Finder Applications View

I came across something that will definitely be useful to me and perhaps useful to you. Typically I have my macOS Finder in Column view, but this feature works in Column, List and Icon views. Check it out.


Application Categories

I will describe this neat little macOS feature in a minute, but here is typically what would cause me to use it. I am working on an audio mp3 file or perhaps some type of video file on my Mac. I want to do some things with these files, but to be honest I have so many apps on my Mac I don’t remember what apps do what to what! Might be time to do a little thinning out? So, I end up scrolling through my Applications folder to see what apps I have for the specific job at hand. Eventually, through some trial and error, I find an app that will do what I want. There is an easier way!

Lets do this together. Open a Finder window and put it in “Icon” view, like so:

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We will look at the other “Views” in a minute, but this feature is most easily described in “Icon” view. Now, click on the “Arrange” menu in the menubar and select “Application Category”. The macOS Finder puts your apps into categories:

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This is so cool! You can just scroll down to the category that fits your project (audio, video, etc) and see what apps on your Mac can handle what you need to do.

Here is Application Category in “List” view:

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Here it is in “Column” view:

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Here is the deal. If you are not at least an Intermediate or Power Mac user you probably don’t have enough apps on there to use this helpful feature. But, it you use a lot of apps, this is a great way to hunt down an app by category to use on that special project. Even if you are not a Power user, you just may be that totally category thinking individual that would prefer to have your apps sorted this way all the time.

Admittedly, the Finder does not categorize the apps perfectly, but in my experience, it does a pretty good job. Also, if you wish to return your apps to another format (in my case I use “Name” to sort them alphabetically) then just click on the “Arrange” menu again and choose what you prefer for everyday use.


Not a big deal I know, but a handy feature to locate certain types of apps on your Mac for certain types of projects, especially apps you do not use frequently.