In Windows, no matter what application you're in, Windowse will bring up a Windows Explorer window.

Is there a similar shortcut in Mac? Currently I have to Commandtab until Finder is selected, then press Commandn for a new window.

7 Answers 7


There is no shortcut integrated into the OS. However, there are workarounds:

  1. OptionCommandSpace opens a Spotlight window, from which you can navigate to where you wish to go as in Finder. (It is essentially a Finder window, just opened to Spotlight)
  2. Use a shortcuts manager such as Quicksilver or Spark to create a custom shortcut.
  • Nice! I like the Spotlight window. It's good enough. Thanks!
    – hobbes3
    Mar 30, 2012 at 2:35
  • 1
    The problem with OPTION + COMMAND + SPACE is that each time you use it, a new finder window seems to get created. This is annoying!
    – Phani
    Sep 18, 2014 at 20:53
  • 3
    @Phani yes, it is annoying. So open finder with OPTION + COMMAND + SPACE and then hit COMMAND + W and it brings the previously open finder to screen
    – ToughPal
    Oct 28, 2014 at 16:26
  • 1
    @Phani Windows + e also opens a new Explorer window in Windows. So, OPTION + COMMAND + SPACE is equivalent of Windows + e Jul 8, 2016 at 2:19
  • Since I worked on both - windows and mac, I look forward to similar shortcuts. So I changed the OPTION + COMMAND + SPACE to COMMAND + E as I am too used to WIN + E.
    – matrix
    Dec 28, 2020 at 16:28

There is a more generic way, although not straightforward.

  1. Open Automator
  2. Create a new service
  3. Close to the upper-left corner of the automator window, there is a button labelled "Variables": push it
  4. In the second column there is a variable named "Path": double-click it
  5. A blue bubble labelled "Path" appears in a list at the bottom right of the automator window: double-click it
  6. In the pop-up, change the directory: Select the directory that will be the initial one shown by your Finder, then click "Done".
  7. Drag the bubble "Path" to the empty grey area at the right of the window and drop it: an item named "Get Value of Variable" appears as first step of the workflow
  8. Click on the button "Actions" next to the button "Variables" (See step 3)
  9. In the first column, select "Files or folders"
  10. In the second column double-click "Open Finder Items": an item named "Open Finder Items" appears as second step of the workflow
  11. Make sure you read "Service receives no input in any application" above the workflow diagram
  12. Save the service, using menu File/Save. Type in the name "Openfinder", then click "Save"

  13. Now open the System Preferences

  14. Select Keyboard, then Keyboard and shortcuts
  15. In the left column, highlight Services
  16. In the right column, find the name "Openfinder" in the "General" section and select it
  17. Click the button "Add shortcut" next to the name "Openfinder"
  18. Type the shortcut of your choice (but conflicts with existing shortcuts do not seem to be notified by te system)

Sorry for the number of steps. I wish it were simpler.

You can use this method to create any kind of shortcut!

  • 1
    your solution is THE most complex, but it offers an important overview on a fundamental feature of OSX. Thanks for sharing a so long and detailed step-by-step instructions list, it really helped me. Sep 18, 2014 at 10:28
  • 1
    This is the only solution that worked for me. Now, the only trouble is to choose a shortcut key that doesn't clash with other applications.
    – Phani
    Sep 18, 2014 at 21:07
  • Worked for me. Thank you! I used it to open different 'specific' folders quickly.
    – Kamilski81
    Sep 5, 2020 at 17:10

Thought I share this perfect solution with you guys, which I cannot believe I haven't find anywhere on web.

Go to -> System Preferences -> Keyboard

Scroll to -> Spotlight

Mark "Show Spotlight Window", and put your desired shortcut

I use Control-E which is easiest in my opinion to press from Mac keyboard.

It acts even better than Windows Explorer, when you customize the sidebar on Finder Window for your most accessed Folders (I suggest hiding the color code balls also). In Finder, make sure you have "View -> Show Toolbar and Show Sidebar" enabled.

You are welcome.

  • Thank you!! Trying to adjust to OSX the lack of the Win+E equivalent was killing me. For something that mimicked the Windows setup the closest, I used the "command" key. Tip for anyone coming in, it isn't obvious how to change the value. You have to click on the existing keyboard shortcut, then you can enter a new one. Also, in OSX Yosemite, it is under Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Spotlight
    – unrealtrip
    Jul 11, 2015 at 4:43
  • 1
    I think they changed the location. It's now easier to go from System Preferences > Spotlight > Keyboard Shortcuts....
    – hobbes3
    Jan 25, 2019 at 13:48

yes there is a way; option(alt), command, space.

  • 1
    This needs to be actual answer. Jul 8, 2016 at 2:16

There's a bug on 10.7 and 10.8 where the shortcuts for Automator services don't always work until you hover over the services menu from the menu bar. There's also a small delay before services are run, and they don't work in applications that don't have a menu bar or a services menu.

It's probably better to just rely on third party applications, like Alfred, Apptivate, BetterTouchTool, or QuickSilver.

  • 1
    +1 for a list of cool applications. I heavily use BetterTouchTool and I love it!
    – hobbes3
    Jul 1, 2013 at 21:49

Since Automator has changed since 2013, I post an updated version of @sdive's solution. To create a service using Automator on Mac OS Catalina (find a screenshot of the service below):

  1. Open Automator
  2. Create a New Document > Quick Action
  3. Select "Workflow receives no input in any application" (and optionally choose an Image to your liking)
  4. Click Library on the top left (below the close button, if it is not already active)
  5. Click Variables > Locations
  6. Drag the Path action to your workflow window
  7. At the bottom, double click the variable and set path to the folder you want to open
  8. In the Library, navgiate to Actions > Files & Folders
  9. Drag Open Finder Items to your workflow (leave the action unchanged)
  10. Click Run (at the top right), the path you set in step 7 should be opened in finder.
  11. Save your action, e.g. as "Open MyFolder"
  12. With Automator as your active window, next to your apple icon click: Automator > Services > Service Preferences (or go to Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services via System Preferences)
  13. Find your action in the General Section at the bottom of the Services list
  14. Assign a shortcut (e.g. Shift+Ctrl+.)

Screenshot of the final service


If you're like me and want a window to be created if no Finde is open, but to come back to the already opened (but normally not in sight) Finder window, (as Windows + E works) the most straight forward way is pressing ⌘+Space+F+Enter.

⌘+Space brings the spotlight, pressing these keys with left-hand pinky and ring finger allows you to use your middle finger to press the f right away which brings the Finder and you can immediately press Enter.

If it is the first time you look for the Finder in Spotlight, you'll need to select it first after pressing f but you won't need that next time.

It'll take practising the movement slowly 4 or 5 times, but it is pretty straightforward afterwards.

** keyboard-layout-wise speaking, ring and middle finger and then index for f will make more sense for those used to place their hands with the index on the f, but the first fingering is more comfortable...

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