How to See Current Folder Path on MacBook – Guide

Finder is the default application for browsing your Mac’s files in OS X, but it can be difficult to keep track of the directories you browse through, especially when dealing with complex groupings of folders and files. Longtime Mac users are aware of an option to see a persistent map of your current position in the Finder – enabling the path bar – but there is another secret approach that some users may prefer.

Enable Finder path bar

First, for those unfamiliar with Finder, the easiest way to see your current location in your Mac’s file structure is to enable the path bar in Finder’s view options. Once activated, you will see a new bar appear at the bottom of the Finder window, showing the path of the currently active folder or directory. As you browse through the different folders, this path bar will update accordingly. For example, in our screenshot below, we are looking at the “Articles” folder, which is inside the “TekRevue” folder, which is inside our general Dropbox folder on our external Thunderbolt drive called “Data”. By getting familiar with the path bar, you can quickly understand the relative locations of your various files and folders, as well as easily move files to a higher location. up in the path chain. Again, for example, the Finder window in our screenshot has a text document called “Article Ideas” in the Articles subfolder. If we want to quickly move this file to the main Dropbox folder, just drag and drop it to “Dropbox” in the path bar. While it’s disabled by default, we personally have found great use in the Finder’s pathbar, and it’s one of the first things we enabled when configuring. up a new Mac. But there’s another option to show your current location in Finder that might be even better depending on your experience and needs.

Show path in Finder title bar

But there’s a hidden Terminal command that lets you display the full path in that title bar instead of simply the active folder (very similar to how Apple now handles website addresses in Safari). To enable it: While this is very similar to the pathbar method above, it does have some advantages. First, some users may simply prefer to have the Finder path at the top of the window, especially cross-platform users, as Windows File Explorer also displays the current path at the top of the window (when configured to do so). This method also displays the path using an existing area in the Finder’s title bar, while the Path Bar method will consume a row of visible data at the bottom of the window when activated, which can be a bigger problem if you’re stuck on a screen. lower resolution and needs to fit as much Finder information on the screen as possible. More importantly, however, this method displays the full Unix path, including root directories such as Volumes that are not displayed in the Finder’s default path bar. This can be useful when navigating to unfamiliar directories or systems, or if you are new to Unix-based operating systems. For example, if you want to build or modify a Terminal command based on the path in our first example above, you can logically enter /Data/Dropbox/TekRevue/Articles, because that’s what’s shown in the Finder’s path bar. It’s only when you see the full path in the Finder’s title bar that you realize you’ll need to specify the “Volumes” directory first. Despite its usefulness, having the full path displayed in the Finder’s title bar can be a bit confusing, especially for longer and more complicated paths. If you want to turn it off and go back to showing only the working directory in the Finder title bar, go back to Terminal and use this command: the defaults write _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool false; Killall Finder Just like when you activated the first Terminal command, all Finder windows will close briefly and then the Finder will restart, this time displaying only the active directory in the title bar.

Final note

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