I browse to a folder, then expand through a directory tree to find the file I'm looking for. Now I want to create a folder at the current location within that tree.

  1. "New Folder" from the menu creates the menu in the top-level directory instead of the current directory.
  2. Right-clicking doesn't give any way to create a folder "in-place" - ie with reference to the file or directory I currently have clicked/highlighted.

Simplified example (thanks soulshined):


The finder window is opened on the /Users/user/Downloads directory, but I have used the tree-expanders to be looking at the files in .../Downloads/Pictures.

I want to add a folder under Pictures, but irrespective of how I invoke it, the new directory will always be created under Downloads.

(Obviously in this example it would be trivial to move it, but imagine the folder is a byzantine corporate shared directory tree,...)

  • This question is confusing me because I can do this without any problems. Can you elaborate a little bit more so I can make sure we're talking about the same thing? Say your in 'Downloads' and Downloads has 4 different folders, you click on one of them [Pictures] and it has a list of pictures and you want to add a Folder to Pictures, say to name [2015] or add a folder to Downloads while viewing the contents of Pictures? – soulshined Jan 30 '15 at 0:06

Open the folder that you want to create a new folder in, then File > New Folder or Shift-Command-N.


You have first to double-click the directory within which you want to create the new folder. Once you are inside, right-click and select "new directory".

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  • 4
    The fact that I can't simply right click the folder to create a new one inside is shocking to me and feels like a UI bug. I wonder why apple hasn't fixed this? – mikestaub Sep 5 '18 at 18:14

I think the key bit here is: You have first to double-click the directory within which you want to create the new folder.

Selecting File->New Folder (or Shift-Command-N) won't create a new folder in the current folder (or at least what I would consider to be the current folder)

For example, in the image attached, I would expect "New Folder" to create a new folder inside folder1 (selected) - instead, it will create it in the "Guest" folder - which was the originally opened folder.

To create it in folder1, you first need to first double click folder1.

enter image description here

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  • Wow. Thanks! This has to win the Apple's Least Intuitive Feature award. – frozenjim Dec 29 '19 at 15:10

This is how I create new folder in the Finder (list view) with keyboard only:

  1. (up/down arrows) - Highlight the folder
  2. CommandO - Open the folder on the same tab
  3. CommandShiftN - create new folder
  4. type the name of the folder Enter
  5. CommandOption8 - go back to the previous folder (same as back button click) Info: The 5. step is same as Command[ shortcut, but I use hungarian keyboard and for the [ character I have to hit the Option8 combo.

On windows + total commander I only had to press F7 button to create new folder :)

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As of OSX Catalina,

CommandShiftN Creates a new folder within the folder within the open window (in your example, the ~/Downloads directory). File > New folder, the context menu, and the Actions (gear) menu have the same behavior, regardless of what is selected.

This is inconsistent with pre-Catalina in my experience. I don't know why this changed. The only method is to double-click the Pictures directory first.

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