Working with Finder Windows

In this lesson for macOS Mojave, I look at how you work with Finder Windows on the Mac. Finder windows are how you explore your Mac, as well as organize all your files and folders. It’s a crucial part of working with your Mac.

Opening a Finder Window
If you do not have any Finder windows open, when you click on the Finder in the Dock, a new Finder window will open. If there are already windows open, it will bring one of them forward. If you want to create a new Finder window, you go up to File in the Menu Bar and select New Finder Window.

Anatomy of a Window
A Finder window comprises of a sidebar on the left. This sidebar gives you quick access to various folders, iCloud Drive, different network locations, and tags. We look at these various items in detail throughout the tutorial including how you can customize the sidebar. But for now, just think of it as an easy way to get to various folders.

A Finder window also has a Toolbar. This is located across the top of the window and gives you quick access to various tools including different ways to view your files and folders, access to tasks, and more. This is also where you click-and-drag to move a window.

Resizing a Window
Finder windows are easily resizable. To resize a window, just drag any one of the edges or corners of the window you want to resize. When you get to the edge, you will see the cursor change into an arrow. Once it changes, you click-and-drag to resize the window.

Opening Multiple Windows
You can open multiple Finder windows. Just go to File in the Menu Bar and select ‘New Finder Window.’ When you do this, a new window will open. You can click on any folder in the sidebar to open that specific window to that folder or location. The frontmost window will have a slightly darker toolbar and the dots to close, minimize, and open in full-screen will have color. These dots are located in the upper left corner of the window.

Closing, Minimizing and opening a Window in Full-Screen
To close, minimize, or open a window in full-screen, you click on one of the three dots in the upper left corner of a window.

  • Red Dot – the red dot closes the window.
  • Yellow Dot – the yellow dot minimizes the window. When you minimize it, it moves the window to the Dock. Once it’s in the dock, you can click on it to ‘open’ it again.
  • Green Dot – The green dot opens the window in full screen. Once it is in full screen, it is no longer a ‘window.’ Also, you will see the Menu Bar and Dock hide. To show them again, just bring your cursor to the top or bottom of your display. To bring it back to a standard window, move your cursor to the top right of your display and click on the green dot again.

Selecting a Window
If you have multiple windows open, you can select any one of them by clicking on the window. When you do this, it brings it to the front. You can also go to Windows in the Menu Bar and select the window you want to bring forward.

See this Lesson Action
To see this lesson in action, take a look at the video above.

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