When you open the info window, i.e. Get Info, of a downloaded file, Finder will show you the downloaded origin, called Where from. This information is there even the file is moved or slightly modified. How does Finder achieve this? Is it a feature of the file system?


1 Answer 1


In the metadata associated to a file. Use xattr from the command line to see and manipulate the metadata. Using ‘get info’ in the GUI is not equivalent, but should allow you to see some metadata attributes, including the originating URL.

  • Where is the metadata stored then?
    – jackxujh
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 23:29
  • @jackxujh it s a part of the file itself Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 23:30
  • Thanks! I got it! I can run $ xattr -l cat_video.mp4 to show a list of attributes in both hex and text, or without -l to show only name of attributes. And other parameters with other usages as well!
    – jackxujh
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 23:38

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