Need to open a folder on your Mac and care not for clicking repeatedly or hunting down names? Find out here how to go to folders fast in macOS Finder using the keyboard.

First, If the Weight of the World Pushes a Train

it needs no engine to propel its wheels.

This is the idea behind Brunel’s adoptation of the wonderfully named “atmospheric engine” for railways: as one evacuates the tunnel in front of a train, the air pressure pushes that train forward—without a heavy engine or coal, and very, very fast.

Speaking of fast… how about pushing macOS Finder to go places very, very fast—without heavy mouseclicks or searching?

How to Go to Folders Fast in macOS Finder

To go to a specific folder quickly on a Mac using macOS Finder:

  1. Open a new Finder window or tab.
  2. Press Command Shift G.
  3. Type the folder you want to open.
    • Tips: Type ~ for your Home folder.
    • Press Tab to complete a folder name.
    • Wait for a selection of auto-completions to appear to select one.
    • You can also paste a folder path, of course.
  4. Press Enter.

How to Navigate to Adjacent Folders in macOS Finder

To navigate to neighboring folders, use the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Up one folder level to the one that holds the current one: Command
  • Back in the browsing history to the previously open folder: Command [
  • Forward in the browsing history to the next folder: Command ]
  • Move the folder highlight: , , and
  • Open the currently highlighted folder: Command O

How to Go to Straight to Popular Folders in macOS Finder

Finder also knows a host of keyboard shortcuts that take you straight to many an oft-used folder:

Folder Path Shortcut
AirDrop Command Shift A
Applications /Applications Command Shift A
Computer Command Shift C
Desktop ~/Desktop Command Shift D
Documents ~/Documents Command Shift O
Downloads ~/Downloads Command Option L
Home ~ Command Shift H
iCloud Drive Command Shift I
Network Command Shift K
Recents /System/…/myDocuments.cannedSearch Command Shift F
Utilities /Applications/Utilities Command Shift U

(How to go to folders fast in macOS Finder tested with macOS High Sierra 10.13; updated May 2018; title image: StockUnlimited)