In macOS Catalina 10.15.4, I would like to create a new folder in Finder, in the view where directories in Finder are organised with the second button from the left ("Show items as icons, in a list, in columns or in a gallery). Specifically, I would like to create a new folder inside a specific existing folder (let's call it "Folder X"). But I don't know how to do this.

What I have tried, is to highlight Folder X, then click on the "cog" button, and then select "New Folder". However, this just creates a new folder at the root of all the displayed folders. It does not create a new folder inside Folder X, even though Folder X is highlighted. So, the only way I know to do this, is to create the folder as above, and then drag it into Folder X. This seems very inefficient, and there must be a way to directly create a folder in Folder X.

How can I do this?

  • 1
    System 9 & earlier used to work the way you'd like, OS X never has. It's been this way for so long I've just got used to it, mostly - though it still makes me rail against 'perceived expectation'. Make the damn folder inside where I told you, not next to it, dammit!. (I'm really not sure I can make this into an answer ;) For the next annoyance level, try it again & it will make one inside the folder it just created. Bang head on wall, try again.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 18, 2021 at 19:20
  • 1
    Another way (albeit probably not what you are exactly looking for) is go inside the folder first by double-clicking on it, and then make the folder. The keyboard shortcut for new folder is command+shift+N (inside Finder). If you need to make several, you can just keep hitting the shortcut.
    – Chris
    Jan 18, 2021 at 19:39
  • 1
    It works correctly in Column View. In List View, you're still 'in' the location specified by the toolbar, no matter what hierarchy you can see.
    – benwiggy
    Jan 18, 2021 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


The behaviour you are seeing is the way it is supposed to work. As @benwiggy said in a comment your location is as displayed in the toolbar and that is where a new folder will be created.

I can accept that you do not like this - you are probably not the only one. I can see two alternatives:

  1. Use 'column' view. With this view your focus/location changes as you go down the folder hierarchy.

  2. Look for a third party Finder replacement which has the behaviour you would like. For example:

    Path Finder which behaves in the way you would like.

    ForkLift which behaves like Finder.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .