Before mavericks, selecting several images in Finder and choosing Open on them would open them in Preview in one window, with all image thumbnails nicely on the left hand side bar. Since Mavericks, this is no longer the case. Sometimes the selected images all appear in one window, sometimes Preview arbitrarily open some images in one window and other images in another window... How can I force Preview to open all in one again?


4 Answers 4


Short answer: you can’t. This is a bug in Mavericks.

What I do is:

  • Open the group of images
  • Close all windows in Preview if it has opened more than one window (shortcut: altw)
  • Re-open the same group of images

Most of the time, I have all my images in one window the second time I open them.

  • 1
    In High Sierra you simply can't open multiple files in one window. No matter the preferences or how often you close and reopen them Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 17:01
  • 1
    @JulianF.Weinert One more High Sierra bug… The list is practically endless!
    – Frizlab
    Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 8:50

Had the same problem. It's simply in the prefernces setup "open images in one window"

  • This is true, that's an answer! Someone give this guy the green check!
    – Jono
    Commented Dec 6, 2014 at 17:11
  • Ironic answer? Maybe I should check it just for the sake of it.
    – Jonny
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 12:18
  • to be more precise: preferences > general > open all files in one window.
    – qartal
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 23:59
  • @jQwierdy No it's not. You probably had another problem than the original question. However it's great if your problem is solved!
    – Frizlab
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 22:40
  • 2
    This does not fix the issue / bug described by Jonny Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 19:58

Before reading zinne's answer, I avoided the problem by using Quick Look instead of Preview. It can be found in the context menu of selected images, between Make alias and Share, at least in my Maverics 10.9.5.

enter image description here

  • Great alternate solution which provided me with exactly what I needed for my specialized needs. Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 0:28

I keep the Preview.app icon in my dock (OS X 10.9.5). Drag and drop a folder of images onto the Preview.app icon. This will open all images in a single Preview window.

  • Great idea, it works well!
    – Jono
    Commented Dec 6, 2014 at 17:10
  • 1
    Doesn't seem to work in High Sierra
    – Mint
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 7:51
  • Worked fine for me on High Sierra, this solution worked best for me, thanks! Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 20:37

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