Mac101 – Customizing The Finder Toolbar

The Mac OS Finder has improved with age. Yes, it could be better, but the latest OS Sierra version is pretty handy. However, one of the features of the Finder has always been the ability to customize the Toolbar. If you are using the Mac OS Finder and not using a third party Finder replacement, then why not customize it to your workflow.


Finder Standard Customization

The Finder has a built in Customization feature that is pretty handy. It can be accessed from the “View” menu:


Or, you can just right-click on the Finder Menu Bar and select Customize Toolbar. When you do, you get this drop down menu with choices:

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Here you can set up the Finder Toolbar to your personal workflow. As you can see there are all kinds of commands you can put on the Toolbar. To add a function to the Finder Toolbar just drag the icon up there. If you wish to remove a function from the Toolbar drag it off, and it is gone. I use these Finder Toolbar functions from time to time. However, I use another capability of the Finder Toolbar more frequently.

Finder Folder/File Customization

A much more useful Finder Toolbar customization for my workflow is to put Folders and Files in the Toolbar. These would be folders that I access all the time during the day. To add a commonly used folder to the Finder Toolbar you first select it:

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Then, you hold down the Command Key ⌘ and drag the folder onto the Toolbar:

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This is super easy to do. You can do the same with Files and even with Applications, although I pretty much only use folders up there. By the way, to remove a folder or system function from the Toolbar just hold down the Command Key ⌘ and drag it off.

If you access certain folders frequently, then drag them to the Finder Toolbar. Here is another thought. Perhaps you will only be accessing a certain folder for a project for a few days or a week. Why not drag it to the Finder Toolbar for the duration of the project and drag it off when you are finished.


Yes, the Mac OS Finder can always be improved. However, sometimes just taking advantage of the features it does have can improve our experience.