I used search to find a folder, and so using the back button takes me back to search. I would like to view folders that are in the folder-I-searched-for's parent folder, but I don't know where it is on my computer.

Finder does not tell me where it is from what I can tell.

  • It really depends on your view & how you have Finder set. As it stands the question is just too broad. See macworld.com/article/2040256/… for some starters
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 16:02
  • I had to use macOS for a year on a previous project and gave up on Finder after a couple of days, the terminal UX is better!
    – JMK
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 11:56
  • 5
    @Tetsujin I don't think it's too broad at all. It's a simple "how do I do X" question, where X is something that really should have a single, obvious way to do it, especially according to Apple's UI philosophy. If there isn't, that's really an issue with the design of the Finder's UI, not with the question being asked.
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 14:27
  • I just happened to search Google about how to do this a few weeks ago and I found this Q/A: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/307930/…. Not sure if it's a duplicate since the other question is asking specifically for a keyboard shortcut. But the answer is the same. Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 18:58
  • @KodosJohnson Pretty much the same question, but I think it's useful to have this one up so that it's more visible and people can find the answer more easily with different keywords. This one has received 2k views in 2 days, the other one has only had 8k in 2 years, which would imply this page is more search friendly or that the other question was not search friendly enough.
    – ICW
    Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 19:14

6 Answers 6


Using keyboard shortcut Command + moves one level up in the filesystem hierarchy in Finder.

When using Finder:

  • Command + opens the currently selected file or folder.

  • Command + takes you to the parent of the current folder.

  • 9
    Ahh this also explains the logic of cmd + down-arrow opening a file. I always thought that shortcut was strange. But it's trying to go "one level lower," which is into the file!
    – scohe001
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 13:54
  • There's no GUI equivalent of this? So unintuitive.
    – UpTheCreek
    Commented Feb 22 at 13:34

Taking your (rather broad) question at the simplest level you can always see your full path to the current folder in any Finder window.

Press and hold ⌘ Command and CLICK on the title bar where it shows the name of the folder you are currently in and you will get a menu that shows the path and allows you to go up a level, or two, or three...

Finder Window with Path

The picture shows I am in the Documents folder and selecting the next one down "Steve" will move me up in the folder hierarchy.

Note that the arrows in the upper left of a Finder window (under the stoplight buttons) move you back and forth in Finder history. So clicking the back button will take me back to the previously viewed Finder window, and will often give you a menu to select from. This is much like a browser forward/back button moves you back and forth in your browsing history. It is not the same as moving up a folder, unless the last folder was downward in the folder hierarchy.

The ⌘ Command CLICK trick works in all views, column, icon, list, etc.

  • 2
    Note that two-finger click on a trackpad will work also, or at least it does on my machine. I imagine a right-click would do it as well, if your hardware supports that.
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 14:30
  • 1
    @Nathaniel Yep, you only need a right click, which is what a 2 finger click on a trackpad does
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 23:19
  • Note that Command-click on window title also works in many document-viewing applications, including Preview, TextEdit, Numbers, Excel, Word, etc, allowing you to open the folder where a document is saved.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 22:25
  • This question is as specific as a question could possibly be. It is asking "How do I got up one level in finder". I genuinely do not understand how this question could be viewed as broad in any sense of the word.
    – ICW
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 18:51

Lots of great suggestions on here, but also wanted to provide an alternative UI, that may be easier or non-shortcut people. If you look at the Finder toolbar customizations (right click on toolbar > Customize Toolbar...) you will find a button that provides path information.

I do this for family that aren't used to using keyboard shortcuts.

Finder Path button on customization menu

  • In the context of the question asked, "I would like to view folders that are in the folder-I-searched-for's parent folder", the Paths icon on the Toolbar does not provide the path, it will only show e.g., Searching "This Mac". Additionally, in a normal Finder window this icon is redundant as one can already right-click on the windows title and see the path. Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 18:14

When in a window showing the results of your search in Finder, the info in one of the other answers, the ⌘-Click, is not applicable as the title of the window, e.g, Searching "This Mac" is static, that is until you go into a found folder; however, there is the Path Bar that shows on the bottom edge of the window.

Note: When in window showing the results of your search in Finder and you select a found item, I believe the Path Bar automatically shows; however if not, it can be enabled from the View menu in Finder, i.e., Show Path Bar or press ⌥⌘P when in a normal Finder window, not a search results window.

enter image description here

You can also double-click any folder shown in the Path Bar to go into that folder, or right-click it for more options as shown in the image below:

enter image description here

  • This is the more appropriate answer in the given context (since the proxy icon is not shown in the toolbar when performing a search).
    – Nimesh Neema
    Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 20:14
  • @Nimesh Neema, thanks, but what is "proxy icon"? Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 20:32
  • The icon representing the open file/folder shown in a macOS app's toolbar is called proxy icon. Command + clicking a proxy icon shows the complete directory hierarchy starting from root reaching upto the file/folder. This works in almost all macOS app's not just Finder.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 20:34
  • You should consider editing your answer to mention the fact that the proxy icon is not shown in Finder's toolbar when performing searching. (Proxy icon is generally shown almost all the other times).
    – Nimesh Neema
    Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 20:36
  • @Nimesh Neema, Never heard it called a "proxy icon", but looking at it in Accessibility Inspector there is an image there and it's there in a normal window and a search window as in the image in my answer. It's just when you actuate the menu by ⌘-Click, it's just a single level, not the full path like in a normal window and why I posted an answer around the Path Bar in the context of the question. BTW It's actually not in the Toolbar, because if you hide the Toolbar ⌥⌘T it's still there. Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 20:47

Method 1: The best way is to get the exact destination is (command + ⬆️) - To get the folder location.

Method 2: There is also another way.

  1. Right-click (double tap) on file
  2. Choose Get Info Here you can see all the info about that file. You can also check size, created, modified, comments and other details. Hope this info helps!
  • 2
    Does method 1 work from the search result list? And how does method 2 help to navigate to the folder containing the file?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 13:57
  • 2
    @nohillside, From Finder's search results window and selecting a folder, no, ⌘↑ has no affect on the selected folder. It does in a normal Finder window but that is out of context of what was actually asked. Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 15:37

View > Show Path Bar to show the path at the bottom of the window. You can then click any of the parent folders in the path to navigate to them.

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