OS X Mavericks: Five Tips on Finder Tabs

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We’ve now got the ability to use tabs within Mavericks’ Finder! Whoo-hoo!

Hey, I think that looks pretty neat, and the tabs are simple to use and understand. In celebration of this shiny new feature, here are my favorite tricks for using it. 

1. Are you a fan of keyboard shortcuts? Command-T opens a new tab, and Command-W closes the active tab, just like in Safari.

Faster navigation without having to remember anything new? I’m in.

2. Holding down Command and double-clicking a folder opens it in a new tab. This also mimics Safari—Command-click a link or a bookmark in that program, and it’ll do the same thing.

3. If you’ve got a bunch of windows open, pick Window> Merge All Windows to pull them all together as one happy tabbed family.

As under previous versions of OS X, though, you can also hold down the Option key and click on any of your windows’ red “stoplight” buttons to close all of them at once.

4. Move a file from one location’s tab to another by just dragging and dropping.

Also, if you hold the file you’re moving over a tab for a moment, that one will pop to the front, so you can place the file in a folder within that tab. Handy!

5. Pull a tab out of the bar and drop it to pull it into its own window instead.

Yup, that’s me dragging a tab out. My screenshots are SO HELPFUL. YES THEY ARE SO.

Similarly, you can drag tabs around to change their order if you want to.

So, that's quite awesome, isn't it? I'm a person who can't stand a lot of clutter or a ton of open windows anyway, so this new feature feeds my desire for everything to be nice and neat. Now if you'll all excuse me, I'm going to go alphabetize my collection of unused electronics cables. I may be gone for a while.

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It would be nice if you could create a folder – which is essentially a Finder window – set up say, your 5 most used folders as tabs, then have it stay that way every time you open it. It doesn’t though.

I have Firefox set up with 6 permanent tabs for my most used web sites, and I find it very useful to have them all there when FF opens each day.

Melissa Holt

Hi iJack!

My Finder actually does do that, at least if I’m understanding you correctly. If you open your most-used locations as tabs and then close the whole window by clicking on the red stoplight button, do those same tabs reappear when you click on Finder again?



No, Melissa, it doesn’t.
I’ve tried it with a new folder, and by opening my boot drive, but the tabs don’t ‘take.’

Melissa Holt

Oh, that stinks! It only works for me when I follow the steps listed above with the Dock shortcut, but at least it does work.

Might be worth sending feedback to Apple about…?


Actually Melissa, I have pretty much decided on the difficult task of reverting from Mavericks back to Mountain Lion. There is little I like about 10.9, but mainly, it has hobbled my CAD software, which would cost me over $4,000 to upgrade.

I have already created a CAD-Mountain Lion partition on an external drive, but it’s cumbersome logging out and back in between different volumes several times a day.

Melissa Holt

Oh. Well, that’s a GIGANTIC bummer, then. :(


Except for the tediousness of the task, I’m not bummed at all.
I almost did it before I discovered my CAD stuff was hobbled.
For years My workflow has somewhat depended on full-width colored file labels, instead of those stupid little dots. Depended on double-clicking to open a folder in a new window, as well.

Apple keeps forcing changes on us without considering user’s work habits, and no way to choose to keep what we know. I think that is pure arrogance. This one turned out to be my ‘bridge too far.’

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