Is there a default keyboard shortcut to start a new Finder window? If not, is there a way to assign one?

I tried System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts and created a new item for Finder, and assigned shift-command ⌘-F, among other things, but nothing worked.

16 Answers 16


By default, no, there's no keyboard shortcut to activate Finder.

Keyboard Maestro can do this though:

When ⇧⌘F, activate Finder

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It's actually easy. On Yosemite, just press option ⌥+command ⌘+spacebar. That will open a new Smart Finder window. You then can navigate from there. It works on a system level no matter what application you're running.

No need for scripts or complicated setups.

Turn this option on in System Preferences > keyboard > shortcuts > spotlight > "show finder search window" in recent versions. This can be mapped to other keys too, but it can cause conflicts in other apps that might be using your desired shortcut.

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    @kmarsh After Search This Mac comes up you can press command+shift+G to type in the path you want to go to. – Terrabits Aug 7 '19 at 23:25
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    Now on the latest release, Command+F brings up Finder in file mode (not Search this Mac) again, just like the old days. – kmarsh Aug 12 '19 at 15:27
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    From what I understand the edit explained how to enable your solution on recent macOS versions where it isn‘t enabled by default. – nohillside Jan 14 at 21:29
  1. Open Automator and choose the service template.
  2. Change the input type from selected text to no input.
  3. Add a Launch Application action and drop Finder on the pop-up button from /System/Library/CoreServices/. (The dialog for choosing an application does not allow selecting Finder.)
  4. Save the service and give it a shortcut in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services.

The service only opens a new window if there is no existing Finder window. To open a new window every time, add a Get Specified Finder Items action, drop the folder you want to open on the list, and then add a Reveal Finder Items action.

Automator is included in OS X: http://support.apple.com/kb/PH14303 (Mavericks), http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11360 (Mountain Lion), etc.

Background: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automator_(software)

Further reading if you're interested in doing more with Automator: http://www.macosxautomation.com/automator/

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    This really good but the Keyboard Maestro answer allows you to specify many more options; for example, if you press the shortcut key again, it toggles back to the prior front application – Victor Grazi Dec 24 '13 at 23:44
  • How can i run Automator? – Saeed Zarinfam Dec 25 '13 at 15:42
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    @Saeed: Press COMMAND + SPACE to get the Spotlight window and type 'Automator' then press Enter. Alternatively open 'Applications' from a Finder window and double-click the icon in there. – JBRWilkinson Dec 30 '13 at 11:07
  • I used your advice, but made some changes as your method made 2 windows pop up, and the folder did not open. I use 2 actions: Get Specified Finder Items->Open Finder Items. Thanks for the info! – Sean Bearden Jan 16 '16 at 22:17
  • Sweet. It works at macOS Catalina. Thanks. – ctc chen Nov 21 '19 at 5:52

Actually I find it easy to bring up the finder with COMMAND-TAB. Cycle thru the open applications till you have selected Finder.

If any windows are already open but hidden they pop to the front if none are open a simple COMMAND-N opens a new window.

Not exactly a simple WINDOWS-E but it does work.

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  • I guess if you don't have too many windows open, that would be fine. I just missed the old Windows-E so I now programmed F6 using Keyboard Maestro – Victor Grazi Dec 25 '13 at 14:50

You can always use this trick to open Finder..

alt + command + <space>

This is actually a shortcut to search for files IN FINDER MODE, In other words it opens Finder directly without needing to install any tools.

You can add your favorite directory onto the sidebar (Finder > System Preferences > Sidebar) and access it easily.

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  • Great buddy. This is what I was exactly looking for – Adnan Nov 25 '17 at 8:50
  • The menu appears to me as Finder > Preferences > Sidebar, and the choices there do not affect the mostly blank Search window that appears with that key sequence. However CMD + Shift + F works (for me) to get the Finder file browser window. – kmarsh Jan 24 '18 at 22:58

If you have the Powerpack for Alfred 2, you can create a workflow like this:

Hotkeys have a short delay by default, but you can reduce it by changing the trigger behavior:

Another option is to use a private.xml like this with KeyRemap4MacBook:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <autogen>__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::F12, ModifierFlag::NONE, KeyCode::VK_OPEN_URL_FINDER</autogen>
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If you use TotalFinder there is a nice 'visor' feature which causes a Finder window to slide up from the bottom of the screen. The sliding in or out can be linked to a hot key combo (double press option works well for me) and then it is always easy to do a bit if quick Finder manipulation.

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  • Just bought total finder. It's pretty nice, thanks – Victor Grazi Jan 24 '14 at 0:18
  • Do you know any alternative since TotalFinder will soon be ended ? – AnthoPak Nov 5 '18 at 16:39

And if you want to open Finder with your home folder then open Spotlight, type ~ (tilda) or your user name, and then press Enter.

If you want to open Finder with a specific file or folder:

  1. Press +Space to show Spotlight and start typing the name of the file/folder you want.
  2. Use the Up and Down to highlight the file or folder, and then press +R — you'll get a Finder window with the given folder or file.

💡 Hint: While an item is selected in Spotlight you can press to have the path displayed in the status line.

💡Hint: To configure what Spotlight should search type +, (Command+comma) while the Spotlight search bar is open.

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I also had this question too and was hoping that one of these solutions that didn't require 3rd party software I would be happy with but unfortunately the OPTION + CMD + SPACE doesn't cut it for me because it opens a blank Finder window every time. And I couldn't figure out the instructions to get an Automator script to launch Finder.

I even tried using an Apple script action in Automator but they just didn't work the way I wanted.

However I did find a SUPER simple app on the Mac App store that behaves exactly the way I wanted so I thought I would share. NOTE: you do need to create a manual shortcut for Finder as this app doesn't count Finder as the first app in your dock. But the thing I like most is a second press of the shortcut will hide the app too. Simple and beautiful.

Snap. https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/snap/id418073146?mt=12

(And lolz at the person who wrote a 1 star review about clicking their fingers hoping this app would do something. trolololol!)

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Without any special tools you can simply use +TAB and while you cycle through the apps highlight the Finder and hold option ⌥, then let go of . A new Finder window will open with whatever folder is set in the Finder preferences > New Finder windows show option.

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  • I'm surprised this shortcut didn't come up til today – Luciano May 15 at 8:41

Please go to System preferences > Keyboad > Shortcut tab.

On the left pane, select Services, and make sure spotlight is selected. It is by default COMMAND + SPACE + F. You may change id if you wish.


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There is a few native keyboard shortcuts to open a new Finder window:

  • shift++C: Computer folder
  • shift++D: Desktop folder
  • shift++H: Home folder
  • shift++O: Documents folder
  • shift++A: Applications folder
  • shift+alt+L: Downloads folder

Note that the active app has priority over global shortcuts, so you might want to click on your desktop before trying those.

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command ⌘+E configured to summon Finder window:

enter image description here

Settings => Keyboard => Shortcuts => Show Finder search window: change tocommand ⌘+E

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Pres the the following keys combination Command+Shift+F

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  • This is now the correct answer. – kmarsh Jan 24 '18 at 22:53
  • This is not correct at all; it just engages full screen mode on macOS Catalina. – Nic Mar 13 at 16:39

Here is the answer.

Press 'command + shift + ~' ,then you will have a surprise.

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COMMAND + SPACE + F (if you know what i mean!)

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