One of the most annoying things about working on my Mac is when I am using an open file dialog from any application. For some reason beyond me it shows all the files that are invalid to open greyed out. Then any files that are of the correct kind, or folders, are in black, and mixed in. Of course I can sort by kind, but it still doesn't make any sense to have to wade through all the files I cannot open. I could kind of understand it if I could force it to open one of these other files, but I cannot even select them.

Is there a way to tell the open dialog to only show me folders and valid files to open?

  • The reason is most likely the same as for why some menu entries become greyed out in application menus instead of just disappearing. If a file that you actually wanted to select is greyed out it means you have put the application into a state that doesn't allow you to do what you want. Knowing this you can simply backtrack and select "Import" instead of "Open" or whatever the problem was. If instead you're presented with e.g. a completely empty desktop folder, chances are you'll forget what you were doing and start investigating what happened to all your files.
    – Andreas
    Dec 3, 2018 at 13:08

1 Answer 1


Spoke to the Apple Geniuses today. They said it wasn't possible. Best I could come up with was to group the files by type.

You must log in to answer this question.

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