I miss the ability to go back to previous directory via a gesture (swipe with two finger right like in Safari or Chrome) in Finder. Is it possible to enable it?

Edit: I'm on a MacBook Pro, and using the trackpad.

  • Upvoted as there is no need for a down vote, a comment with a future edit will do. Dec 6 '11 at 11:18


It looks like this has been broken in Mac OS X 10.9 (and wasn't fixed in 10.9.1)

This works again in the latest Mac Os X 10.10.1, and presumably also in 10.10.

Trackpad Three-finger swipe left goes back and forth in Finder, just like in Safari. You don't need 3rd party software to do this, simply make sure your settings are correct.

Go to System Preferences via Spotlight or Launchpad, navigate to Trackpad and click the tab More Gestures. The first option is "Swipe between pages", which enables swiping in Finder, Chrome etc. Make sure to choose one of the two Swipe options.

I've attached an image showing the screen for you here: Swipe between pages

Make sure that you've chosen Swipe left or right with four fingers in the Swipe between full-screen apps so the two options don't overrule each other. Swipe between full-screen apps

You also want to make sure there is no checkmark in the Three finger drag. They are mutually exclusive. You can check this in the Point & Click tab. Three finger drag

Magic Mouse If you use a Magic Mouse and want to be able to swipe back and forth in Finder, you have to turn off the Swipe between full-screen apps and change Swipe between pages to either Swipe left or right with two fingers or Swipe left or right with one or two fingers (both options enables you to swipe back and forth in Finder when using both fingers. Swipe back and forth with Magic Mouse in Finder

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    @MatiasVad: Correct, but I was just adding more feedback to make it more general :). Nice answer.
    – cm2
    Dec 6 '11 at 17:07
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    It looks like this is broken in Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks) Dec 3 '13 at 1:45
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    I just tested again. WORKS: Swipe with THREE fingers. DOESN'T WORK: Swipe with two or three fingers (only swiping with three fingers work if you choose this option). I don't want to swipe with three fingers only there if the two finger swiping works perfectly well everywhere else. Dec 12 '17 at 21:54
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    In case three finger swipe for back/forward isn't working for you, make sure three finger drag isn't enabled in Settings > Accessibility > Mouse and Trackpad > Trackpad Options.
    – Ben H
    Sep 24 '18 at 18:22
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    This works, but the swipe direction is reversed in Finder than it is in Safari... Why did Apple do this? (Safari: Swipe from left to right to go back | Finder: Swipe from right to left to go back)
    – Lucas P.
    Oct 6 '18 at 12:44

With BetterTouchTool, (almost) everything is possible! :) You can, for any application, map a gesture to a keyboard shortcut. You will then be able to attach Cmd+[ to the two finger left swipe gesture.

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