Show Paths in Finder

I’m posting some posts about customizing MacOS because I just did a fresh install of Catalina on my iMac. This was not 100% voluntary (another story), but I’m glad I did it now because I have a clean system and a fresh start.

There are some things that bug me about my OSes. Why does Windows always hide file extensions? Really? Those are too complicated for people such that we need to hide them? And why does the Finder app of MacOS hide the current path from the user? I think it’s pretty important stuff to know your location in the file system inside of, you know, a file system app!

Fortunately, it is pretty simple to make some changes to Finder to remedy this situation. The article I just linked to provides several options, but the way I chose to set up my Finder is to enable the Path Button in the toolbar and display the path in the title bar. Let’s run through those quickly here.

Enable the Path Button. 

In Finder, click View -> Customize Toolbar.

Drag the Path Button into the toolbar.

Now you have a button with a pulldown menu to quickly change your location in the path.

Display the Path in the Title Bar

This one is a little trickier, but you can handle it. Open the Terminal application. I have mine in the application dock of apps I use all the time, but it isn’t there by default. You can find it by going to Applications -> Utilities.

Paste this command into Terminal and hit return

defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool true

Do the same for this command and hit return

killall Finder

Now you can see your path in the title bar of Finder!

I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to see the path in the title bar, but if you decide you don’t like it, you can remove it by using this command in Terminal.

defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool false

And then use this command to reset it back to the boring, non-helpful title bar it used to be.

killall Finder

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