If I have a Finder window open, whenever I try to open another Finder window it opens as a new tab in previous window. The checkbox in Finder Preferences is not checked. See image below.

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I'm trying to learn applescipt and i'm on the part where I open multiple Finder windows. I can't do that part as easy as it is because all I have is one open window with several tabs. How do I get folders to open in a new window?

If i open my home directory in Finder and then click on a folder, the folder contents just replaces the earlier window contents.

  • RE: "I'm trying to learn applescipt and i'm on the part where I open multiple Finder windows." If this is about AppleScript, you should probably tag the question as such and include the code you are using. That said, from where are you trying to lean AppleScript. Are you following some online tutorial or what? Since you say you are just learning, do you know about the AppleScript dictionary which app's that truly support AppleScript have? In Script Editor press ⇧⌘L to bring up the Library where you can then, e.g., double-click on Finder in the Library... Jun 18, 2020 at 1:52
  • ...to learn about its verbs, nouns, elements, properties, etc. which will hopefully give you a better understanding of the language and what you can interact with Finder (or other applications). Applications that do not have an AppleScript dictionary may be able to be scripted on a limited basis using System Events and UI Scripting. Jun 18, 2020 at 1:52
  • Thanks for your input. Yes I have an online tutorial I'm going thru. My question wasn't really about applescript, I was just letting the reader know that it didn't work in applescript either. My internal drive is dying but i don't know if thats the source of my problem or not! Thanks for info about the applescript dictionary. That looks very helpful and I was not aware it existed.
    – Natsfan
    Jun 18, 2020 at 2:10
  • Have you tried killall Finder in Terminal to see if that fixes it? When the last time you rebooted? Which online tutorial are you using for learning AppleScript? Jun 18, 2020 at 2:26
  • @jmh there’s also such tabs windows preferences globally, in sys pref.
    – anki
    Jun 18, 2020 at 2:39

1 Answer 1


To expand on ankii's comment... Have a look at Prefer tabs when opening documents: under System Preferences > General1 where the default setting is In Full Screen Only; however, it can also be set to Always or Manually.

In Finder > Preferences > General when [] Open folders in tabs instead of new windows is unchecked, and Prefer tabs when opening documents: under System Preferences > General1 is set to Always, then Finder will open a new tab instead of a new window.

1 macOS Big Sur and later. For macOS Catalina and earlier: System Preferences > Dock

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