Tagging in Finder

Organizing files is something that few people would identify as fun, but there are some ways you can increase the enjoyment factor while also improving organization. One of those ways is tags; here’s how to use tags on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

If you’re unfamiliar with tags, you’re in for a treat. Adding colors and labels to files lets you easily identify them at a glance, as well as sort and search them in special ways, too. If you want to be able to see all red-tagged files across your entire project folder, no problem. If you’ve ever used tags to manage photos, to-dos, or anything else for that matter, you’ll be right at home here.

How to Tag files on iPad and iPhone

You’ll have to use the Files app to tag files on an iPhone or iPad. Files is the nearest thing to Mac’s Finder that we have in the world of iPhone and iPad. To get started, open the Files app.

You’ll be presented with a list of locations, including those on your device and in the cloud.

Files app locations. Locate your file

Next, tap and hold the file that you want to tag. You’ll notice a new row of options appear above it. Tap the right-pointing arrow to see more options.

Tap and hold a file. Tap the arrow

Once it is visible, tap the “Tags” button.

Tap Tags

The resulting screen will show all available tags. Here, you can either tap a tag to assign it or create a whole new tag by tapping the “Add New Tag” option at the top of the list.

Tap a tag to select it

How to Tag files on a Mac

Tagging files on a Mac is even easier than doing so on an iPhone or iPad. To get started, open a Finder window and locate the file that you want to tag.

Next, right-click the file. At the bottom of the context menu, click the tag you want to assign. If you have a large number of tags and the one you want isn’t visible, click the “Tags” button near the bottom. This will open a new window, including a search bar for locating just the right tag. If required, click the “Show All” button to reveal all available tags.

Right-click the file you want to tag and click the tag you wish to apply

If you store a file in your iCloud Drive, its tags are also synchronized between your devices. For example, if you tag a file in iCloud Drive with something on your iPhone, that same tag will appear in iCloud Drive on your Mac, and vice versa.

Oliver Haslam Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password's blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple.
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