I'm used to knowing where all my files are. Is there a way to get an address bar to show up in Finder in OS X (10.5+) like in Explorer in Windows or Nautilus in GNOME?

I also want to be able to copy the address bar. Perhaps the workflow is different on a Mac, but I'm used to throughly sorting my files under many layers of folders and then when I need to upload or download something, or access a file in command line or etc, I can copy and paste that directly into the file dialog.

To clarify, my goal is to have an experience like in Windows: press CtrlD (CmdL) and CtrlC.

  • It might help; you can drag your file from the Finder to the Open dialog to change the directory in the dialog to that file's directory (eg. for uploading a file)
    – Chealion
    Commented Aug 10, 2010 at 21:29
  • I have an issue with my trackpad which makes dragging especially difficult.
    – wag2639
    Commented Aug 14, 2010 at 8:37
  • 1
    You can drag a file into Terminal to print its path at the cursor. This will work with lots of other dialogs as well. I'd really get the dragging trackpad thing figured out; it's really a pretty important action in OS X.
    – NReilingh
    Commented Aug 21, 2010 at 16:29

12 Answers 12


This feature is not available "as is" in Finder.app.

Instead, typing the path to a folder/file is done via cmdshiftg as pointed by @snk, displaying the path of your current location can be enabled with this one-liner in Terminal.app:

defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES && killall Finder,

copying the path can be done with the contextual menu plugin mentioned by @ridogi.

  • 4
    this shows the full path of the directory on the title bar Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 20:59
  • folllow up q: does mac make using a "personal computer" a PITA because they hate people or because they hate designing good software?
    – LMS5400
    Commented Apr 1 at 16:24
  • Well, the information is worthless for most users so Apple made the right compromise, here: giving the general public a very usable system while pissing off a handful of losers who can't even say the name of their company properly.
    – romainl
    Commented Apr 1 at 16:47

The solution to your problem is FinderPath. Install it and then just double-click on the top of the window, where its name is shown. Or, you press CmdG. Voilà!

It is compatible with macOS Sierra.

  • 4
    It does works on mavericks the only thing is that in order to configure the assistive devices you have to go to another menu which is System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility and there you have to grant access to the desired apps
    – Cams
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 20:48
  • This works perfectly. Makes navigating to the right file or directory by keyboard a zillion times faster. It's really shameful that Apple doesn't include this essential feature by default.
    – Miscreant
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 16:47
  • How do you install the app? When I unzip it and double-click on it, it asks for the authorization "Allow the app to control your computer". I’m not willing to do that without more info. How do I know I can trust this app? Can I check its source code somewhere?
    – kotchwane
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 16:05
  • @kotchwane "Control your computer" means getting access to accessibility features that allow changing the Finder address bar, and navigating to other folders. If you are skeptical, of course this should apply to any app that you install for which you don't have the source code. I don't think there is reason to believe that this app is malicious in any way.
    – slhck
    Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 8:34

It is simple. Just go to finder. Click on view. Select Show Path Bar or press the button alt + command + P.

See the image how you will enable Path Bar:

enter image description here

Once you have enables you can see Path bar at bottom of the window as the image below:

enter image description here

  • 2
    nice native option, but bummer that you can't select / copy / paste the path
    – KyleMit
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 21:31
  • 4
    I'm able to right click on the last item in the path bar to copy the path. This is in MacOS 11. Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 18:30
  • @KyleMit right click on the last item and select "Copy ' ' as a Pathname" Commented Mar 10 at 5:00

Regarding your edit: Just use the open command in Terminal.

open . will open your current working directory in Finder, open .. the parent directory, etc.

In the other direction, you can use the proxy icon (the folder icon in the Finder title bar). Drag it into a Terminal window and the path to the folder will get inserted at the current cursor location.

These approaches handle Terminal/Finder exchanges. With the ability to drag/drop files and folders onto open/save dialogs, the Go To Folder command in Finder, and the ability to navigate the folder hierarchy in Finder by Command-clicking the proxy icon, and the Go menu in Finder, there is little missing you might need for navigation. It's different from Windows, but works just as well.

You can use Automator to create a Service that takes no input in Finder or any application and performs the following in a Run AppleScript action:

tell application "Finder"
    set topWnds to every window whose index is equal to 1 as list
    set cwd to target of first item of topWnds as alias
    tell application "Terminal" to activate
    tell application "System Events"
        keystroke "t" using {command down}
        keystroke "cd " & (POSIX path of cwd) as text
        key code 36
    end tell
end tell

Not too elegant, but it gets the path of finder's frontmost window, opens a new Terminal tab, and uses cd to get there.

You can additionally use the clipboard utilities for the command line: pbcopy and pbpaste. You can pipe any path into pbcopy and access it from GUI utilities, e.g. the Finder's Go to Folder... command.

  • Choose file
  • Open context menue with the right mouse button
  • And now push the "alt"-key
  • Options are changing and you can copy the path

enter image description here


The simple answer is no, there is no location bar in finder. No simple/easy way to copy and paste a path to a working directory.

  • 2
    Apple knows better that you how you should use your computer. If you find it impossible to navigate to / you should decide you need to navigate elsewhere. Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 14:55

Check out DTERM. It allows you to quickly open a prompt to the current location. From there you can easily use an alias to copy the $PWD (echo $PWD | pbcopy), run a command on local files, and many other actions.

I find it very helpful in tying the Unix side of Mac OS X in with the graphical side.

  • code.google.com/p/cdto also does this.
    – ridogi
    Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 6:56
  • @ridogi while that looks useful they aren't quite the same. DTERM's terminal is more of a Heads up Display then a full terminal. Though with a quick key press you can spawn it off into it's own terminal. Also it has the capability of knowing what you have currently selected in finder and the ability to paste the file names.
    – Tabitha
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 17:43

If you Command+Click the title bar it will show a hierarchy of what directory you are in.

Here is a screenshot of it in action:

Command+Clicking Finder title bar

EDIT: Sorry, I didn't read the part about wanting to copy the path. If you are comfortable with the Terminal.cd into a directory and run pwd | pbcopy and you will have the current path in your clipboard.

  • 1
    I don't think that's what wag2639 is looking for as he wants to be able to copy the path
    – Vervious
    Commented Oct 8, 2010 at 22:31
  • I changed my answer accordingly. I hope it helps.
    – Wuffers
    Commented Oct 8, 2010 at 22:33

There is a contextual menu plugin called FilePathCM tha will get you the same result with a right click instead of a keyboard shortcut but it doesn't show a location bar.


  • this app apparently doesnt work anymore Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 6:55

I think the best you can do without third-party software is to open an inspector window (option-command-I), which shows you the properties/"Get Info" of the currently selected item, and copy-paste from the "Where:" line. You can size the window down to be less obtrusive.


The path bar might be a good alternative. The path bar shows in which folder you are and let's you navigate back fastly. Unfortunately it doesn't let you copy paste an address directly.

How to show the path bar:

From Finder's View menu, check off "Show Path Bar" to turn on a clickable "breadcrumb" file path bar at the bottom of your Finder window, as shown. There you can click on any of the parent folders up the path of your current folder to navigate to it.

  • 1
    That's something. But it would be so nice if that was editable to quickly move between folders without always having to click.
    – dorien
    Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 2:40

You can also browse files and directories in a web browser this way on a mac:



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