How to Explore Files on Mac with Finder (File Explorer Alternative)

Jerome Mills
Last updated: Jan 25, 2024

Wondering if there is an equivalent of File Explorer in Windows on Mac? Check out this article and learn how to explore files on a Mac.

If you've recently switched to a Mac, you might be wondering if there's a Windows Explorer equivalent for a Mac. This guide is for you, providing the answers and teaching you how to explore files on a Mac.

Let's jump right in.

How to Explore Files on Mac with Finder (File Explorer Alternative)

Is There a Windows Explorer for Mac?

Yes, Finder is the equivalent of File Explorer in Windows on Mac. It is the default file management and navigation tool on macOS, allowing you to browse and organize files, open and uninstall applications, and manage various aspects of the system.

How to Open Finder on Mac

Finder is built-in on your Mac. You can easily open it in one of the ways below.

Method 1. Via Dock

In the Dock, you'll find the Finder's icon—a blue smiling face. Simply click on it to open a Finder window.

Method 2. Via Keyboard Shortcut

On your desktop, press "Command + N" to open a new Finder window. Additionally, you can open various tabs in Finder by pressing "Command + T" for a new tab.

Method 3. Via Terminal

  1. Open Terminal via Spotlight.
  2. Run the command open /System/Library/CoreServices/ in the Terminal.
You can replace /System/Library/CoreServices/ with other paths or directions if you want.

Method 4. Via the Apple Menu

If Finder is unresponsive and you want to force it open, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Apple menu and select "Force Quit".
  2. Select "Finder" and click the "Relaunch" button.
Force Open Finder on Mac

How to Explore Files on Mac Using Finder

Once you have a Finder window open, you will see the Finder's Sidebar in the left panel and the Toolbar at the top of the Finder window.

Sidebar: Provides quick access to your favorites, commonly used locations, iCloud, and tags. You can customize the items displayed in the sidebar using the Finder settings.

Toolbar: Allows you to go backward and forward, browse files in different views, sort files by various criteria, and search for files.

Explore Files on Mac with Finder, Sources from Apple

Here's how to organize and manage files in Finder:

  • Click on a folder to see its contents.
  • Select a file and press the spacebar to preview it.
  • Select a file and drag it to the desired location.
  • Select a file and press Command + Delete to move it to the Trash.
  • Select multiple files, right-click on them, and choose "Compress" to zip them.
  • Click the View icon in the toolbar to switch between viewing files in icons, list, columns, or gallery.
  • Click the Sort icon in the toolbar to arrange files by name, kind, size, date, and more.
  • Click the magnifying glass in the top right corner of the Finder window to search for specific files.
  • Click "Macintosh HD" in the sidebar to browse all files on your Mac.
  • Press Shift + Command + Period to show hidden files and folders in Finder.
  • Press Shift + Command + G to open the "Go to Folder" window and search for a specific file path.

How to Delete Unwanted Files from Mac to Get More Space

Over time, your Mac can accumulate downloads, large files, duplicates, and old files. It's recommended to delete unnecessary ones to free up space, allowing your Mac to run smoothly.

BuhoCleaner is among the best Mac cleaning tools, facilitating the removal of unwanted files with just one click. What's even better is that it visualizes your disk space, making it convenient to identify large files in every folder on your Mac when storage space is running low. Click the button below to give it a try yourself.

DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
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The Bottom Line

We hope you now have a better understanding of the Finder app and have learned how to use it to explore files on your Mac.

To assist you in managing unwanted files on your Mac, we introduced BuhoCleaner, a handy Mac cleaner. If you haven't tried it yet, go ahead and use it to clean and optimize your Mac.

Jerome Mills

I am Jerome Mills, a passionate enthusiast of all things Apple. I'm expertise in crafting tech-related articles, with a portfolio of more than 100 articles covering various Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.