How to copy file or folder’s complete path on your Mac directly from Finder

OS X Yosemite (design promo, Finder icon 001)

The Mac’s Finder isn’t as versatile a file manager when it comes to copying a file or folder’s full path as the Windows Explorer app is.

To be sure, macOS has long allowed you to enable an interactive file path at the bottom of Finder windows, and even show the complete path in a window’s titlebar, but these methods won’t let you copy an item’s full path to the system clipboard easily.

Starting with OS X 10.11 El Capitan, Apple introduced a Copy Pathname option that makes it very easy to do just that. And in this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to copy a file or folder’s complete path on Mac, directly from the Finder.

How to copy full file or folder path on your Mac

Step 1: Launch a new Finder window by choosing New Finder Window under the Finder’s File menu.

How to copy file path OS X El Capitan Mac screenshot 001

Step 2: Navigate to a desired file or folder and click the item in the Finder window while holding the Control (⌃) key, which will bring up a contextual menu populated with various file-related operations.

Step 3: Now hold down the Option (⌥) key to reveal a hidden option in the contextual menu, labeled “Copy (file/folder name) as Pathname”.

How to copy file path OS X El Capitan Mac screenshot 002

Step 4: Selecting this option will copy the complete, not relative, pathname of your item into the system clipboard.

Now you can easily paste the item’s complete path in other apps using macOS’ system-wide Command (⌘) – V shortcut.

Again, the Copy Pathname feature is only available in OS X 10.11 El Capitan or later and cannot be found in earlier macOS editions.

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