How to merge multiple finder windows on macos

When you open an app or the Finder on your Mac, a window opens on the desktop. Only one app at a time is active; the name of the app (in bold) and the app menus are shown in the menu bar.

How to merge multiple finder windows on macos

Some apps, such as Safari or Mail, let you open multiple windows or different types of windows at the same time. macOS provides several ways to manage open apps and windows.

Move, align and merge windows

On your Mac, do any of the following:

Move a window: Drag the window by its title bar to where you want it. Some windows can’t be moved.

Align windows: Drag a window close to another one — as the window nears the other one, it aligns without overlapping. You can position multiple windows adjacent to each other.

To make adjacent windows the same size, drag the edge you want to resize — as it nears the edge of the adjacent window, it aligns with the edge and stops.

How to merge multiple finder windows on macos

Merge an app’s windows into one tabbed window: In the app, choose Window > Merge All Windows.

To make a tab a separate window again, select the tab, then choose Window > Move Tab to New Window, or just drag the tab out of the window. See Use tabs in windows.

Maximise or minimise windows

On your Mac, do any of the following in a window:

Maximise a window: Press and hold the Option key while you click the green maximise button in the top-left corner of an app window. To return to the previous window size, Option-click the button again.

You can also double-click an app’s title bar to maximise the window (as long as the option to do so is set to “zoom” in Dock & Menu Bar preferences).

Minimise a window: Click the yellow minimise button in the top-left corner of the window or press Command-M.

You can set an option in Dock & Menu Bar preferences to have a window minimise when you double-click its title bar.

Most windows can be manually resized. Drag the window’s edge (top, bottom, or sides) or double-click an edge to expand that side of the window.

Quickly switch between app windows

On your Mac, do any of the following:

Switch to the previous app: Press Command-Tab.

Scroll through all open apps: Press and hold the Command key, press the Tab key, then press the Left or Right arrow key until you get to the app you want. Release the Command key.

If you change your mind while scrolling through the apps and don’t want to switch apps, press Esc (Escape) or the Full Stop key, then release the Command key.

Close windows

On your Mac, do any of the following:

Close a single window: In a window, click the red Close button in the top-left corner of the window, or press Command-W.

Close all open windows for an app: Press Option-Command-W.

Closing one or all windows for an app does not close or quit the app. To do so, press Command-Q, or click the app’s name in the menu bar, then choose Quit [App]. See Quit apps.

You can hide the active app by pressing Command-H.

Use Mission Control to quickly arrange open windows and spaces in a single layer to easily spot the one you need.

How to merge multiple finder windows on macos

Finder Tabs are one of the better Mavericks improvements brought to the Mac OS X Finder in years, letting you use the file system in a single window view, with each open folder or directory path as it’s own unique tab.

Used properly, Finder Tabs will prevent the enormous amounts of window clutter that can occur unintentionally when navigating around the Mac file system and juggling a handful of different windows and locations, but if you find yourself overwhelmed with Finder window overload you can use the excellent Merge feature to gather all windows into a single Finder window with tabs.

How to Merge All Finder Windows into Tabs on Mac

  • With multiple Finder windows open, pull down the “Window” menu and select “Merge All Windows”

How to merge multiple finder windows on macos

This instantly retrieves every single open Finder window, regardless of their folder path, into a single tabbed Finder window view.

How to merge multiple finder windows on macos

You can always add new Finder tabs to this window (or any other) by hitting Command+T or by pressing the little [+] plus button in the tabbed window too.

The behavior is very similar to how just about every modern web browser works, allowing you to merge and gather single windows into a unified window for easier browsing and less clutter. Much like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, you can also set a keyboard shortcut for this task if you find yourself using the Merge Windows feature in the Finder often.

Set a Keyboard Shortcut for Merging All Finder Windows Into Tabs

Use the Merge Finder Windows often? You can easily create a custom keystroke to merge all Finder windows into tabs:

  1. Open System Preferences from the  Apple menu and go to “Keyboard”
  2. Choose the “Shortcuts” tab and then select “App Shortcuts” from the left side menu
  3. Press the [+] plus button to create a new shortcut
  4. From “Application” select “Finder.app”, and set ‘Menu Title’ to “Merge All Windows”
  5. Click into the “Keyboard Shortcut” box and hit your preferred keystroke (Command+Control+Shift+M is the sample given, but use whatever you want)
  6. Exit System Preferences, and visit the Finder with multiple windows open to try out your new merge window keyboard shortcut

How to merge multiple finder windows on macos

Finder Tabs are easy to use and are just one of several very simple excellent features added to the Mac with OS X Mavericks, available in all modern versions beyond as well. Get in the habit of using them in the Finder, you’ll be glad you did.