Using Finder on Mac: Things to know

Are you a creative professional or a software developer? Whether rendering videos, editing high-quality pictures, or developing high-end software, Mac computers have established themselves as the most reliable and powerful systems. At the heart of Mac’s user-friendly interface lies Finder. This is the in-built macOS file management tool empowering users to seamlessly navigate the digital maze. It doesn’t matter if you are using the computer for casual or professional purposes, mastering the intricacies of Finder will unveil an incredible world of organizational possibilities. 

Finder: A brief introduction

macOS Finder is the gateway to the system’s storage space. The app offers an intuitive and structured environment for managing folders and files. You could say it is a digital file cabinet that keeps all your applications, photos, documents, and other critical files organized. 

 How to Navigate Finder’s interface?

As you open Finder, you will be greeted with an array of icons where all your folders and applications reside. You will also see a menu bar where you can access all the different functions of the application. 

If you look to the side of the Finder window, you will see the files and folders are represented hierarchically. 

What are the Critical Operations of Finder?

The fundamental operations are:

  • Opening folders/files: Launch files and folders by double-clicking them. 
  • Moving items: You can drag and drop the folder or file icon to the desired location to move it. 
  • Copying and pasting items: Right-click on the chosen file or folder > select Copy > select Paste in the desired location. Alternatively, you can press Command + C to copy and Command + V to paste the item. 

Besides these, when you have launched Finder, you can create new folders, delete folders and files, and so on. 

What are the Common Finder Problems and their Fixes?

Apple’s Finder is known for its smooth functioning. However, it isn’t immune to the occasional hiccups. Although these hiccups are usually minor, they can disrupt your workflow if you don’t know how to solve them without running to the nearest service center. Take a look at the common problems and their solutions:

  • Unresponsiveness: If Finder isn’t responding, it might hamper your work-in-progress. You can relaunch Finder by quitting it forcefully. Press Option + Command + Escape to bring up the force quit menu or launch Activity Monitor and click the X icon next to Finder. 
  • Cannot relaunch after force quitting: Force quitting is a straightforward method of making Finder work again. However, you may encounter the problem of Finder won’t relaunch after force quit. In this case, restart your computer. You can also use Terminal to delete the corrupted files that might be interfering with the normal functioning of Finder. If the issue persists, you may have to reinstall macOS. 
  • Files not found: If files or folders are missing, you can use Spotlight to locate those files. 
  • Slow performance: Over time, Finder’s performance starts to deteriorate. This is because your computer’s storage space is getting too full, and there’s not enough space or resources available for Finder. Or you haven’t updated your software in a while. Performance can be instantly boosted by reclaiming storage space and checking for software updates. 
  • Cannot see external drive: If you have connected an external drive to your Mac, but Finder cannot find it, reboot your computer. You can also check whether the external drive’s cable is damaged and needs replacement. 

A Roundup of the Must-Know Finder Features

macOS Finder has not got the moniker of a digital file cabinet for nothing. The tool packs some serious features that help users manage their files and folders. Let’s look at some of the critical features:

  • Smart Folders: Smart folders are a highly useful feature offering live search results based on simple to extremely complicated criteria. For instance, if you want to keep tabs on only the large files on your computer, you can create a smart folder to find all the files above one gigabyte. Thanks to these dynamic folders, you can automatically organize your files. 
  • Tags: Tags are another amazing feature in Finder and are much more useful than smart folders. You can tag folders and files with text or color to make them easier to sort, group, and find. 
  • Hidden files: Finder helps in revealing hidden files by using the shortcut Command + Shift. You can also use the same shortcut to hide the files. 

Finder offers these features and more to allow users to boost their productivity when they need to streamline their workflow, organize projects, or enhance their creativity. By using macOS Finder for your daily tasks, you never have to spend more than a few seconds to find the folders and files you are looking for. 

Remember, you must spend considerable time with this tool initially to set up smart folders, tags, etc. This will streamline file management in the future. 

Summing Up

Start using Finder regularly to discover the tool’s adaptability and versatility. This tool is an invaluable companion in your computing journey. 

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