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How to Set the Default Finder Folder on Your Mac

Finder icon and finder app show on a MacBook Pro
Khamosh Pathak

Finder is your window to the Mac file system. Every time you open Finder, it defaults to the Recents folder. But if you usually save your work in a different folder, you might want to change the button’s default behavior.

First, open the Finder app by clicking on the button in the Dock that looks like a face. From the menu bar, click on the “Finder” option. Next, click on “Preferences.” Alternatively, you can use the “Command+,” (Command key and the comma) keyboard shortcut to quickly open the Preferences window.

Click on Finder from menu bar and then select Preferences

In this window, select the “General” tab and then locate “New Finder Window Show.” Click on the drop-down menu below the option.

Click on the drop-down to select the new default finder window

From here, you can select from a list of pre-defined options. You’ll find the iCloud Drive, Desktop, and Documents folders here.

You can also click on the “Other” option and choose any folder from the file directory (for instance, the Downloads folder).

Choose a common folder as default window or click on Other

Browse through the file directory and select the folder you want as the default. Then click on the “Choose” button.

Click on Choose button to choose the selected folder as new default destination

You’ll be taken back to the Preferences menu with your selection as the new default folder for the Finder app. The next time you open the Finder app, it will open whichever folder you selected.

Now that you’ve improved your Finder opening experience, take a look at some other ways to make Finder suck less on macOS.

RELATED: How to Make the macOS Finder Suck Less

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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