on Mac, and others.

Closing Finder

This will be short: don’t even try, it is not possible to close Finder 🙂

Navigating to the parent folder

To navigate to the parent of the current folder right-click the name of the current folder in the title of the window. A small menu will be displayed that lists all the parent folders.


Showing extensions

To customize Finder click the Preferences… menu item in the Finder menu, then navigate to the Advanced tab in the Finder Preferences window. To make the extensions visible enable the Show all filename extensions option.


You can find many other useful settings in the Finder Preferences window, for example on the General tab you can define which folder will be open by default when you launch Finder.

Showing the breadcrumb

The breadcrumb is called Path Bar in Finder, and you can enable it in the View menu, with the Enable Path Bar menu item (Alt+Command+P).

The Path Bar is displayed on the bottom of the Finder window, and you have to double-click onto the folder names to navigate to the desired folder.


Showing the status bar

The status bar can show very useful information, for example the number of files selected and the available free disk space. To enable it open the View menu, and click the Show Status Bar (Command+/) menu item.

Showing hidden files

Finder by default does not display hidden files, so any file that has a name starting with the dot character is not listed. To list the hidden files in the current Finder window you can press the Command+Shift+. (dot) shortcut, or you can use the following command in Terminal to always list the hidden files in Finder:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES

Connecting to a Windows network share

To connect to a Windows network share open the Go menu and click the Connect to Server… menu item. In the Connect to Server dialog enter the path to the network share in this format: smb://servername/foldername

Midnight Commander in English

If you prefer Midnight Commander over Finder and use Mac with non-English regional settings you may be surprised that MC will display in your preferred language. Add the following line to your ~/.bashrc file to force English UI in Midnight Commander:

alias mc=’LANG=en_EN.UTF-8 mc’

Jumping to a folder in the Terminal

To jump to a folder in the Terminal without typing its full path you can use Z ( It learns your most frequently used folders and you can navigate to them just typing a part of their names. For installation and usage follow the steps in the README.


To be continued…

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