Is it possible to paste a file to a subfolder in Finder with the keyboard?

I can paste into it with the mouse (using the paste command from the context menu) but CMD-V will always paste to the parent folder:


I'm looking for a solution where I don't have to go into the subfolder before I paste.

  • 2
    Lovely animation :)
    – Ruskes
    Oct 29, 2014 at 20:38
  • @Buscar웃 it's easy with GifGrabber (appstore)
    – laktak
    Oct 29, 2014 at 20:41
  • this is an old problem, still annoying 6 years after your question!
    – Thomas
    Jun 18, 2020 at 19:27

3 Answers 3


Basically, your way of viewing the folders in the OS means that in the over-arching parent folder that you opened the finder window in will be the folder that it detects you to be in causing your CMD+V to paste into this folder.

Even if you've expanded sub-folders the OS has made it so that in this viewing format you haven't actually entered the folder so the paste still occurs in the highest parent folder.

Try opening the folder with a double click on the folder name or change your viewing format to columns so checking the contents of folders, like it seems like you want to, is easy but pasting to specific places becomes possible.


So I just tried it.

I have to move the focus from the Finders sidebar by double clicking on the Test folder and that will open a new tab, new finder window.


Then highlight the test-1 and use cmd-v


Means, as long you have a Folder highlighted in the Finders sidebar it will copy it there.

  • Not sure I understand. I'm not using the sidebar - I wat to paste inside the List view.
    – laktak
    Oct 29, 2014 at 21:08
  • I am also using the list view, but the bar in Finder is showing the Test folder (the parent folder), see in my screen shot
    – Ruskes
    Oct 29, 2014 at 22:00

7 years later … https://youtu.be/BYCfnmGA8yA You can use Keyboard Maestro to achieve this. It’s an fantastic app to tailor all your customisation needs. Keyboard Meastro workaround

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