I'm renaming a long series of file one by one while previewing them. UNFORTUNATELY, Finder re-sorts the file list, so that means that each time I rename a file, it changes the current selection to the end, so I need to quickly go to either the first file or the last in the list.

On windows explorer, when I hit end or home, it selects the last or first file. It can be quite useful when browsing a long series of files. On top of this, on mac you can have a preview of the file which is very handy.

Finder seems to have a different behaviour, I have a macbook pro, so I either it FN-left or FN-right to simulate those keystrokes, but it does nothing. Also the keyboard viewer display a different symbol when I hit FN-enter, I don't really know what that is.

Alternatively, I could just tell Finder to not sort files at all, just leave them in place. Is there a way to do this?

PS sorry for some reason, access to google https is not authorized with mac at my library, so I can't login at all.

6 Answers 6


With either View > as List (Cmd+2) or View > as Columns (Cmd+3) enabled, you can select the item at the top / bottom with Opt+ / Opt+, respectively.

If you enable/disable View > Use Groups (Ctrl+Cmd+0), Finder will move its selection to the first column at the top.

  • If you are in the thumbnails view, you may try Fn+<some character> which will navigate to the first file starting with that character. It depends on the file names, but most of the time Fn+- and Fn+z does the trick. It selects the first and last file respectively.
    – n0rmzzz
    Apr 11, 2017 at 5:53

Just wanted to add that joelseph's answer to press ESC and UP or Down is correct for versions of OS X prior to Mavericks. It appears that Apple have repurposed the ESC key in Mavericks Finder and no longer deselects files.

Lri's answer (to press ⌥↑ or ⌥↓), however, still works in Mavericks.


You can disable sorting for a folder in icon view (⌘0) by holding down option, clicking the View menu, and selecting None under Sort By (alternatively, press ⌃⌥⌘0).

That should allow you to rename your files without losing your place in the list.

As an aside, the home and end keys function a bit differently from Windows. In Windows they move the insertion point (in a text document) or selection, but in Mac they just move the view, not what's selected or where your text insertion point is. If you want to quickly jump to the first or last file in Finder, you can use A or Z — if you have lots of numbers at the start of the filename, or several z's, it may not put you exactly at the start or end, but it should be close enough in most cases.


An easy way to select the first or last file is to press Esc to clear the current selection, then press to select the first file or to select the last file.

In many cases, pressing or immediately after pressing Return to commit the new name will select the next or previous file before the Finder resorts the list.


Press opt + Up Arrow to jump to the first file listed in the current finder folder.

Similarly, opt + Down Arrow selects the last file in the current folder.

This works on macOS Ventura (my current OS).


If you want to find any other file, simply type in the full title or even the first couple of characters and Finder will take you straight to it - whether it begins with a letter, a numeral or a character, but the result might be just above the top of the viewing window, so you'll have to scroll up to see it.

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