Mac Finder Quick Actions and More

If you’ve never used Quick Actions in Finder on your Mac, these are handy tools below the preview pane in the Finder window. You can perform actions quickly, as the name describes, and save some time. For example, you can rotate an image or create a PDF with just a click.

While you have some basic Quick Actions, which depend on if you select a folder, file, video, or image, you can customize these actions by creating your own. This lets you create the types of Quick Actions you’ll use most and have them at your fingertips.

So if you’re ready, here’s how to create your own Mac Finder Quick Actions.

Make sure Quick Actions are displayed

If you’re not seeing Quick Actions or simply not seeing the Preview pane in Finder at all, follow these few steps.

1) With Finder open, click View > Show Preview from the menu bar. Once the preview pane opens, you may see the Quick Actions immediately at the bottom. If not, go to the next step to display them.

Finder Preview Pane No Quick Actions

2) Click View > Show Preview Options from the menu bar.

3) At the very bottom of the pop-up window, check the box for Show Quick Actions.

Finder Preview Options Show Quick Actions

Now you should see the Quick Actions for a selected item below the Preview pane.

Finder Preview Pane Quick Actions

Create your own Quick Action

Now for the fun part; creating your own Quick Action. You’ll use the Automator tool on your Mac to create the actions, so click Applications > Automator from your Dock or Go > Applications > Automator from the menu bar.

When Automator opens, click New Document and follow the steps below to create your first Quick Action. For our example, we’re going to do something simple and create a Quick Action for a New Folder.

1) Under Choose a type for your document, click Quick Action and then click the Choose button.

Automator Quick Action Choose

2) On the left make sure Actions is selected and under Library, pick the type of item you want to work with. In our case, it will be Files & Folders.

3) Once you choose your item on the left, you’ll see the available actions immediately to the right.

Automator Library Action New Folder

4) Select the action you want and drag it to the workflow area. For us, it will be New Folder.

5) Next, you’ll set up any options included for that action. For a New Folder, we’ll enter the Name (New Folder) and Where we want the folder to go (Same Folder as Input). The options will vary depending on the action you choose.

Automator New Folder Pick Where

6) Technically, you may be able to stop and save your Quick Action at this point. However, there are a few items at the top of the workflow window we’ll go over in case you want to use them.

Workflow receives current: Leave as Automatic in the first drop-down. Only leave as any application in the second drop-down if you want the Quick Action available in other spots like Safari or Mail. If you only want it in one place, like Finder, then select it.

Image and Color: These are optional if you want a specific icon and color for the Quick Action.

Automator New Folder Workflow Top

7) When you finish with any additional adjustments, save your Quick Action. Click File > Save from the menu bar and give your action a name.

8) Click Save and you’re set!

Now when you’re in Finder, you’ll see your new Quick Action. For our example, when I select a file or folder in Finder, the New Folder Quick Action I created will be available to select.

New Folder Quick Action in Finder

If for some reason you don’t see your Quick Action, click the More action and it should be listed there.

Add or remove Quick Actions

You can select different types of items in Finder to see the Quick Actions that are available. To add or remove Quick Actions, do the following.

1) Click the More (three-dot icon) Quick Action.

2) Choose Customize.

3) Finder should already be selected on the left, but if it’s not, click it.

4) On the right, you can check and uncheck boxes for the Quick Actions you want available in Finder.

You should see the new Quick Action that you just created in the list as well.

Simply close that Extensions window when you finish.

Finder Select Quick Actions Extensions Window Ours News

Wrapping it up

Quick Actions are convenient for doing what you need to do with a folder, file, image, or other item quickly. Are you already using Quick Actions and ready to create your own? Let us know which type you decide to make in the comments below.

And if you’re interested, check out some other cool things you can do with Automator on your Mac.