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How to tag files on macOS

Tags are a great way to organize files. They add a level of customization that you don’t normally get with other organizing tools. The tags can be for anything and you choose which ones are added so there’s no needless grouping of items into sets they don’t belong in. macOS does tags exceptionally well. Here’s how you can tag files on macOS.

Tag files on macOS

Tagging is a native feature in macOS so you only need to know where to find it. Open Finder and navigate to any folder that has files you want to tag. Right-click a file and select ‘Tags’ from the context menu.

When you select Tags, it will open a little input box under the file that you can enter tags in. The tags are separated by spaces so when you enter a space, your first tag ends and you can add a second one.

When you’re done adding tags, tap enter to exit the tag editing interface.

You can now use the search feature in Finder, or Spotlight to search for files with the tag. The search results have a dedicated section for files that are tagged with the search word that you entered. You can click it and get only the files that have the tag.

Remove tags

Tags aren’t a permanent installation once you add them. You can remove a tag anytime you want. To remove a tag from a file, right-click the file you want to remove it from and select Tags from the context menu. When the tag editing interface opens, click inside it and use the Delete or Backspace key to remove the tag(s) you’ve added.

Tags are a core feature of macOS and you will find they work with a lot of apps. If you’ve tagged photos, the tags will be searchable in the Photos app as well as in other photo management tools that support the feature. The tags are also likely to work if you move the file to another system. If it’s a macOS system, they will work reliably but there’s a good chance they will also work on a Linux and Windows system.

Tags are not the same as the colored tags that you can add to files. They’re similar but still different. You can use both colored tags and text based tags to organize your files but with the color based tags, you have less flexibility.

On Windows 10? You can tag files there too if they’re enabled for all file types.

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