The Current Folder’s Pop-Up Menu in OS X El Capitan

By Bob LeVitus

In the center of the current window’s title bar is the name of the folder that you’re viewing in this window: the highlighted folder in OS X El Capitan. You know that already. What you might not know is that it offers a hidden road map to this folder from the top level. The following steps explain how it works:

  1. Command-click or Control-click the folder’s name in the title bar.

    A pop-up menu appears, with the current folder (Desktop in this figure) at the top.

    Traverse folders from this convenient pop-up menu.

    Traverse folders from this convenient pop-up menu.
  2. Select any folder in the menu, and it becomes the highlighted folder in the current window. Release the mouse button, and that folder’s contents are displayed.

    As shown here, the contents of the Desktop folder — seven files — are displayed in the window. If I release the mouse button, the contents of the highlighted folder (ElCapitan) will appear, replacing the contents of the Desktop folder.

  3. After jumping to a new folder, you can click the Back button.

    Hey, you’re right back where you were before you touched that pop-up menu!

Don’t forget that you can display the path bar near the bottom of the window by choosing View→Show Path Bar. Then you can double-click any folder displayed in the path bar to open it.

Last but not least, this trick doesn’t just work on Finder windows. It also works with the title bar of most document windows (Word, Photoshop, and so on), showing you the path to the folder containing the document you’re working on.