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How to Work with Your Mac Folders in List View

If you want to view your Mac folders as a list, look on the View menu and click the As List item, and the check mark moves there. If you were previously looking at icons, they shrink dramatically, and the subfolders in the home folder appear as a list. Thus, you’re looking at your folders in List view.

A lot more info appears in List view, including the date and time a file was modified, its size, and the type of file (such as application or folder). And by clicking a column heading, you can sort the list anyway you see fit, without having to choose View → Arrange By, which is the method for sorting in Icon view.

Here are a few tips for working in List view:

  • If you're looking for a file in a folder but can't remember the name of the file, but you can remember the month and day you worked on it, click the Date Modified heading. The subfolders and files are now listed chronically, oldest or newest first, depending on the direction of the tiny triangle next to the heading. Click the Date Modified heading again to change the order from most recent to oldest or vice versa.

  • If size matters, click the Size heading to display the list from the biggest file size to the smallest or smallest to biggest. Again, clicking the little triangle changes the order. If you would rather organize the list by type of file (such as text or folder), click the Kind column heading to clump together like-minded entries.

  • While in list view, you may notice right-pointing triangles next to some of the names. Each triangle tells you that a particular listing contains subfolders or files. To see the subfolders or files, click the triangle.

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