How to use Groups for simpler sorting in Finder on Mac

Finder Use Groups Toolbar

Finder on Mac is your go-to tool for documents, applications, folders, and anything else you want to find on your Mac. You can connect an iPhone to it like formerly in iTunes, view iCloud Drive, and view locations on your computer.

Being able to sort quickly and easily is key to effectively using Finder. And, you have terrific options in the Finder toolbar to see items as icons, in a list, as columns, or in a gallery view. But there is another way to sort in Finder that can make it even easier — Groups.

Here’s how to use Groups in Finder for simpler sorting and searching.

Groups in Finder

About Groups in Finder

Before we get started, it’s important to note that the use of Groups is not available in the Gallery view for Finder. This may seem odd at first, but once you see how the grouping works, it’ll make perfect sense.

When you use Groups in Finder, the folder you’re viewing will likely be sorted by the types of items within it by default. This is useful for folders that contain multiple kinds of items like documents, images, videos, and subfolders.

Plus, your documents will be grouped by kind as well. So you’ll see PDF documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. However, you can change how the groups are sorted and we’ll show you that below as well.

Finder Groups Document Kind

One last note, when you choose to use Groups in Finder, it will only apply to the current folder you are viewing. This gives you the flexibility to only use groupings when it’s helpful to you.

Use Groups in Finder

To use Groups in a Finder folder, do one of the following:

  • Click the gear icon in the Finder toolbar and select Use Groups.
  • Choose View from the menu bar and select Use Groups.
  • Right-click within the folder and select Use Groups.

You’ll immediate see the folder adjust and group your items.

Finder Use Groups Toolbar

Sort by Group in Finder

Maybe you’d prefer to group items by date, size, tags, or application rather than kind. This is just as easy as enabling Groups in the first place.

Like when you turned on Groups in Finder, you can use the same locations to change the grouping.

  • Click the gear icon in the Finder toolbar and select Groups By.
  • Choose View from the menu bar and select Groups By.
  • Right-click within the folder and select Groups By.

Then, select the option you would like to group by in the pop-out menu. You have nine different options which is great for different types of folders.

Finder Group By Options

Stop using Groups in Finder

To stop using groups, follow one of the same methods as above for enabling them and click Use Groups once more to uncheck it.

Wrapping it up

Using Groups in Finder can really come in handy. Whether you group by kind, date, or size, this type of view might be just the ticket to sorting your items the way you need them.

Are you going to give Groups a try the next time you’re looking for something in Finder on Mac? Let us know! And remember you can message us on Twitter and Facebook too!

For more, take a look at how to set the default view and sort order for a folder in Finder.