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.


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 '12 at 2:35
  • 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 '14 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 '14 at 16:26
  • @Phani Windows + e also opens a new Explorer window in Windows. So, OPTION + COMMAND + SPACE is equivalent of Windows + e – Ramazan Polat Jul 8 '16 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 '20 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. – sataniccrow Sep 18 '14 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 '14 at 21:07
  • Worked for me. Thank you! I used it to open different 'specific' folders quickly. – Kamilski81 Sep 5 '20 at 17:10

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

  • This needs to be actual answer. – Ramazan Polat Jul 8 '16 at 2:16

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 '15 at 4:43
  • I think they changed the location. It's now easier to go from System Preferences > Spotlight > Keyboard Shortcuts.... – hobbes3 Jan 25 '19 at 13:48

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 for a list of cool applications. I heavily use BetterTouchTool and I love it! – hobbes3 Jul 1 '13 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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.