• Why File Explorer keeps me on Windows

    Home » Forums » Newsletter and Homepage topics » Why File Explorer keeps me on Windows

    • This topic has 26 replies, 17 voices, and was last updated 5 months ago.

    WINDOWS By Josh Hendrickson I own both a fairly powerful Windows PC and a Mac Studio. Technically, the Mac Studio, with its M1 processor, far outstrip
    [See the full post at: Why File Explorer keeps me on Windows]

    10 users thanked author for this post.
    Viewing 15 reply threads
    • #2589339

      …. you shouldn’t need third-party apps to fix basic OS functionality.

      But that’s just it – Apple decided Finder does offer just that.

    • #2589385

      When you talked about the Tag feature, you said “right-click” on it – I work on PCs, but I always thought the Apple mouse only has one “button”, hence no right-click functionality?

    • #2589350

      For the Mac file system, open a window, go to Finder, choose View-Show Path Bar. The complete path will appear under the window in every view selection. A click on any item in the path takes you there, and one can also open in a new window by right-clicking any item. The setting is sticky, so all new windows will show the path bar. This feature has been here for a very long time.

      Screen Shot 2023-09-25 at 6.46.10 AM.png

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2589366

      Hello, Josh – thanks for your article. But I’m a bit confused by the lack of path information you report for Finder. Isn’t that what the Finder View > Show Path Bar does? The Finder window I’m looking at on my MacBook shows, along the bottom, that the current folder is … (for me) …
      Macintosh HD > Users > peterwatt > Documents > Grazia Vella > Alwyndor
      and the body of the window shows the columns I’ve chosen:
      Name, Date Modified, Size and Kind.

      Regards, … Peter Watt

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2589490

        I’m gonna level with you: in all the years I’ve been struggling with and hating finder, I’ve never found this option. I immediately went to my wife, a graphic designer who only uses a Mac and asked about it… she had no clue either.

        Why oh why oh why isn’t this on be default? Having it off doesn’t even save space!

        I still dislike finder for all the other reasons I listed. But man, that’s one major annoyance solved.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2589495

          I’ve been using the path bar since I started using a Mac in 2011.
          The best way to learn what a computer/program does on day one, is to go through the menu/options one by one. Also, right click on everything to go through the hidden menus too – for everything. 🙂

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2589542

          Like you I wasn’t aware of Show Path Bar until I did a search for it, looking for a 3rd party utility, and discovered to my delight that it’s baked in. That was years back, but I rely on it. Finder view preferences are indeed set at the folder level. When you set them, there’s a button at the bottom of the view options popup so you can set this particular view as the default. My preferred view isn’t Apple’s default, but I can set it the once and forget about it unless I want a particular folder to default to some other view (icon size, list instead of icons, gallery, etc.). F’rinstance, I like images to display as a preview rather than as an icon and, in an images folder I generally like to display them in gallery mode.

          Apple’s file organisation is inherited from Unix, but we’re not confined to it any more than we are in *nix. I have only recently broken the habit of putting my OS and data on separate drives or partitions, but that only applies to my boot drive. Quite a bit of my data sits on a “working” NAS, and all of it can be found on various archive NASs, usually grouped by content (gaming, art, coding, etc).

          I keep it together visually by adding folder shortcuts to my desktop and clearly labelling my NAS so I can tell at a glance what’s hiding under it’s desktop icon. I arrange my Windows desktop the same way — what I’m working on has a folder shortcut, just as many of the working folders also have shortcuts to material I use in more than one project. This cuts down on file duplicates. It takes a wee bit to set up, but makes life ever so much easier IFF you have the Show Path bar on. And it’s a dog’s breakfast if you don’t, bringing us back to my opening paragraph.

    • #2589426

      On a PC I use Directory Opus. Terrific file manager.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2589439

      I also prefer Windows, but begrudgingly use a Mac for work. I’m glad I checked the comments, I’m able to make Finder work better for me with the “Show Path” setting. I also poked around and found how easy it is to customize the names and colors of tags, and to add new ones.

    • #2589456

      File Explorer search window does a good job and I use it often as it is handy. But I really like “Everything” search program; free and chock full of capabilities to find anything anywhere easily, and only a context menu click  or taskbar click away.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2589791

        Amen brother!

        ‘Everything’ is the ticket! I have no idea how any Windows user could live without it – an absolute “must-have” piece of software. I use it every single day and I’d say it’s the #1 most useful program on my PC. (No, I’m not the author, just an average-Joe user).

        If you don’t run ‘Everything’ on your PC now, download and install immediately – you won’t regret it! (yes, it’s free!)



        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2589488

      Great article and one I’ve sent around to some of my clients that are on Macs and definitely would agree with you. Managing tens of thousands of photos or hundreds of videos is much harder on the Mac than Windows. (I also use both).  Among my clients File Explorer is the reason they are not using SharePoint online. But it doesn’t matter because the integration of OneDrive with SharePoint makes it trivial (not without issues, to be sure). Microsoft is continuing to add features to Microsoft 365 and more and more clients are finding out why it’s better to be in that world than on the desktop, but it’s still a 10:1 ratio of desktop to cloud. I fear for when OneDrive is our only view to the file structure. It is horrible when moving tens of thousands of files….The only good tools cost thousands and are made for corporate budgets. My favorite way to navigate and move large files for SharePoint from the desktop is FTP using FileZilla Pro which includes FTP access to Google Workspace and SharePoint/OneDrive. It has some features it needs, but is a great fast tool.

