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.

  • 1
    Commenting because I don't have the reputation to answer this question: 🌐+a will focus the finder icon in the dock, after which you can press <Enter> to open it. So 🌐+a <Enter>.
    – Niek
    Commented Mar 28 at 14:00

19 Answers 19


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

Keyboard Maestro can do this though:

When β‡§βŒ˜F, activate Finder


It's actually easy. On Yosemite, just press option βŒ₯+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.

  • 8
    @kmarsh After Search This Mac comes up you can press command+shift+G to type in the path you want to go to.
    – Terrabits
    Commented Aug 7, 2019 at 23:25
  • 1
    Now on the latest release, Command+F brings up Finder in file mode (not Search this Mac) again, just like the old days.
    – kmarsh
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 15:27
  • 1
    From what I understand the edit explained how to enable your solution on recent macOS versions where it isnβ€˜t enabled by default.
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 21:29
  • 1
    @kmarsh not working for me on Big Sur. Commented Feb 13, 2021 at 0:16
  • 1
    @kmarsh and Jaime Hablutzel, that only works if focus is already on Finder
    – Martin
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 23:30
  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/

  • 1
    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 Commented Dec 24, 2013 at 23:44
  • 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! Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 22:17
  • 1
    finder is greyes in system servics, can't add it, catalina 15 Commented Jan 25, 2020 at 2:07

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.

  • Great buddy. This is what I was exactly looking for
    – Adnan
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 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
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 22:58
  • 1
    alt might be a windows key, in mac it is option.
    – Timo
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 9:55
  • did it quit working in os 12.5 (monterey)? or did i mess up a setting? !@$%^#
    – WEBjuju
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 12:56

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.

  • 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 Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 14:50
  • Thanks! Never knew why so the Finder is always shown in Command Tab but didn't open. Now I've realized it's been closed, but only their instances, like when you close a browser with Command Shift W, instead of Command Q. Indeed you can't completely close it (Command Q won't work). So it makes sense you can use Command N to open a new instance as you'd do with any other app (any browser, Word, any...).
    – Martin
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 0:16
  • Not a bad solution!
    – jkix
    Commented May 1 at 0:14

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
  • opt+⌘+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.

  • 3
    As @Creaforge says, they won't work "directly", i.e. regardless of where you are. But press first βŒ₯ + ⌘ + Space, as said by others, and you are done; you can now use any of these other shortcuts to specifically go to any of the corresponding folders.
    – Martin
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 23:43
  • Also, Shift Alt L doesn't work, the right one for Downloads is Option Command L
    – Martin
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 23:46
  • These are very helpful - thanks!
    – jkix
    Commented May 1 at 0:14

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>

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.

  • Just bought total finder. It's pretty nice, thanks Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 0:18
  • Do you know any alternative since TotalFinder will soon be ended ?
    – AnthoPak
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 16:39

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 β€” you'll get a Finder window with the given folder or file.

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

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

  • Good thing about this option is that it bring the already opened Finder if you already had it open with one of these searched folders. If you just want to get the finder, you can just write the first words (like find) in spotlight
    – Martin
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 23:49
  • Clever! Thanks for this
    – jkix
    Commented May 1 at 0:15

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!)


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

  • I'm surprised this shortcut didn't come up til today
    – Luciano
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 8:41
  • It needs to be the Left Option
    – Martin
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 23:56

Using BetterTouchTool, it's possible to send Shortcuts directly to apps:

  1. Open BTT.
  2. Go to Keyboard Shortcuts triggers.
  3. Create a new Keyboard Shortcut, I use βŒƒE as it's the remapped Windows-Key on my Logitech G915 TKL Lightspeed Tactile, using the Karabiner-Elements-app. This way I get the same experience on both OS.
  4. Add a Action and choose Send Shortcut to Specific App.
  5. Record Shortcut is the Shortcut to send to finder, in this case ⌘N for a New Finder Window.
  6. In the Send to App section, find Finder at /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app
  7. Check βœ… Bring app to front before sending.

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command ⌘+E configured to summon Finder window:

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


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.


  • Only works if you are in the Desktop (if you click on the desktop)
    – Martin
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 22:48

The default keyboard shortcut to open a new Finder window is ⌘+N, but it works only when Finder is in focus, which I assume, is not the way you want it to work. I guess you want to be able to open it no matter which application is in focus right now.

To do that we have two ways: standard and non-standard with help of a third-party app BetterTouchTool.

Standard way described by netrox here. And I used to use it for a couple of years. But the problem is that it creates a New Smart Folder window every time, instead of bringing some opened one.

So I found non-standard which works exactly as I wanted it to (Bring Finder window in the focus or create a new one if there are no windows opened): You need to create a new trigger there, assign desired shortcut for it, and choose "Open Finder" as an action. open Finder with BTT


Using Karabiner-Elements, the following rule maps left_control+f to open Finder:

  "description": "Open Finder",
  "manipulators": [
      "from": {
        "key_code": "f",
        "modifiers": {
          "mandatory": ["left_control"]
      "to": [
          "shell_command": "open -a Finder"
      "type": "basic"

I stumbled across this whilst trying to find a macOS equivalent for the Super/Windows-E shortcut on Windows that opens a Windows Explorer window. I thought it would be useful to summarise into a single answer.

Unfortunately there is no quick single-command comparable equivalent in macOS (accurate as of Sanoma 14.2.1). The following are the best options I could find:

  1. Cmd-Tab (may be required multiple times) to select the Finder application
  2. Cmd-N to open a new Finder window

(this is easier to remember and more ergonomic on a QWERTY keyboard but may require repetition of the first step)

  1. Opt-Cmd-Space to open a Finder window in Searching this Mac mode
  2. Shift-Cmd-H to navigate to home directory within Finder (other shortcuts, e.g. Shift-Cmd-A for applications, can be seen within the Go Finder menu)

More information on macOS default shortcuts is available on the Apple website.


Pres the the following keys combination Command+Shift+F

  • This is now the correct answer.
    – kmarsh
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 22:53
  • 1
    This is not correct at all; it just engages full screen mode on macOS Catalina.
    – Nic
    Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 16:39
  • This only works when Finder is the in-focus application. Otherwise, it full-screens the current application. So you need to press command-tab or option-command-space first
    – moo
    Commented Jan 20 at 7:23

Here is the answer.

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

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