Sometimes I am using Finder and I want to go back a folder. Then when I'm done doing what I wanted to do in that folder I want to go forward to the subfolder I was previously in. But it seems the Back/Forward button doesn't do this. Back of course takes you up a directory, which makes sense. But when I go forward, I want to go forward to the folder I was previously in. It seems though, that Forward is only for after you've selected a folder to go into. And then it takes you into that one. But if you selected the folder with a mouse, why not just double-click to enter the folder right away? And if you selected the folder with the keyboard, why not just enter it using CmdO? I don't know anybody who would click on a folder just to select it, and then use a separate button to enter it.

What's worse - if no folder is selected to go forward to when you click Forward, it instead takes you back!

I'm used to going forward and backward through my viewing history in web browsers, so out of habit I sometimes try to go forward in Finder and get sent up a directory instead. I thought the button was buggy, until I realized it's expecting a folder to be selected.

Just to clarify: Going forward into a folder that is selected is logical. But going back because no folder is selected, is illogical. So in that case I would want to be taken forward to the subfolder I was in prior to the current one. Or if I wasn't in any of the subfolders before the current one, I would want the Forward button to do nothing (except maybe blink on the click event, as user-feedback). But being sent back up a directory when clicking Forward is weird to me. (Is it just me?)

I checked the options in the Customize Toolbar menu, but there aren't any alternative navigation buttons for taking you through the folder history. I considered removing the Forward button altogether, so at least I wouldn't accidentally click it, but Forward and Back are inseparable, as a single item. Is there any way to modify the functionality?

1 Answer 1


cmd ⌘+] and cmd ⌘+[ can used for backward and forward for finder

  • Thank you! Yes! When done with the keyboard shortcut, Forward works exactly as I would expect. (I wonder why the button doesn't...)
    – Mentalist
    Dec 3, 2021 at 8:22

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