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How to change the default Finder folder on macOS

File managers all have to open to one location or the other. There are lots of third-party file managers available for almost every desktop out there but on macOS, the Finder usually isn’t replaced. It’s a capable file manager with support for tags and tabbed browsing. If you do not like the location that Finder opens to when you launch it, you can change that pretty easily. The option is built-in and allows you to select any location as the default Finder folder on macOS.

Default Finder folder

Open Finder and minimize it. On the menu bar, go to Finder>Preferences. Alternatively, tap the Command+, keyboard shortcut to open the Finder Preferences.

On the Preferences window, you will see a ‘New Finder window shows’ dropdown. Open it and it will list a few common locations that Finder can open to as well as an ‘Others…’ option.

You can choose one of the listed options however, if they’re not where you need Finder to open to, select the ‘Others…’ option. This will open a folder selection box where you can select any folder of your choice. Once you’ve done that, Finder will always open to the location that you’ve set for it.

This change is user specific so if you have more than one user configured on your Mac, you will not be able to change the default Finder folder for other users. It’s also worth mentioning that this change does not require administrative rights to make. Users are free to change the default Finder folder location if it doesn’t suit them.

There aren’t any locations that you cannot set the Finder to open to except for hidden locations. You can also select network drives or external drives but those drives must be connected in order for Finder to be able to open to them. If Finder is unable to access the drive, it will likely just default to the recent location that it was set to open.

Apple is often criticized for how restrictive its software is and in many areas, that is true. It doesn’t apply here though. Apple gives users more flexibility over the Finder than Microsoft does over File Explorer. If you wanted to make a similar change on Windows 10, you’d have to jump through a few hoops to do it and even then, you’d only have a work-around and nothing as solid as what you can do on macOS.

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