Finder’s Path Bar and How to Use It

Mac OS X’s Finder is one of the most underrated pieces of software on the market today. Although a lot of developers are trying to add features to the built-in Mac OS X file manager – or even replace Finder altogether – the tool is actually a very handy one to have. One of the most neglected features that Finder offers is the Path Bar. In this part, we are going to take a closer look at how this particular feature can help you save a lot of time when navigating through files and folders.

How to Show Your Finder’s Path Bar

First, let’s take a look at how the Path Bar can be enabled. The process is very simple:

  1. Open Finder and click on the View menu.
  2. You will find the “Show Path Bar” option on the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can also use Command + Option + P to enable – and disable Path Bar.
  3. That’s it! You will find the Path Bar at the bottom of your Finder window.

Notable Features

Now that Path Bar is enabled, you can do several things with it. For starters, navigating through folders becomes a lot easier to do. You don’t have to click on the Back button several times to go back up a few folders. You can jump to the exact folder you want by clicking on the folder’s name on the Path Bar.

The Path Bar can also be used to copy and paste paths to a particular file or folder. All you have to do is hit Right-Click and copy the current path.

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Path Bar is smart enough to truncate the path to your existing folder when the path becomes too long to fit the window. You can hover over the Path Bar to display the full path to your current folder or file.


Even better, it is also possible to set the Path Bar to display paths relative to the home folder. You need to dwell into the settings a little bit to accomplish this, but the feature is certainly very handy to have.

To set it up, you need to run the following command on your Terminal:

defaults write PathBarRootAtHome -bool TRUE;killall Finder

it will automatically change the Path Bar and make it display the full path to your home folder every time. To revert back to the original settings, simply run the command:

defaults delete PathBarRootAtHome;killall Finder

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