Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I miss the ability to go back to previous directory via a gesture (swipe with two finger right like in Safari or Chrome) in Finder. Is it possible to enable it?

Edit: I'm on a MacBook Pro, and using the trackpad.

share|improve this question
Upvoted as there is no need for a down vote, a comment with a future edit will do. – Graeme Hutchison Dec 6 '11 at 11:18
up vote 12 down vote accepted


It looks like this has been broken in Mac OS X 10.9 (and wasn't fixed in 10.9.1)

This works again in the latest Mac Os X 10.10.1, and presumably also in 10.10.

Trackpad Three-finger swipe left goes back and forth in Finder, just like in Safari. You don't need 3rd party software to do this, simply make sure your settings are correct.

Go to System Preferences via Spotlight or Launchpad, navigate to Trackpad and click the tab More Gestures. The first option is "Swipe between pages", which enables swiping in Finder, Chrome etc. Make sure to choose one of the two Swipe options.

I've attached an image showing the screen for you here: Swipe between pages

Make sure that you've chosen Swipe left or right with four fingers in the Swipe between full-screen apps so the two options don't overrule each other. Swipe between full-screen apps

You also want to make sure there is no checkmark in the Three finger drag. They are mutually exclusive. You can check this in the Point & Click tab. Three finger drag

Magic Mouse If you use a Magic Mouse and want to be able to swipe back and forth in Finder, you have to turn off the Swipe between full-screen apps and change Swipe between pages to either Swipe left or right with two fingers or Swipe left or right with one or two fingers (both options enables you to swipe back and forth in Finder when using both fingers. Swipe back and forth with Magic Mouse in Finder

share|improve this answer
That may work for a trackpad, but I can't get it to work with a magic mouse. Swipe Between Pages option, which uses just one finger (no option for 3-finger gesture), allows for gestures in Safari, Preview, etc, but not in Finder. – cm2 Dec 5 '11 at 22:46
I'm updating the answer to provide more information, which might resolve your problem. @cm2: The question didn't mention whether it was with a trackpad or a magic mouse. – Matias Vad Dec 6 '11 at 10:31
This doesn't work for me on Lion. – dan8394 Dec 6 '11 at 11:44
@MatiasVad: Correct, but I was just adding more feedback to make it more general :). Nice answer. – cm2 Dec 6 '11 at 17:07
It looks like this is broken in Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks) – recklesscoder Dec 3 '13 at 1:45

With BetterTouchTool, (almost) everything is possible! :) You can, for any application, map a gesture to a keyboard shortcut. You will then be able to attach Cmd+[ to the two finger left swipe gesture.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.