A folder in my mac is set to list view and files are grouped by kind like Images, Movies, documents etc. I wonder if there is a way to expand/collapse entire groups.

In windows, there's an arrow next to the group name and when you click it, the group will expand/collapse. But I can't find a way to do that in mac. If I have hundreds of files in one category, say, Images, I have to scroll all the way to reach the next one (movies, documents etc). If this is not possible in finder, is there any alternative?

Edit: To be clear, I'm wondering if there's a way to expand/collapse the group headers (eg: Images, movies, documents etc) and not folders.

  • 1
    Are you certain you're in List View, because that's where you should find the same reveal arrows as Windows has [except they're a bit smarter on Mac;) You can change the view type using Cmd + a number, 1 is icon, 2 is list, 3 is column, 4 is gallery.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 27, 2019 at 6:34
  • @Tetsujin I'm positive I'm in the list view. Can't see the arrow. BTW I'm on version 10.14
    – Devin
    Aug 27, 2019 at 13:13
  • Ugh…my bad. View menu "Use Groups", switch that nuisance off. Sorry, been using Macs 30 years & some of the newer settings confound me as to who would ever find them at all useful, let alone want them to be on by default.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 27, 2019 at 14:11
  • 2
    This sound like good candidate for a Finder feature request for Apple. Your idea of collapsing groups would be amazing for practical use. But I am afraid it is not yet implemented on MacOS.
    – Prado
    Aug 29, 2019 at 2:03

2 Answers 2


None of the groupings allows you to collapse/expand folder in List view. So to facilitate quick grouping, (I forgot defaults) go to View menu -> customise toolbar and include the enter image description here icon in toolbar.

  • You can group by None and then later set Sort by to Kind. It will not allow "Kind" groups to be collapsed, but allows the same for folders, at least.

  • After your edit, I am prompted to suggest the Icon view and Group by Kind. It has collapse and expand groups of a particular kind.

  • 1
    Seems like Icon view and grouping is the closest solution to my requirement.
    – Devin
    Aug 29, 2019 at 8:23

Clicking the disclosure triangle on a closed folder while in list view, opens that folder showing all of the contained folders within, collapsed.

(Option + Clicking) the disclosure triangle on a closed folder while in list view, opens that folder showing all of the contained folders within, expanded.

Continual clicking of (Command + Left Arrow) on an opened sub folder while in list view, selects its containing folder, etc. until eventually arriving at the original main folder.

(Option + Clicking) the disclosure triangle on an expanded folder while in list view, closes that folder and collapses all of the contained folders within.

enter image description here

  • Perhaps I should have been clear. When the view is list and grouping is by Kind, you'll see headers like Folders, Images, Movies etc. I'd like to expand/collapse the header and not folders, which I could already do.
    – Devin
    Aug 28, 2019 at 9:23
  • I think it is good info. Not directly answering, but relieves other answers of adding shortcuts.
    – anki
    Aug 28, 2019 at 10:07

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