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When downloading a file using Google Chrome, Mac App Store, or some other app, Finder usually displays a circular progress indicator besides the file name.

Out of curiosity, is there any technical way this is accomplished on Mac? Is there some sort of metadata attached to the file that is constantly updated?

How does Finder know when to display the download progress indicator?

Download circle

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This is achieved by macOS apps using Apple provided API. Specifically, NSProgress Cocoa API.

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