      But there are alot of good reasons to use the Mac, stability being number 1. I just have vastly fewer problems with the Mac than with Windows. I support a bunch of Windows based companies, and I never get calls from the Mac users. Windows issues are a weekly issue. Getting better? Yes, but still not even close. And don’t get me started on Outlook…

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2589519

      Thanks to the author and additional thanks those who commented.  I have been juggling for years the jump or not jump about moving to a Mac.

      So far the main reason I have waited is I cannot stand Safari on my iPhone.  Then this article popped up and I figured more bricks in the wall, since I live and die by File Manager and/or Explorer-type OS features in Windows and Linux.

      However, the responses here from daily users are much more helpful than I have encountered on other Mac focused websites where the Kool-aid often makes getting questions answered and gathering info difficult.  (Sort of like some Linux sites.)

      AskWoody, and its members, once again demonstrates why it is definitely worth being a member.  Thanks!


      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2589527

      Josh, if you want speed and efficiency in a file finder for Windows, don’t overlook “Everything.” Incredibly fast, incredibly accurate. <https://www.voidtools.com/support/everything/&gt;

    • #2589550


      This is for Why File Explorer keeps me on Windows.

      On Sep 25, 2023, at 3:00 AM, AskWoody <editor@askwoody.com> wrote:

      But macOS Finder isn’t like that. Instead, you get just the name of the folder you’re currently in (see Figure 2). And though you might be thinking, “But you got there, so you must know where it is,” that isn’t always the case. After all, macOS has a nice “Recents” entry in its Finder sidebar that lists every file you’ve interacted with recently, without any path listed. You can use a submenu to get to the containing folder — but now you don’t know where you are.

      to find the MAC folder, double click on the File, then you get what I think you are looking for.

      So folder is “Copies for Short Term” then double click and you get each folder the “Copies for Short Term” came from. I hope this helps your Mac, I find File Explorer much more confusing for my use. Maybe it is preference. Check below, it may help you, if I understood you correctly. Bill Longtime reader First computer Apple IIe in 1983, then a PC guy from 1992, but changed over to MAC in 2012.

      I hope you can see the files.

    • #2589575


      Good article. But to use File Explorer, one has to have some idea where the file you want is located. I could have put ‘Vacation’ in, say, ‘2021’, ‘Chicago’, ‘Relative Visit’. etc. So I use an old program, no longer updated, unfortunately, named ‘Locate’. You can set it to update where all the files are on any, or all, of your hard drives, every day, every week, etc. Then you just type in a word, or a partial word, and it will located every file that meets that criteria, plus list where it/they are located. Then all you have to do is click on the file name to open it.

      Unfortunately, like so many other 3rd party programs, it never made the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10. So the primary computer I use is the one with Windows 7. I use my Windows 10 computer (which is a laptop) mainly when I travel, or when there is some program or file that won’t load on my Windows 7. Yes, I know that Microsoft support of Windows 7 ran out several years ago, but I think I have enough protection with Microsoft Security Essentials, etc.

      If you have come across a program that is an comprehensive and flexible as Locate, and runs on Windows 10, let me know.


    • #2589801

      I’ve been a Windows user for many years and never been a fan of Windows Explorer.

      For anyone seeking an alternative file manager, I recommend xplorer². Been a user for ~11 years.

      Of course, there are many other 3rd-party file managers out there but xplorer² was my pick. Simply my personal choice.

      Freeware version here –> https://www.zabkat.com/x2lite.htm

      Paid “Pro” version with a 21 free-trial period here —> https://www.zabkat.com/



      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2590151

      I read a blog post on a UI blog where the author opined that Apple has optimized its user interfaces to be as simple and un-scary as possible when being demonstrated at point of sale perhaps in the Apple Store, since that is where people often will make the decision as to whether to buy or not. When they get the thing home and start using it, it’s a delight of simplicity and ease for the new user… for a bit.

      As they gain more experience, the shortcomings in their OSes become more apparent. Things were so optimized not to scare total newbies that they fall short for more experienced users, which is a problem when you consider that people spend only a short time being total newbies and a much longer one being more experienced. I am all for simplifying and streamlining things to the point where they are as simple as can be without impeding the tasks for which it was designed, but no simpler.

      I have no experience with Apple OSes for devices newer than the Mac SE/30s I used in one university English class in lieu of the traditional pen and paper (which was still very much the norm then), so I cannot tell to what degree that is true firsthand. One thing I have experienced, though, is the GNOME 3 interface on Linux, which seems to originate from the very same point of view. Make it dead simple for complete newbies with regard to computing devices (do any of those still exist, other than children being introduced to a phone or tablet the first time?), and let that be the guide. More experienced users… are experienced and will make-do somehow.

      I don’t use GNOME, not surprisingly.

      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
      XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/32GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
      Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2590556

      I have used both operating systems over the many years. I think Apple early on chose a different path for OS X and now MacOS than Microsoft did with Windows. I still find Windows easier to do many tasks on then MacOS. Yes Mac’s perform great now with Apple’s silicon but performance is not everything to an end user. Most computers today perform well enough for most users so it comes down more to the operating system and applications. Some loyal Mac users have even switched to PC’s because of the frustrations with MacOS. A telling sign that even great hardware is not always the answer.

    • #2590582

      Some loyal Mac users have even switched to PC’s because of the frustrations with MacOS. A telling sign that even great hardware is not always the answer.

      …and some loyal Windows users are switching to MacOS. What is the telling sign?

    Viewing 15 reply threads
    Reply To: Why File Explorer keeps me on Windows

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use all available BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: